Nutrition: 90 calories, 2g fat, 15g carbohydrates per serving (1/2 cup)
Tasting Notes: "This is vile, too thin, tastes nothing like eggnog." "Chalky." "Tastes super watered down." "Unsatisfying." "The worst — watery, grainy, horrible." "No holiday spirit."
12. Silk Nog (Soy Milk)
Nutrition: 90 calories, 2g fat, 15g carbohydrates per serving (1/2 cup)
Tasting Notes: "This is vile, too thin, tastes nothing like eggnog." "Chalky." "Tastes super watered down." "Unsatisfying." "The worst — watery, grainy, horrible." "No holiday spirit."
11. America's Choice Premium Egg Nog
Nutrition: 170 calories, 8g fat, 22g carbohydrates per serving (1/2 cup)
Tasting Notes: "Bubblegum-banana flavor, too thin, no spice." "What WAS that?" "Chemical taste and smell." "Something about this doesn't smell right." "No eggnog taste!" "Thin, runny texture with an odd Parmesan cheese aftertaste."
10. Horizon Organic Eggnog
Nutrition: 140 calories, 3g fat, 22g carbohydrates per serving (1/2 cup)
Tasting Notes: "Thin-loose texture, bubblegum-banana candy aftertaste." "Very sweet." "Strong aromas of vanilla." "Tastes like melted chemical ice cream." "Chalky, fruity, watery." "No 'spicy' flavor."
9. Bolthouse Farms Holiday Nog
Best Healthy Option
Nutrition: 80 calories, 1.5g fat, 12g carbohydrates per serving (4 ounces)
Tasting Notes: "Thick, spicy — rum raisin and cumin flavors." "Spiced cake batter and ginger snap flavors." "Tastes like maple syrup-covered pancakes." "Unnatural tasting." "Strong butterscotch aroma, tastes like a watered-down gingerbread cookie." "Weird texture — looks creamy, tastes watery."
8. Farmland Egg Nog
ManuWe/ E+ via Getty Images
Nutrition: 180 calories, 8g fat, 23g carbohydrates per serving (1/2 cup)
Tasting Notes: "Super-sweet." "Tastes like a lemon shortbread cookie." "Frozen lemon meringue flavor." "More like lemon-flavored ice cream than eggnog."
7. Tuscan Holiday Egg Nog
Nutrition: 180 calories, 8g fat, 22g carbohydrates per serving (1/2 cup)
Tasting Notes: "Not creamy enough, strange aftertaste, almost bitter." "Very sweet, supermarket childhood eggnog." "A little on the thin side." "Bright yellow color." "Bubblegum flavor, artificial tasting." "Weird cosistency, not enough spices." "Melted milkshake texture."
6. Trader Joe's Premium Egg Nog
Nutrition: 180 calories, 9g fat, 20g carbohydrates per serving (1/2 cup)
Tasting Notes: "Thick texture, with good spice flavor." "Too thick, like melted ice cream but not necessarily in a good way." "Not too sweet." "Thicker, more noticeable nutmeg flavor, same opening chemically-custardy flavor." "Banana flavor." "Good creamy texture." "Tastes much better with rum."
5. Turkey Hill Grade A Eggnog
Nutrition: 190 calories, 9g fat, 23g carbohydrates per serving (1/2 cup)
Tasting Notes: "Very banana-y, kind of custardy." "Tastes like ice cream base." "Nice, not too sweet, vanilla-y." "Very average, thick, yellow." "Tastes spiked already." "Strong nutmeg, good egg flavor, creamy."
4. Organic Valley Organic Eggnog
Nutrition: 180 calories, 10g fat, 18g carbohydrates per serving (1/2 cup)
Tasting Notes: "Lots of nutmeg, good consistency, creamy but not cloying." "Thick, heavy cinnamon and nutmeg flavors." "Spice overwhelms." "Thickness, weight, and texture is rich." "Has Christmas spices flavor." "Sweetness offset by strong notes of allspice and nutmeg, goes well with rum."
3. Southern Comfort Vanilla Spice Egg Nog
Nutrition: 220 calories, 9g fat, 25g carbohydrates per serving (1/2 cup)
Tasting Notes: "Well-balanced flavor and aroma — easy drinking." "Good spices, maybe a little sweet, good texture." "Melted ice cream, slightly nutty." "Sugar cookie flavor." "Milky white color, tastes like a cannoli." "Slightly thinner consistency but tasty!"
