If you like to raise a glass during the holidays, you may enjoy filling it with eggnog. This traditional drink has been around since the 1700s, but is only stocked in your grocerís dairy case for a few weeks a year. Time for a taste test!
Eggnog usually begins to appear in stores sometime in November. There are a wide variety of options, all cashing in on the latest nutritional trends:
Regular (classic) eggnog can have as much as double the fat and calories of its lighter versions, and uses more egg yolks and full-fat milk or cream. (Good thing it’s only enjoyed once a year!)
Light eggnog has reduced fat/calories through a combination of less egg yolks, artificial sweeteners, and low fat or skim milk.
Organic eggnog must contain certified organic ingredients (eggs, milk, sugar and spices) and should have a stamp on the package to indicate its organic authenticity.
Soy-based eggnog uses soy instead of milk, usually doesn’t contain eggs, and usually is lower calorie than regular eggnog.
Fat is the main concern for most people who like to enjoy eggnog. Two glasses of regular eggnog can contain up to 32 grams of fat and 620 calories – that’s about the same as 8 teaspoons of butter. Add alcohol and you’re also adding calories. If you want to cut down the fat, dilute your eggnog with some skim milk.
Commercially-prepared eggnog is pasteurized to eliminate potential bacteria from undercooked eggs. If you make your own, be careful to prepare it properly. Pregnant women should avoid homemade eggnog since the bacteria can be harmful to unborn children. If you like to make your own, try looking for eggs that have been pasteurized in the shell.
Keep your eggnog well refrigerated and mind the best before dates. Typically, it will last anywhere between 7-16 days.
We enlisted a panel of shopping mall Santas to help us with a taste test. We tried:
- Grocery Store Brand (regular): $2.19 per litre
- Grocery Store Brand (light): $2.29 per litre
- Valley Pride Organic: $4.29 per litre
- Powdered Eggnog: 8¢ per litre plus your own milk
- Soy-Based Eggnog: $3.69 per litre
OUR TOP PICK
The organic Valley Pride eggnog was a big winner with 4 out of 5 of our testers; it had a rich, robust flavour and was sweet but with just the right hint of nutmeg. Other testers enjoyed the regular grocery store brand for its texture and more subtle flavour. It was smooth, creamy, and not too sweet.