Thirsty Thursday

Spice up your holiday eggnog with brandy, whiskey or rum

Frankie Prijatel | Senior Staff Photographer

You can use brandy, whiskey or rum to make eggnog during the holiday season.

Thick, creamy and made of eggs, milk and sugar, eggnog is a classic staple of the holiday season. Yet every time I have tried to make spiked eggnog, I’ve been at a loss about what type of alcohol to use.

Dark liquors such as brandy, rum and whiskey are known as the standard for this sweet, seasonal cocktail. Choosing which to use, however, can be a challenge.

For the last Thirsty Thursday before winter break, I tested out all three liquors to send you off into the holidays with an idea of what you may want to add to your eggnog this year.


Brandy, a strong spirit made from distilling wine or fermented fruit juice, is the perfect liquor to add to the thick eggnog drink, mixing flawlessly as if it was meant to be.

Pungent tastes of brandy jumped out to me without monopolizing the sweet, creamy, nutmeg and cinnamon flavors that eggnog is best known for. The brandy has a medium presence in the eggnog drink.


The thing about whiskey is that it can vary greatly in taste depending on the bottle. For the eggnog, I used Maker’s Mark bourbon.

The whiskey eggnog had the most noticeable taste of alcohol. Just like the brandy eggnog, the first thing I tasted was nutmeg and cream, but the second I took a sip, I instantly noticed a spicy kick of whiskey, slightly more overpowering than the brandy.


Of the three drinks I tried, the rum eggnog was my least favorite. The dark liquor mixed too well into the creamy eggnog, and it was almost impossible to pick up on any hint of the liquor at all. The only point at which I even noticed the rum was during the finish, when a slight hint cut through the dairy, leaving an unpleasant, lingering aftertaste.

All in all, there isn’t much wrong you can do with any of these liquors. While they vary slightly in taste, the most powerful part of the beverage is the nutmeg and cinnamon mixed in with the sweet holiday drink.

If you’re feeling a little big adventurous, you may even want to mix them together until you find the combination you like the best.


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