2. Hood Golden Egg Nog
Nutrition: 180 calories, 9g fat, 20g carbohydrates per serving (4 ounces)
Tasting Notes: "Rich and creamy but not too sweet." "Kind of like crème anglaise, but chilled." "Has a definite vanilla milkshake quality." "You want to keep drinking this." "Tastes homemade." "Great with rum."
1. Ronnybrook Eggnog
Best Overall and Best for Spiking
Nutrition: Approximately 210 calories, 9g fat, 23g carbohydrates per serving (8 ounces)
Tasting Notes:"Very thick and well balanced, spice notes are subtle." "Creamy, rich." "Best with rum." "Tastes like what I think eggnog should be." "Happiness."
A Holiday Search: The Best Eggnog You Can Buy
You're either for nog or you're against it. There is no middle ground. It all comes down to how you feel about drinking your bourbon or rum in a pool of melted ice cream, because that's more or less what eggnog is: eggs, sugar, cream, nutmeg, and vanilla. It's an ice-cream base masquerading as a cocktail mixer.
It helps that nog has history on its side. It's a drink born in medieval England, made popular in early America, which now lives in our collective imagination as a symbol of a bygone time when men were men, women were women, and people could take down a concoction of hard alcohol, refined sugar, and animal fat without the hideous stamp of modern guilt.
The best eggnog is always that which you make from scratch, but if you're going to opt for a store-bought version, you would do well to choose carefully. All nogs are not created equal, as I recently discovered when I sampled eight popular brands. What follows is my appraisal of the field. (Note that all of these eggnogs are sold in non-alcoholic form you can do the spiking with a booze of your choosing at home.)
Scent: Most nogs didn't give off much of a bouquet, with the exception of Rice Dream's Rice Nog ($2), which smelled of new My Little Pony dolls.
Appearance: Generally speaking, the nogs were a neutral, inoffensive shade of off-white. Demerits go to Rice Nog, which looked like filthy water, and Lactaid Eggnog ($2.99), for its weirdly bright-yellow hue (perhaps over-compensation for a brand name that sounds more like a female nursing tool than a festive holiday beverage). Ronnybrook Eggnog ($4.79) was also a little unsettlingly yellow.
Texture: Most of the nogs suffered from being too thick, due to the fact that dairy companies crudely try to replicate the luscious texture of whipped eggs by doctoring their heavy cream with guar gum and carrageenan. This results in a slimy, Pepto Bismal consistency. Southern Comfort Eggnog ($3.99) set itself apart by recalling instead the grittiness of Mylanta. Points to Organic Valley ($4.99)for finding the proper level of thickness. The brand doesn't use guar gum, and the resulting nog is hefty without being mouth-coating.
Nutrition: Eggnog is irredeemable from a nutritional standpoint. Period. The pre-packaged stuff is mostly made from high-fructose corn syrup, dairy fat, and a bunch of unlovable additives. Rice Nog and Horizon Organic Eggnog ($4) were notably lighter in fat and calories than the others, if you keep track of such things. Let's all agree that there's a two-drink maximum on eggnog and inquire no further into the exact composition of the stuff.
Flavor: I found Southern Comfort, Lactaid, Ronnybrook, and Farmland Dairies ($2.49) to be middling nogs, tooth-achingly sweet, and with flavors in the vanilla pudding and butterscotch categories. Horizon Organic tasted of bubblegum Holiday Eggnog ($2.49), the worst of the bunch, had a distinct turpentine finish. Rice Nog, as one might expect, wasn't a true nog so much as rice milk half-heartedly flavored with pie spices. The stand-out in the group was Organic Valley, which tasted of nutmeg and fresh cream, and wasn't nearly so sweet as the other brands. I suspect this is because the company skipped the corn syrup and instead used organic fair-trade cane sugar.
Winner: By a landslide, Organic Valley, for its pure nutmeg taste, moderate sweetness, clean texture, and an all-organic ingredient list that proved less horrifying than its competitors.
What is eggnog?
"Eggnog is a stirred custard that is aged to create its very distinct properties and flavors. Culinary anthropologists think it could have originated from posset, a late medieval concoction of hot milk, hooch, and spices," says the Fairway Market team. Whereas posset was made with sherry and no eggs in England, once this drink came to the US, things changed based on availability.
