13 Store-Bought Eggnog Brands, Ranked

When it comes to holiday drinks, perhaps no beverage is more cherished and hotly contested than eggnog. Some people adore this creamy and delightful treat, while others can't stand its taste, smell, or consistency. We love making a batch of homemade eggnog and savoring its incredible flavor throughout the holiday season. However, in a pinch, it's useful to know which store-bought eggnog is the best. So, we embarked on a mission to discover the best brand hanging out on our grocery shelves.

Surprisingly, many companies opt to give their eggnog a tan or light yellow hue. This is puzzling to us, as homemade eggnog is typically white. We believe that if the goal is to replicate the deliciousness of homemade eggnog, then striving for a creamy yellow color seems misguided. Regardless of whether it's made with traditional or alternative ingredients, knowing the best holiday eggnog available can help save you a bit of time this holiday season.

For those who don't have the time or inclination to make homemade eggnog this year, finding a good store-bought alternative is helpful. We're excited to report that we found one that stands up to the homemade standard, but we also encountered several disappointments along the way. Our methodology included picking up nogs from local stores, sipping them, and then ranking our list by key factors like taste, smell, consistency, and color.

13. Califia Almondmilk Holiday Nog

The Almond Breeze almond milk variety, with its striking resemblance to traditional eggnog, stands in sharp contrast to Califia Holiday Nog. Both beverages begin with almond milk and sugar as their primary ingredients, yet Califia's offering diverges with a surprisingly different and rather strange taste. A notable change in the recipe is the inclusion of ginger, an unconventional choice that imparts a peculiar flavor, strangely akin to something like bubblegum. This unique taste is far from what you might expect in either classic eggnog or its dairy-free counterparts.

The color of Califia nog also departs from the norm, presenting a darker tan shade rather than the lighter hue typically associated with eggnog. This difference is immediately apparent upon pouring the drink into a glass. Overall, the flavor profile of Califia's Holiday Nog is not particularly palatable, failing to meet the expectations we have from our years of loving traditional eggnog. Additionally, its consistency is disappointingly thin, further detracting from the overall enjoyment of the drink.

12. So Delicious Coconutmilk Holiday Nog

The coconut milk holiday nog from So Delicious presents an intriguing yet not entirely pleasant twist on traditional eggnog. Its appearance and behavior distinctly resemble coconut milk, which differs from other milk in both texture and consistency, feeling somewhat slimy. This quality is evident in the nog's tan color, sprinkled with small speckles of seasoning, contributing to its unique visual appeal. However, despite these interesting characteristics, the flavor and texture don't quite meet expectations.

While the taste of this coconut milk nog isn't offensive on its own, when combined with the unusual texture, it falls short of being enjoyable. The way it clings to the glass is particularly off-putting, making it challenging to appreciate the drink fully. The ingredient list is simple, with coconut milk and cane sugar at the forefront and annatto extract added for coloring.

The scent of the nog does faintly recall traditional eggnog, but this aspect is too subtle to make a significant impact. Those who specifically prefer or are accustomed to coconut milk's unique properties will enjoy this one. However, for those accustomed to the creamy, rich texture of traditional dairy-based eggnog, this coconut milk version from So Delicious may be a bit too unconventional.

11. Elmhurst Oat Nog Blended with Cashews

Dairy-free drinks often surprise us with unexpected flavors, and Elmhurst's oat and cashew-based drink is no exception, carrying an aroma of something like suntan lotion. Despite the simple ingredient list of water, oats, cashews, sugar, natural flavoring, and salt, the source of the sun lotion-like scent remains a mystery. Tasting this nog reveals a hint of cinnamon mingling with a creamy base that lacks anything too memorable. However, the odd, overpowering scent is hard to ignore and quite off-putting.

Visually, the drink has a tan color, but it's noticeably different from the white color we love seeing from a great nog. Interestingly, despite Elmhurst's Oat Nog being a largely oat-based beverage, the inclusion of cashews makes it unsuitable for those who are fond of oats but have tree nut allergies. The packaging on this one is quite attractive, but the nog within just isn't one we prefer.

10. Southern Comfort Eggnog

Southern Comfort's Vanilla Spice Eggnog initially sparked our interest, but it didn't quite meet our expectations. While we appreciated its creamy white color, the texture and flavor left something to be desired. The additional vanilla spice flavor, intended to enhance the eggnog, instead seemed to distract from the classic smoothness that we love about good eggnog. There is a subtle, indistinct taste within the mix, suggesting an attempt at vanilla spice — but it fell short of truly enriching the nog's overall profile or truly mixing in. Upon closer inspection of the ingredients, we found a significant presence of corn syrup and artificial flavors. There were also several other components that we couldn't easily identify.

