There were just a few of the winos in town after Christmas, and we quickly discovered that only one (our host) had a true appreciation for egg nog. We agreed to start with some homemade egg nog and then set out to taste the different store-bought brands.
Egg nog for the Holidays is not a tradition that I grew up with, so I was intrigued by all the options to consider. Cold or warm? Rum, brandy, bourbon, cognac or Baileys? Nutmeg or cinnamon? Diluted with milk or creamy thick? Soy based? Low fat? Shaken or stirred? Cocktail or straight up? Is it one word (eggnog) or two words (egg nog)? And of course — homemade versus store-bought egg nog ?
As a group we always agree that there can be many winners, everyone has different tastes and preferences. In this case, the homemade option prepared by our host was the clear winner. He insisted that it was a simple recipe and his preference is to use a light rum. The critical steps he mentioned, other than the constant whisking, are to make sure that the mixture cools down before adding the rum, vanilla, light cream and nutmeg and to refrigerate overnight.
We started the pre-made tasting using shot glasses (more than that would have been too much) and found that the group quickly agreed on: cold, creamy, with liquor, not shaken, with nutmeg and not soy (very watery, just unpleasant). The store-bought preferred options were:
- Southern Comfort Vanilla Spice Egg Nog (220 calories and 9g fat for 1/2 cup): There is no liquor in it as the name may imply, it is lighter in color than the others and basically tastes like a profiterole. The option with E&J XO brandy (versus rum) was also the preferred choice.
- Sunnyside Farms Low Fat Egg Nog (130 calories and 2g fat for 1/2 cup): The dark yellow color was off-putting to some, but it tasted pretty good, like pudding, at almost 1/2 the calories. Once again, the E&J XO brandy was the preferred liquor option.
We never did settle if it is egg nog or eggnog, I guess we’ll leave that to next year’s celebration. And like everything else, don’t overdo it, too much of a good thing is not good, and that is especially true for this creamy libation.