"When colonists began settling in America, they had access to an excess of fresh eggs and milk, so egg-based drinks began to regain popularity," says the Fairway team. That excess of eggs and milk came from the large number of dairy farms in the colonies, and both ingredients were easy to get. And while expensive sherry wine was what was used in England, in America, the colonists switched the liquor to rum, which was a cheaper spirit they could make and buy themselves.
As we've previously noted, scholars aren't entirely certain where the word comes from—it could be a contraction of "egg and grog" or a reference to a "noggin," which was a type of cup at that time—but either way, the first recorded use of the word was in 1775, according to the etymologists at Merriam-Webster.
The aging process is pivotal to achieving that quintessential (and divisive) eggnog flavor. The Fairway team suggests aging it for a month or two before you want to drink it. If you age it any longer, the creamy beverage's flavor will become a bit more aggressive. Case in point: Serious Eats tried aging their eggnog recipe for one year and found that the booze used in their version was almost too overpowering and clashed with the milky flavor and consistency after being aged for so long.
Aging eggnog is what gives it its eggnog-y flavor, but we're here to tell you that you can age it for a mere hour and still end up with the signature sip's taste. Here's how with our homemade eggnog recipe you can make with a secret weapon: your crockpot.
The 4 Best Store-Bought Vegan Eggnogs, Ranked
One of the most popular holiday drinks is eggnog. I went on an adventure to three cities, 13 stores in three days collecting all the vegan nog I could find. The main goal? To find vegan nog, all of it.
The adventure was a success! Well, kind of. Of the stores, Califia Holiday Pure Eggnog was sold out EVERYWHERE, literally everywhere. Personally, I love this brand so I'm assuming the eggnog is probably just as good if not better. Apparently everyone else around here must agree too. After tasting four special vegan nogs, here is my ranking from worst to best.
Martha Stewart Shares Her Eggnog Recipe That’s Rich With Three Different Types of Booze
With the holidays come a variety of food and beverage traditions we hold near and dear to our hearts. One of our all-time favorite holiday beverages? Eggnog. TBH, eggnog is one of those beverages that you either love or you hate. And In the case that you haven’t sipped on the thick and creamy ‘nog yet, here’s a secret that’s not such a secret: homemade eggnog is superior to any store-bought purchase. Luckily for us, Martha Stewart shared her classic eggnog recipe that’s a total fan-favorite. If you’re looking for a round of holiday beverages to share with your family and friends, this extra boozy eggnog will have everyone feeling the holiday spirit in no time. Non-eggnog lovers, prepare to be converted.
Stewart shared the recipe on Instagram, writing, “No holiday fête at @marthastewart48&rsquos would be complete without her famous eggnog, whipped into a cloud of foam, showered with fresh nutmeg, and served in a silver bowl “the size of a bathtub,” says editorial director of food @sarahcarey1. While many recipes call for rum, brandy, or cognac, Martha’s has all three, and the liquors’ complex flavors help cut through the richness. Check out the recipe in our December issue or at the link in bio.”
Rum, brandy, and cognac? Thank you, Santa Stewart! Sure, store-bought cartoons are easy to grab and go but will they bring you as much delight as this booze fest drink? We wouldn’t count on it. Plus, with only two steps, Stewart’s recipe is incredibly simple to quickly whip up an entire batch that will last you all night.
This classic holiday beverage can be modified a bit and still hold its own! Whether you opt for a milk alternative or you want to adjust the alcohol content rest assured that this recipe is customizable. The best part about the recipe (in our opinion) is definitely the freshly grated nutmeg &mdash trust us when we say it’s a must-have in this sweet ‘nog.
What is the best store bought eggnog?
Click to read full answer. Similarly, it is asked, which brand of eggnog is the best?
We tried four brands of eggnog to see which one we like the best. The brands we sampled were Farmland Fresh Dairies, Hood, 365 Everyday Value, and Trader Joes. Farmland Fresh Dairies was our favorite because of its creaminess, consistency, and sweetness.
- Turkey Hill Grade A Eggnog.
- Trader Joe's Premium Egg Nog.
- Tuscan Holiday Egg Nog.
- Farmland Egg Nog.