Although this offering from Southern Comfort is a non-alcoholic variant, it might be more enjoyable with the addition of Southern Comfort liqueur, as the brand suggests. The alcohol could potentially complement and enhance the flavors, making it a more appealing choice for those looking to enjoy a spiked version of this holiday classic.

9. T.G. Lee Eggnog

The T.G. Lee eggnog initially seemed super promising, especially with its packaging resembling a traditional milk jug, suggesting a purer product. However, appearances can be misleading. The scent of this eggnog seemed more like what people imagine eggnog should smell like rather than the aroma of freshly made eggnog. It also contains turmeric and annatto for coloring, similar to many other eggnog varieties we've sampled. In much the same way that this one has a scent that feels off, the color isn't helping either.

In terms of flavor, we found it to be pretty heavily nutmeg while also lacking the smoothness we love enjoying. Notably, there are small bits of nutmeg seasoning visible in the light yellow liquid. While the flavor wasn't our favorite, the consistency of the eggnog is somewhat thin as well. Since it's made with milk and eggs, we expected a better consistency than was delivered.

8. Bolthouse Farms Holiday Nog

The first taste of Bolthouse Farms' holiday nog was a real surprise, primarily due to its smoky undertone and flavor; this was something we didn't expect. This dairy-based nog intriguingly features carrot juice concentrate in its ingredients. We speculate this is primarily for adding color, but it's a peculiar choice given that traditional eggnog is typically white. The introduction of a tan color from the carrot juice doesn't seem necessary and deviates from the classic eggnog appearance. Nonetheless, the texture of the nog is commendable and offers a creamy, rich consistency one expects from a quality eggnog. This holiday nog from Bolthouse Farms stands out as the most unique and surprising among those we tried. We love this one for those seeking a different take on classic eggnog. It certainly caters to adventurous palates.

Bolthouse Farms sets itself apart with its packaging design. The decoration on the bottle is lovely and captures a festive spirit, enhancing its appeal on the shelf and even on your counter during serving. Interestingly, the scent leans more towards that of an ultra-creamy beverage, devoid of any smoky notes. 

7. Publix Eggnog

The Publix store brand eggnog, like many others we've tried, has a light yellow color, achieved with yellow number five and six, but its base is primarily milk and sugar. An interesting aspect of this product is its ingredient list, which specifically mentions an eggnog base that includes egg yolks, among other elements.

Flavor-wise, this Publix eggnog has a decent taste profile. It tends to favor nutmeg, which might be a bit overpowering for those who prefer the more classic, subtle blend of milk and egg flavors in their eggnog. However, the consistency of this drink is quite commendable. It possesses the right thickness, contributing to a satisfying drinking experience.

One significant advantage of the Publix brand is the availability of their eggnog in large containers. This is particularly handy during the holiday season when you're entertaining guests and need a substantial quantity of eggnog. The scent of this eggnog is another plus. It's clean and devoid of an overwhelming spice aroma. The spices are there but in a balanced measure, ensuring they enhance rather than overpower the drink.

6. Favorite Day Eggnog

Target offers a Favorite Day brand, and some of these offerings are real hits — including the eggnog. This dairy and eggnog has a pale yellow color, and in terms of scent, it does smell strongly of milk, but there isn't a whole lot of sweetness or spice to complement it either.

This one has a nice, thick consistency, exactly like what we hope to see from real eggnog. However, it doesn't really stand out from the others in terms of being a real eggnog versus an oat or any of the other different types of milks.

We hoped that this real eggnog would have a little bit more sweetness. While not terrible, it is very middle of the road for us and isn't super memorable or one we would seek out again, but it's an okay offering. That said, we imagine it would be a pretty good ingredient for upgrading store-bought cinnamon rolls or even making eggnog cheesecake, cookies, or pancakes. For a tasty eggnog latte with an eggnog base that isn't too overpowering, this one would be a delicious one to use as the frothed milk.

5. Almond Breeze Almondmilk Nog

This almond milk nog stands out as an excellent choice if you are seeking a dairy-free alternative this holiday season. Its flavor profile has a rich blend of nutmeg and cinnamon, which significantly define its taste. In the absence of traditional cream or eggs, these spices do a commendable job of imparting a festive and familiar eggnog flavor.

One of the most impressive aspects of this almond milk nog is its consistency. It achieves a thickness that is very reminiscent of traditional eggnog, providing a satisfying mouthfeel for those who might be missing the creamy texture of dairy-based nog. While the color is slightly tan, veering away from the natural eggnog hue, this is understandable and forgivable considering its almond milk base. This slight deviation in color does not detract from the overall experience of the drink.

In terms of ingredients, this nog primarily consists of almond milk, with cane sugar being the next key ingredient. It relies heavily on sweeteners to mimic the festive, rich taste we love about eggnog. We highly recommend this option for those who are fans of almond milk, but even for those who might find almond milk a tad unexciting, this particular nog manages to be delightful and flavorful, making it a great alternative during the holiday season.

