Wondering about the best way to add a little alcohol to your eggnog this year? This expert-approved method is the only guide you need.

By Lauren Phillips
Updated June 29, 2020
Spike Store Bought Eggnog
Credit: Courtesy of Bottles Fine Wine

So you just picked up a carton of eggnog at the grocery store, and you’re wondering how you can booze it up holiday style, in a way that will pair properly with the flavor and texture of the 'nog itself. It’s not an easy question, but our friends at Bottles Fine Wine, a fine wine, craft beer, and liquor shop in Providence, Rhode Island, have an excellent answer.

Step #1: Raid your liquor cabinet wisely (or head to your local bottle shop).  

While brandy is the most traditional add-in for eggnog, according to traditional recipes, the experts at Bottles recommend a mixture of dark rum and Cognac. If you like your eggnog a little more boozy, you can also add bourbon, though Bottles recommends sticking to rum and Cognac to preserve the ’nog’s flavors.

Step #2: Go mid-shelf on the booze, not top shelf.

Remember, you’re using these spirits as mixers—there’s no need to pull out your priciest bottles, unless you really want to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year. Bottles recommends using dark rums like The Real McCoy 5 Year, Privateer Amber, or Ed Hamilton 86 Proof. For Cognacs, check out Pierre Ferrand Ambre, Germain-Robin Craft Method, or the Marie Duffau Napoleon (an Armagnac). (Bonus: These Cognacs won’t cost you a fortune.)

Step #3: Spike your eggnog with these easy ratios. 

Here's your golden ratio for pop-up holiday cheer: Bottles recommends a ratio of 1 part spirit to 5 parts prepared eggnog. Want us to make it even easier on you? If you buy a 1-quart container of eggnog, you should use 6.5 ounces of liquor, total.

Step #4: Make it look like you worked harder than you did with some flair. 

Top each glass with a dash of nutmeg for flavor and a grating of orange peel for color, and you're finished. Congratulations: Your eggnog has been perfectly spiked. Happy holidays!

Thanks to our friends at Bottles for sharing their wisdom! Cheers!