- Bolthouse Farms Holiday Nog. Jane Bruce.
- Horizon Organic Eggnog. Horizon Organic/itemmaster.
- America's Choice Premium Egg Nog. Jane Bruce.
- Silk Nog (Soy Milk) Jane Bruce.
Keeping this in consideration, is store bought eggnog good?
While the best eggnog will forever be the kind that's homemade on a cold winter's day, don't worry if you don't have time to slave away in the kitchen: A pretty impressive array of store-bought options exist on shelves&mdashthough some of them are much better than others.
Unfortunately, a whole lot of dairy-case nogs miss the mark. They may start with fresh ingredients, but in an effort to cut costs or make their produce more shelf-stable, companies add far too much sugar — and additives that mess up flavor and consistency. The worst eggnogs are shockingly sweet, with oddball flavors, such as bananas and cake mix. And the worst of the worst have an unpleasant consistency much like mucus.
Undrinkable nogs are fairly easy to spot. Avoid those with long lists of ingredients and high sugar content. Also check for the addition of turmeric, an inexpensive substitute for the egg yolks, which naturally add color, flavor and richness.
Here’s the scoop on the most delicious eggnogs — and the ones that should be poured down the drain. Note that nutritional details below refer to a 1/2-cup serving.
Straus Family Creamery Organic Nog
This eggnog is frothy, silky and minimally sweet. A dash of nutmeg or cinnamon makes it perfect. 180 calories, 10 g fat, 13 g sugar. $6.99 a quart at Sprouts Market, plus a $2 bottle deposit. (4 stars)
Organic Valley Eggnog
Egg-forward flavor, laced with nutmeg and vanilla, makes this creamy eggnog one of the best in the dairy case. A touch less sugar would make it perfect. 180 calories, 10 g fat, 17 g sugar. $4.49 a quart at Whole Foods. (3 1/2 stars)
Clover Organic 100th Anniversary Eggnog
The turmeric that turns this extra-sweet eggnog yellow is a mistake, but the drink is rich and pleasantly creamy. 180 calories, 9 g fat, 20 g sugar. $4.99 a quart at Whole Foods. $5.99 a quart at Whole Foods. (3 stars)
Silk Original Nog
For a nondairy nog, this is impressive. It has a a smooth mouthfeel and balanced flavors that make for a satisfying sip. 80 calories, 1.5 g fat, 11 g sugar. $2.50 a quart at Whole Foods.(2 1/2 stars)
Almond Breeze Almondmilk Nog
Cinnamon fans will love this ultra-light, entirely nontraditional, nondairy nog. 60 calories, 1 g fat, 11 g sugar. $3.49 a quart at Sprouts Market. (2 1/2 stars)
Southern Comfort Traditional Egg Nog
Gloppy viscosity aside, this is a bold nog, packed with egg and spice flavors — and a touch of nonalcoholic bourbon extract. 190 calories, 9 g fat, 20 g sugar. $3.99 a quart at Raley’s. (2 stars)
So Delicious Dairy Free Coconut Milk Holiday Nog
Coconut spiked with nutmeg is an unexpected flavor combination, but it works. This is silky and rich, but a bit too sweet. 90 calories, 2.5 g fat, 15 g sugar. $2.50 a quart at Whole Foods. (2 stars)
Trader Joe’s Light Egg Nog
Bright yellow and ultra-sweet, this nog is drinkable, but it lacks richness and spice. 110 calories, 1 g fat, 18 g sugar. $2.99 a quart. (1 1/2 stars)
Califia Farms Holiday Nog Almond Milk
No one would ever mistake this for eggnog, but it’s a pleasant drink light and nutty with a hint of vanilla. 50 calories, 1.5 g fat, 8 g sugar. $4.69 for 48 ounces at Whole Foods. (1 star)
Top O’ The Morn Farms
Far too much sugar and cotton candy flavor mar what is otherwise a luxurious, frothy drink. $6.99 a quart at Sprouts, plus a $2 bottle deposit. 170 calories, 8 g fat, 20 g sugar. (1 star)
Clover Stornetta Light Egg Nog
Unlike the company’s 100th Anniversary nog, this low-fat version is a mistake. It’s much too sweet, with an unappetizing, gloppy consistency. 160 calories, 4.5 g fat, 22 g sugar. $5.99 a quart at Whole Foods. (1/2 a star)
Christmas Milk Brands Eggnog
If you like the flavor of vanilla cake mix, check this out. It’s a dead ringer. It’s also so cloyingly sweet that you’ll need to chase it with a glass of water. 200 calories, 9 g fat, 22 g sugar. $4.99 a quart at Sprouts. (1/2 a star)
Sunnyside Farms Low Fat Egg Nog
Some eggnogs beg to be tasted over and over. Not this one. The murky flavor and mucuslike texture make a it an easy pour — down the drain. 130 calories, 2 g fat 21 g sugar. $1.99 a quart at Lucky. (No stars)
Horizon Organic Lowfat Eggnog
That the aroma and flavor of ripe banana can end up in a nog is not just questionable. It’s disgusting. 140 calories, 3 g fat, 22 g sugar. $4.99 a quart at Sprouts. (No stars)
Topology and edge flow are incredibly important for character models that are meant for animation. For static game-meshes and environment models, edge flow is less important, but that doesn't mean it should be ignored entirely.