4. Lactaid Eggnog

Lactaid is well-known for its pasteurized milk that caters to those with lactose intolerance, and its eggnog offering follows suit — offering a dairy alternative to those who wouldn't otherwise be able to enjoy this treat. However, a notable concern with this eggnog is the addition of yellow five and six as well as red 40 colorings. It's puzzling why milk companies feel the need to add coloring to eggnog, as we prefer natural colorings rather than artificial ones.

Taste-wise, this Lactaid eggnog is very smooth and milky, reminding us more of a melted vanilla ice cream than traditional eggnog, which we found quite enjoyable. It's devoid of overpowering spices, offering a more subtle flavor profile. Despite these positives, the color is somewhat off-putting, and the consistency is on the thinner side, which might not appeal to everyone. That said, if you're looking for a real eggnog experience without the risk of an upset stomach later on, this Lactaid option is a good choice.

3. Chobani Oatmilk Holiday Nog

We are pretty big fans of Chobani. The creamers offered by this company are quite tasty, so we were super excited to try their nog. Chobani's oat milk nog, in terms of color, is closer to a creamy white than a tan, and we like this a lot better than the tan color of some other nogs we have tried.

Sipping this drink feels like eggnog in terms of texture but less so in flavor. It tastes like sweetened and slightly seasoned oatmeal, which is particularly satisfying. We don't tend to like eggnogs that are super flavored in terms of nutmeg or cinnamon, and this one does a really good job of not including those extra flavors, instead relying on something that feels a bit more simple, one of our favorite aspects of real eggnog. The smell is also very simple; it doesn't smell quite like oat milk but something a little bit sweeter.

The ingredients for this one begin with an oat milk blend, immediately followed by sugar, something we are not surprised to see and have noticed in other offerings. In terms of flavor, we love Chobani's nog and may even find ourselves returning to it, even though we don't need to drink dairy-free offerings exclusively. To have a dairy-free nog favored by even dairy-drinking folks is always a solid endorsement. Plus, this makes a delicious addition to a homemade oatmilk shaken espresso like you'll find at Starbucks but with an added eggnog flair.

2. Shamrock Farms Eggnogs

Initially, we were quite skeptical of the flavored eggnogs from Shamrock Farms with offerings like vanilla spice, pumpkin spice, Irish whiskey, and traditional. We generally aren't fans of adding too much to traditional eggnog, so the inclusion of flavoring like this made us apprehensive. However, our opinion changed as soon as we tasted it. The eggnog turned out to be exceptionally creamy with a harmonious balance of flavors. The vanilla spice, in particularly, rather than being overpowering, was a delightful enhancement.

We were also pleased to see that this eggnog is a creamy white color, avoiding the yellowish hue common in many other brands. While the consistency is a bit on the thinner side, it's by no means the thinnest we've tried, and the flavor is truly outstanding. Although we have a preference for the natural taste of eggnog for traditional purposes, this Vanilla Spice variant from Shamrock Farms is undeniably delicious in its own right.

We imagine that it would make for an exquisite eggnog and chai latte, a combination we're eager to experiment with. The ingredient list is fairly straightforward, focusing on milk, sugar, cream, and egg, with additional flavoring to create the vanilla spice twist. This simple yet effective blend of ingredients contributes to its overall appeal, making it a standout choice for those looking to enjoy a flavored eggnog.

1. Greenwise Eggnog

GreenWise's eggnog is an absolutely excellent offering, standing out in a market often crowded with artificially colored nogs. It boasts a thickness we often only see in homemade eggnog, and it even has a perfect color. We were particularly pleased to find that it has a creamy white appearance, a refreshing change from the yellow or brown hues commonly added to commercial eggnogs. This cleaner look suggests a less complicated ingredient list, which we found appealing.

A quick taste reveals that this eggnog shines by not overly depending on cinnamon or nutmeg. Instead, it allows the natural taste of the milk to blend harmoniously with the sugar and eggs. This approach is commendable as it provides a versatile base, perfect for those who enjoy customizing their eggnog with additional flavors or spiking it for an extra festive touch.

While the packaging of this eggnog might not be particularly eye-catching, it's the quality inside that counts. The ingredient list is impressive, featuring a lot of organic components such as organic milk and organic egg yolks. We were extremely impressed and pleasantly surprised by how much we enjoyed this eggnog, especially considering our fondness for homemade versions.

Overall Methodology

When choosing our eggnogs, we considered what was reasonably available in a short grocery trip. Our eggnogs came from three stores: Publix, Target, and Aldi. From there, we got to sipping and ranked our selections on the categories of color, scent, taste, and ingredients. We found these were the categories that most contributed to our relative enjoyment of each flavor.