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Taste Test Thursday: Eggnog

photography by Carol Shih
photography by Carol Shih

There are two camps of people: the Eggnog People and the Eggnog Haters.

During the holidays, when this weird Christmas drink hits grocery shelves, the division becomes more apparent. We split into our two groups. We waggle our tongues at each other. We fight. We try to convince each other that our side is better.

Eggnog is a divisive drink. Everybody feels strongly about it. When I asked Nancy if she’d like to join our taste test today, she said… well, I’m not even going to write what she said.

I mean, I didn’t grow up with this creamy stuff in my refrigerator, so too much of it makes me feel sick. I get it. But, then again, it is tradition. I did this for you, folks. Hope you enjoy my stomach’s sacrifice.

eggnogs
A. Borden’s Holiday Classic Eggnog – National brand, but owned by a company here in Dallas.

B. Southern Comfort’s traditional, non-alcoholic eggnog – Global brand (Central Market)

C. H-E-B’s eggnog – San Antonio, TX (Central Market)

D. Christmas Milk: Naturally Delicious Eggnog – Frisco, TX (On the bottle, it says, “Each sale helps children in foster care find their forever home.” Buy it at Central Market)

E. Oak Farms’ holiday eggnog – National brand

A.Borden
3_tasting_notes

     

  • “Thin. Sweet. Kind of dull. Not enough spice.”
  • “Lighter flavor, not too heavy. Cinnamon!”
  • “I loved this one. Slightly bitter. It had a nice almondy taste.”
  • “Smooth and sweet”

 

B.southerncomfor
3_tasting_notes

     

  • “Creamy, like cinnamon.”
  • “Extra eggy? I liked it afterward.”
  • “Too creamy and a little too sweet.”
  • “Great texture – hint of spice, perfectly eggnoggy.”
  • “Cinnamony.”

 

C.heb
3_tasting_notes

     

  • “Tastes maybe like it has alcohol, but I KNOW BETTER. Not good.”
  • “Realllly sweet. Too sweet.”
  • “Tastes fruity.”
  • “Synthetic tasting.”
  • “After a glass of that, I’d be in a sugar-induced coma.”

 

D.christmasmilk
3_tasting_notes

     

  • “Tastes more like melted ice cream, which isn’t good when I WANT EGG NOG.”
  • “All cream. No spice. Boring.”
  • “Whoa. Too eggy, but thick and creamy.”
  • “Tastes kinda like banana milk.”
  • “Banana flavor”

 

E.oakfarms
3_tasting_notes

     

  • “Bubblegumy”
  • “Almost a little lemon flavor in there. Good, but not my fave.”
  • “Metallic.”
  • “Bland, custardy, not good.”
  • “Gross. What is IN this?”

 

4_tally_up

5 votes for (B) Southern Comfort
3 votes for (A) Borden
Everything else got zero votes.

5_conclusion

eggnogcow
Brad’s “I don’t know why I’m here” face + Elsie the Borden cow. She magically appeared in our office.

In the middle of writing this post, I KID YOU NOT, Elsie the Borden cow walked into the office to hand out eggnog. It’s fate. Borden is trying to tell me something. Anyway, I made Bradford Pearson take a photo with that fuzzy thing. His face is classic confusion.

Despite that serendipitious moment on Borden’s part, I don’t know why its eggnog received 3 votes. If you want a classic eggnog taste, I think H-E-B’s is better. But what do I know. I liked that you could see the vanilla bean stuff floating in H-E-B’s eggnog.

If you’re not a huge eggnog fan (like me), you should go with the Christmas Milk from Frisco. It’s almost like drinking cereal milk.

Southern Comfort’s non-alcoholic eggnog, though, took the big prize on this one. It was probably the thickest one to pour, and you could definitely taste the spices. (The ingredients don’t specifically say which kinds.) Spike this one with alcohol, sit by the fire, and you’ve got yourself a toasty night. Interested to find out why this one was so clearly the winner? Check out Wired‘s investigation of Southern Comfort’s eggnog.

On the other hand, Oak Farms’ eggnog was plain, downright nasty. It’s thin, and I don’t care what the other taste testers said. Don’t buy that junk. One sip of it made me wrinkle my entire face. It will suck your Christmas spirit like a Dementor.

  • littleloo

    Why didn’t you try Promised Land? It is the best.

  • Carol Shih

    I blame this on Ricky, our web designer. He was supposed to bring some in.

  • Ricky Ferrer

    I was on my way to the office with Promised Land, but I drank it all en route.

  • BorntoRhone

    You didn’t try Trader Joe’s – I like their light eggnog but the key to avoiding sweetness and getting the spice right is sufficient quantities of Sailor Jerry rum.

  • Carol Shih

    So false.

  • kindallas

    Agreed.

  • Beda

    From NPR last week (make it fresh!): Julia Reed, contributor to the southern lifestyle magazine “Garden and Gun,” shared with us her recipe for the WORLD’S GREATEST EGGNOG. Here it is, folks:
    Mix 4 cups bourbon and 2¼ cups sugar in a bowl. Let them sit for a bit. Beat 12 large egg yolks until they get ugly. Fold those into the bourbon and let that chill for a couple hours. Beat 8 cups whipping cream until stiff and fold that in, letting it all cool again for an hour or so. Enjoy!

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  • Ho-Ho-Ho

    You left the BEST eggnog ever out of your taste test! Why didn’t you include Promised Land?

  • Kevin Kunreuther

    Oi! Did you guys clear out all the egg nog at the flagship Tom Thumb earlier this week? Eight o’clock in the morning there was nary a drop in the whole dang store. They said one guy came in a cleared them out.

  • Carol Shih

    Well, given the fact that I am a woman (not a guy), it definitely wasn’t me.