Model in quads (four-sided polygons) as often as possible, especially if you plan on taking a model into Zbrush or Mudbox for sculpting later. Quads are ideal because they can be subdivided (for sculpting) or triangulated (for game-engines) very smoothly and easily.
Topology is a vast topic, and going into detail here would be impossible. Just keep some of the basics in mind while you work:
- Avoid N-gons (polygons with five or more sides).
- Keep triangles to a relative minimum.
- Try to have evenly spaced subdivisions, and avoid elongated faces. Your polygons don't have to be perfectly square but keep them as close as you can, within reason.
- For an animated mesh, add extra edge loops wherever there will be deformation (elbows, knees, lips, etc.).
- Remember to clean up topology artifacts after using Maya's bevel tool, which often creates triangles and occasionally n-gons.
- If you smooth your model and notice “pinching,” try to think about how you can reroute edges so that your mesh smooths more favorably.
- If you notice non-manifold geometry, stop what you're doing and fix it immediately.
No Holiday Party Is Complete Without These Tasty Store-Bought Eggnogs
If you're hosting a festive Christmas party or just craving something rich and creamy to sip by the fire, eggnog is a classic and crowd-pleasing beverage to serve during the holidays. Here are our favorite store-bought eggnog brands, from traditional recipes to dairy-free alternatives. Now go stock up!
Dairy-free, soy-free, and made with nut milk, this Almond Milk Holiday Nog from Califia Farms is so tasty, you might choose it over more traditional dairy-based options. We think the subtle ginger and nutmeg notes, plus the touch of sea salt, really knock this nog out of the park.
This eggnog gets my seal of approval as editor's choice due to its deliciously nutty flavor. The cute bottle doesn't hurt, either.
Made with farm-fresh organic milk, cream, egg yolks, unrefined cane sugar, fair-trade organic vanilla extract, and nutmeg, this Eggnog from Organic Valley is made with real and sustainably sourced ingredients &mdash and it gets our vote for the best organic nog to serve to the whole family.
There's nothing low-fat, low-calorie, or dairy-free about this more traditional option, but Hood Golden Eggnog is packed with the rich and creamy taste of classic eggnog. It's cake-batter-sweet, thick, and totally craveworthy.
Eggnog | Taste Test
Homemade eggnog can be a delicious thing, enriched with fresh eggs and cream, a careful grating of nutmeg, and just the right amount of sugar. (Plus a dunked cookie or two.) But mixing it up yourself can seem a little daunting (and holiday entertaining already has you frazzled), plus you might be nervous about raw egg safety. So you're just going to pick up a carton at the grocery store. But which brand should you buy? We recently conducted a blind taste test to figure out which is the best nationally-available brand of premade eggnog, the kind you find in the dairy case.
We included ten nationally available brands of refrigerated eggnog. We didn't get into any wacky flavored eggnogs here just the traditional stuff. We did include two non-dairy eggnog options for the milk-averse. None of these eggnogs contain alcohol.
- Turkey Hill(website)
- Organic Valley(website)
- Southern Comfort
- Horizon Organic(website)
- Hood Golden(website)
- Whole Foods 365
- Trader Joe's
- Bolthouse Farms(website)
- So Delicious(website)
So we looked for packaged eggnog that offered the most natural-tasting egg flavor, richness without gumminess, balanced spicing, and no strange off-flavors or aftertaste.
