‘Tis the season to be jolly
This much eggnog is pure folly
Bodies can digest a fair bit
But not with so much gold rum in it
In the interest of science, Chris and I willingly slugged back a LOT of eggnog. We did this for you. Remember that, when you’re next standing in front of the dairy case, trying to decide between 7 different eggnogs. Remember, when you think to yourself “oh wait! Is that the one that looked like semen?” that two sad little Texas-dwellers sacrificed their gastric systems to bring you that kind of valuable information. You are SO welcome.
Because I love eggnog. LOOOOOVVVEEEE. But only a very specific kind. Namely, Borden canned. Borden canned eggnog will send me scurrying into a Wal-Mart without any shame at all, running pell-mell toward that island of holiday crap that they set up in the middle of the grocery section around, oh, say, Labor Day. I’ll grab caseloads of the stuff, scratching my inner arms and sniffing around like a crack addict, and then take it home to hoard greedily on my shelves. There are 340 calories in a single cup of the stuff, and it’s not even really eggnog, but I am crazy about it. It’s the Cheez-Wiz of holiday drinks. All artifice and pre-war packaging and sugary goodness.
Note: I do not eat Cheez-Wiz, nor any fake cheese for that matter. Unless it’s on a Dorito or Cheeto or any other recognizable member of the “‘to” family. Personal prejudice.
Anyway. My parents got it a lot when I was really little, and I’ve had a product-crush on it ever since.
In recent years, however, the scarcity of Borden canned eggnog has forced me to tarry with other brands of eggnog, to sometimes disastrous ends. It’s the spice in the nogs that I can’t get behind. That super-chemically nutmeggy flavor gags me in almost any scenario, but it seems to be the prevailing flavor in most commercial eggnogs. Fortunately, I’ve found that when my desire for eggnog trumps my fear of traditional flavor, liberal amounts of spiced rum can mask even the most dastardly of nutmeg flavors. And that, my friends, is my holiday drink of choice. Eggnog and Captain Morgan.
Or eggnog and brandy, when I’m feeling super-festive.
So it came as no surprise to Chris when he came home a few weeks ago to find the refrigerator shelves laden with multiple different types of eggnog and a bottle of rum on the counter. I have a scientific mind…sometimes.
I set up a tasting experiment (blind) to see what our favorite eggnogs were, both with and without the addition of rum. I didn’t use spiced, because I wanted the flavor of the eggnog to shine without the comforting cloak of Captain’s influence. There were 4 different eggnogs that we reviewed, all of which came from dairies with a commitment to healthy, happy cows (or in one case, healthy, happy soybeans). The nogs were evaluated before tasting, after tasting, and after the liberal addition of rum. I wrote letters on the bottom of the cups to help distinguish after the tasting, and had Chris mix my cups up so I wouldn’t know which was which, either. Then we compared notes.
The Results of the Eggnog Invitational Master Challenge
Chris– Looks like eggs. Right before you make an omelet. Smells like typical eggnog, but the kind you would get from the government: no real spice, uniqueness or character to note. Like a normal liquid; not too thick. Flavor is mild and boring. No nutmeg, no magic of Christmas. Maybe this is military eggnog — it would taste good after being away from home for 18 months. No aftertaste. No texture. Gone as soon as I drank it.
with rum: I like rum. It added a small rum flavor, which is the spirit of eggnog.
Kristie– No aroma. Am I stoned? This one is bright lemon yellow, which is kind of offputting, but also hints at richness and indulgence. nd God only knows how I love rich people and indulging myself. No visible spice, which means I’ll probably like it. Thin enough that when I sloshed it to see how thick it was it splashed all over the sides. Comforting, eggy, sweet, wonderful flavor. With rum, it is kind of overpowered. I’d grade this as a B+ because while it’s delicious it doesn’t go very well with rum and it’s not really eggnog, just delicious in its own right.
Chris– A white appearance and with visible nutmeg floating inside. Or I hope its nutmeg. Honey… can eggnog go bad? Actually, it doesn’t smell like eggnog. It kinda smells like bananas. Weird. A thicker look, like cough syrup. Not too liquidy, not too thick. It sticks to the side of the cup. Honey… what was the answer about the expiration date of eggnog?
Okay, flavor? Really… this is banana cream drink. It has to be. This isn’t egg nog. And it has a banana aftertaste. I’m not making this up. It kinda coats the mouth, and not in a good way.
with rum: same amount of rum as last time, but with the effect of causing me to cough and die a little on the inside.
