Celebrate the season in very good spirits

Just as lemonade and rosé say "summer," nothing feels more wintry and welcoming than a glass of eggnog. Most Americans give it about a month — between Thanksgiving and Christmas — to shine. Some make it from scratch. Others prefer to sip more conveniently (and more often!) with store-bought varieties.

If you choose the premade route, why not make the most of it by spiking it with your liquor of choice? This silky, luscious drink will feel even more like a warm hug in a glass when you add some spirits. So stock up on a carton (or two) of everyone's favorite cream-, egg-, and sugar-based drink and up the cheer with one of our top five ways to spike it.

How to Spike Store-Bought Eggnog

Aim for a ratio of about five-to-one of eggnog to your selected spirit for the best flavor. For each 8-ounce glass, add one shot (1.5 ounces) of alcohol.

If you're mixing up a larger quantity in a pitcher of punch bowl, stir together a one-quart carton of eggnog with about four-and-a-half shots, or a half-gallon carton with about none shots. The goal is to taste a hint of the liqueur or spirit without overpowering the flavor of the eggnog itself.

Cold Refreshing Eggnog Drink
Cold Refreshing Eggnog Drink
| Credit: bhofack2

The 5 Best Alcohols to Add to Store-Bought Eggnog

Bourbon, Whiskey, or Rye

Any of these brown liquors (all of which are technically whiskeys, as is Scotch) work beautifully in partnership with eggnog since they balance the sweetness with a hint of smoke. Many also offer caramel notes. Caramel and cream? Yes, please! Rye is typically a little spicier than the others so give it a try if that's your style.

Spiced Rum

Speaking of spice, this eggnog addition packs a punch. And one sip will be all the proof you need that rum isn't just for tiki drinks. With flavors like vanilla, cinnamon, and clove taking center stage and a full-bodied creamy texture, spiced rum is a natural BFF for eggnog.

Brandy or Cognac

If you like your spiked eggnog nice and strong, consider these distilled wines. The combo of eggnog and brandy or Cognac is a tiny bit floral, nicely warm, and everything we love in a winter cocktail.

So what's the difference between the two? Similar to how sparkling wine can only be named Champagne (capital "C") if it's made in the Champagne region of France (everything else is sparkling wine, Cava, or prosecco, depending on where it's created), a brandy can only be called Cognac if made in France's Cognac region.


"Wait, you're talking about what you shake into margaritas and tequila sunrises?" you might be asking. Hear us out here: The punchy and earthy qualities of tequila work shockingly well with sweet, rich nog. For added smokiness, consider mezcal.


Would you like some cream with your cream? Kick up your store-bought eggnog with this popular Irish cream liqueur whose mild flavor is akin to eggnog as is — but with 17 percent booze. It even comes in a variety of flavors ranging from chocolate to apple pie so you can choose your own taste adventure if the classic's not your top choice.

Bonus Additions for Store-Bought Eggnog

In honor of the 12 days of Christmas, we've rounded up 12 additional festive flavor boosters for your nog. After adding the booze, consider upping the ante with one of these garnishes or mix-ins.

RELATED: Browse Eggnog Recipes