In general, supermarket eggnog is pretty sweet, and our tasters didn't grade down too much for that. Instead, they were especially critical of strange off-flavors. Some brands were marked down for artificial-seeming vanilla notes or a fake-booze flavor. No one wants to drink an eggnog that tastes like bananas, like bubblegum, or like perfume.
There are a couple of reasons that store-bought 'nog will never taste as good as home made. First off, homemade eggnog gets its thickness and flavor from real eggs, but compared to other ingredients in commercial eggnog, eggs are expensive. The FDA only requires that eggnog contain 1% egg yolk by weight, and most companies are inclined to use the absolute minimum amount, resorting to cheaper ways to make their nog taste thick and rich. That explains the prevalence of thickeners like carrageenan, guar gum, and locust bean gum. And we know you all love your carrageenan.
Second, traditional home-made nog is a raw egg drink. Made fresh, it comes out simultaneously rich but light, thick but foamy. Commercial eggnogs have none of the foaminess of a freshly shaken drink, and on top of that, must be pasteurized, essentially turning it into a cooked crème anglaise-like custard.
That said, there were a few brands that definitely fared better than the rest.
#1. Organic Valley (6.6/10)
This nutmeg-speckled eggnog came out on top because tasters found it rich but not overly thick or cloyingly sweet. Some thought the vanilla flavor overpowered any egginess, but most praised it for being creamy, drinkable, and lacking weird chemical-tasting flavors.
#2. Hood Golden (5.6/10)
"Whoa, this is sweet," wrote one taster, but this brand still did well on several scoresheets. "Tastes like cake batter ice cream," commented one fan. Though some felt that Hood Golden Eggnog didn't have quite enough spice to balance it out, others praised the flavor.
#3. (Tie) Southern Comfort (4.25/10)
"This is a little too thick," said one taster, "but it's not bad, and has a decent nutmeg flavor." A few folks said they didn't think they could drink a huge amount of this eggnog but praised the overall flavor. Many were a bit put off by the "scary orange color."
#3. (Tie) Turkey Hill (4.25/10)
Though it's alcohol-free, this eggnog tasted boozy, as if rum was stirred into a bowl full of eggs. A heavy dose of vanilla and thick texture turned a few tasters off this brand, but some commented that it tasted like the eggnog they remembered from growing up. We tried this one later with a shot of aged rum, which definitely improved it and balanced out any almost-booze flavors with, well, real booze.
#4. Whole Foods 365 (4/10)
Tasters found this eggnog marshmallow-sweet and eggy, and wished for a few more spices to balance it out. But, alas, it wasn't the worst option on the table.
#5. Horizon Organic (3.87/10)
Off-flavors galore in this one, which tasters criticized for having hints of bubblegum and an unappealing sourness. "This is like a melted fake-banana milkshake, not like eggnog," wrote one taster.
#6. Trader Joe's (3.63/10)
Tasters couldn't get over the weird fruity, perfumey flavors in this eggnog, and also criticized it for being too sugary. Unfortunately, the faux-booze flavor of this eggnog could not even be saved by the addition of real alcohol. the off flavors still stood out.
#7. Bolthouse Farms (3.6/10)
Some tasters found this version eggy but a little gummy, and a few complained about an aftertaste and odd not-quite-cinnamon spicing. "Smells like a graham cracker, tastes like one too," wrote one taster.
#8. Silk Nog (2.7/10)
How did the non-dairy options fare? Not great. Tasters criticized Silk's thin texture, dull flavor, and said it tasted like 'diet' eggnog. Though some liked the lighter texture, most found the nutty bitterness a little odd. Stick with a dairy-free hot toddy or mulled cider instead.
#9. So Delicious (2.4/10)
This coconut-based non-dairy eggnog was a little rough to drink on its own. Some found the texture a little greasy, and others complained that it had a weird graininess and smelled too much like sunscreen. However, this stuff is a lot better with a shot of rum in it—landing somewhere between eggnog and a piña colada. If you've bought So Delicious this holiday season, be sure to stock up on liquor, too.
Seriously, Make It Yourself
Spare yourself (and your holiday party guests) the fake vanilla, the gummy texture, the sugar coma, and the faux-rum. Make your own eggnog at home with this easy recipe.