Kristie– Also no aroma…stonedness is rapidly confirming itself. Why can’t I smell any of these? I mean, nutmeg has a pretty intense smell to it, right? Also, this one is pale white. Kind of translucent. Looks a bit like a miniature cup of sperm. Visible specks of spice comfort me a bit, since sperm usually doesn’t have flecks of spice (but then again, I’ve never seen sperm because I’m a LADY). Also has the consistency of semen. Ew. Tastes like bananas, I’m not even shitting you. I feel like I’m drinking a Dirty Banana on our resort in Jamaica. Speaking of, I am now totally going to mix this with my Jamaican rum cream that’s been hiding in the fridge since our honeymoon. And some Godiva liquor. I am making a Christmas Dirty Banana. Seems oddly appropriate for the eggnog that looked so spermtacular… AHA! After addition of rum it tastes even more like a tropical banana cocktail. Genius! I give it a C+ for Jamaican attitude.
Chris–Back to a good egg-looking color, but with some nutmeg flakes or something similar floating around. After my last sample, this is a welcome change. It has a citrus, ? lemon, smell to it. Not a real eggnog smell. So far, the Goldilocks of the eggnog consistency: it seems to be just right. A very strange citrus taste on the front, definitely not eggnog, but with a weird eggnog aftertaste. I don’t like the way it is tricking my tongue… for the bad. The mouthfeel was not clean. It lingered. And made me feel awkward.
with rum: Ok, now we’re talking. With rum, the taste really got elevated to a mediocre Christmas party. And it seemed to help eliminate the citrus-y front end and awkward back end. I commend you, rum, for your hard work
Kristie–Smells like nutmeg, but not overpoweringly so. Pretty thick, but not excessively so. Dark yellow in color, with a few little brown specks to indicate nutmeggery. This lil’ mofo is HEAVY. Sip tastes very nutmeggy, to the point of feeling chemical in the mouth. This is the kind of overly-spiced eggnog that made me hate eggnog back in the day. I won’t lie; I’d still drink it. I’d just really booze it up. And speaking of…Mmmm…golden rum VASTLY improves this one. All of a sudden I see myself jumping ship on my pre-holiday diet (FAIL) to binge on this one for the remainder of the evening while playi8ng Marvel Ultimate Alliance on the Xbox. I’d give it a C for effort.
Chris–Custard yellow, without any visible spices floating around inside.
No smell. Weird. No smells at all. Perhaps I need to recheck my nose: honey, do we have any more of those bacon donuts? Very watery. And has a lot of bubbles, which are likely irrelevant but are remarkable. The flavor is definitely not like eggnog. More like screwed up Jello pudding. No residual mouthfeel, which I appreciate. But no good feel either, which I do not.
with rum: Pretaste note-when I added the rum, it seemed to quiver inside like a dying snake, or like a very tasty alcohol that did not enjoy being added to this drink. Now post taste: NO! It did not like being added, and struck out against me to remind me to never add it again. The rum didn’t add any good, but rather tacked on a strange aftertaste that amplified the pudding taste. Blech.
Kristie– Still no aroma. Very thin consistency with no visible specks of spice. Pale yellow. Tastes sort of weak and not very noggy. I’m betting this is the soy one, since it has no creaminess whatsoever. No aftertaste either. I’m not sure if I dreamt tasting this one, since I already have no recollection if its flavor. After adding a few syringes full of rum, it now tastes like a pina colada. I’m so confused…D-
Eggnog A was Borden. Delicious, wonderful Borden.
Eggnog B was Horizon (or possibly elf spunk)
Eggnog C was Promised Land
Eggnog D was Silk Nog
The flavor winner was tied between Borden and Promised Land. If you want that real, authentic eggnog flavor, go with the Promised Land eggnog. It’s traditional and thick, and goes great with liquor. If you want to cart around a cup of eggnog like it’s a blankie, then go with the Borden. It’s sweet and nostalgic and completely inoffensive to everyone, even if they claim to hate eggnog.
There are a plenty of other eggnogs clogging the grocery store shelves, but given our moratorium on factory dairy, these were the “legal” ones. The silk is thugging about the back of our refrigerator, waiting to be unsuspectingly thrust on someone or something. Maybe a pound cake? A really weak-ass pound cake? The Promised Land and Borden got used up in drinks and in french toast, and the Horizon is waiting for an occasion where its bananarama flavor will be welcome. Maybe spring break ’10?
What are your favorites? Tell me what your favorite eggnog is, and why it’s your favorite, and you’ll be entered in a random drawing for a can of Borden eggnog (so you can see why I think it’s so fabulous). Drawing will take place on November 20th.