Phil & Mel In The Afternoon

Phil & Mel In The Afternoon

People dressed as Santa Claus participate in the annual SantaCon bar crawl on December 9, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

With the holiday season upon us, it’s time to ask some serious questions. Real or fake Christmas tree? White or colored lights? A Christmas Story or Christmas Vacation? And what kind of alcohol goes in eggnog?

A new survey from Tasting Table looks at the best best booze to put in the traditional holiday beverage. Legend has it that George Washington was an eggnog fan and even had his own recipe, including rye whiskey, which he distilled himself at Mount Vernon, as well as brandy, rum, and sherry. No wonder he had wooden teeth!

Most modern eggnog recipes call for just one type of alcohol, but folks are mixed on which one. Forty-two percent of those surveyed agreed that rum is the best choice for spiking their nog. About 20 percent prefer brandy, 17 percent want bourbon, followed closely by whiskey with 16 percent of the votes. Just under five percent chose cognac.

Best Alcohol To Put In Eggnog (Tasting Table)

  • Rum (42%)

    Rum is a liquor made by fermenting and then distilling sugarcane molasses or sugarcane juice. The distillate, a clear liquid, is often aged in barrels of oak. While strongly associated with the Caribbean to this day due to its Barbadian origin, rum is nowadays produced in nearly every major sugar-producing region of the world.

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  • Brandy (20%)

    Brandy is a liquor produced by distilling wine and generally contains 35–60% alcohol by volume (70–120 US proof). Typically consumed as an after-dinner digestif, some brandies are aged in wooden casks while others are colored with caramel coloring to imitate the effect of ageing. Some are produced using a combination of ageing and coloring. Among the most renowned varieties are Cognac (see below) and Armagnac from southwestern France.

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  • Bourbon (17%)

    Bourbon is a type of barrel-aged American whiskey made primarily from corn. The name is derived from the French Bourbon dynasty, although the precise source of inspiration is unclear. Possibilities include Bourbon County in Kentucky and Bourbon Street in New Orleans, both of which are named after the dynasty.

    Bourbon bottles

    (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

  • Whisky (16%)

    Whisky or whiskey is a type of liquor made from fermented grain mash. It is a strictly regulated spirit worldwide with many classes and types. Various grains, which may be malted, are used for different varieties, including barley, corn, rye, and wheat. Whisky is typically aged in wooden casks, which are typically made of charred white oak. Uncharred white oak casks previously used for the aging of port, rum or sherry are also sometimes used.

    George Washington whiskey bottles

    (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

  • Cognac (5%)

    Cognac is a variety of brandy named after the commune of Cognac, France. In order to be called cognac, the brandy must be twice distilled in copper pot stills and aged at least two years in French oak barrels from Limousin or Tronçais. Cognac matures in the same way as whiskies and wines barrel-age, and most cognacs spend considerably longer “on the wood” than the minimum legal requirement.

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