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10 Best Rums for Eggnog: Guide to the Spirit’s Perfect Match

Best Rum for Eggnog

Last Updated on March 22, 2024 by Lydia Martin

As the holiday season begins to roll in, there’s nothing quite like the creamy comfort of eggnog, and the best rum for eggnog can transform this holiday staple into an extraordinary treat.

As a professional mixologist who’s swirled, sniffed, and sipped countless spirits, I’m excited to share my top rum picks, making eggnog cocktails burst with flavor and booze!

What Is The Best Rum For Eggnog Cocktail

1. El Dorado 12-Year Rum

Man Drinking El Dorado 12-Year Rum: best rum for eggnog

Average Price: Roughly $33.99/750ml (Total Wine)

Alcohol Content: 40% ABV

Nose: Complex fruit, aged oak

Palate: Buttery caramel, ripe fruit taste

Star Rating: ★★★★★

Why We Like It: This aged rum is a luxurious choice for eggnog lovers. The velvety sweetness makes it an excellent choice for eggnog, and is equally adept at adding a twist to other mixed drinks.

To my palate, many aged rums carry pronounced notes of vanilla and oak barrel; however, El Dorado is graced with a honeyed sweetness that softens its profile, setting it apart from other rums.

“A splash of rum transforms eggnog into a symphony of holiday cheer in a glass.” – Liquor Laboratory

Even after 12 years of aging in oak barrels, the rum isn’t overwhelmed with oak flavors; instead, it provides a subtle oak nuance that appeals to my taste buds.

2. Rhum JM VO

Bartender Making Rhum JM VO Drinks

Average Price: Around $41.99/750ml (Drizly)

Alcohol Content: 43% ABV

Nose: Grassy cane, toasted coconut

Palate: Citrus zest, clove, gentle vanilla taste

Star Rating: ★★★★☆

Why We Like It: Rhum JM VO is aged for three years in newly toasted oak casks, departed from the method of using charred ex-bourbon casks that typically give rums a darker hue.

It’s like a Caribbean holiday in a cup! This rum’s subtle vanilla and a bit of coconut make it one of the best rums for eggnog and other mixed drinks like piña colada, lending its unique complexity.

While sipping, I noticed a spicy taste, but it swiftly softened to a smoother experience. When blended, the spicy hint gentles, potentially requiring a tweak in the quantity used to achieve the desired taste.

3. Denizen Merchant’s Reserve

Denizen Merchant's Reserve Bottle and a Glass

Average Price: Roughly $34.49/750ml (Drizly)

Alcohol Content: 43% ABV

Nose: Fragrant herbs, mellow oak

Palate: Tropical fruit taste, hint of smoke

Star Rating: ★★★★☆

Why We Like It: Denizen Merchant’s rum is a blend that brings out the festive spirit. I like how the herbal and fruity profile adds a unique twist to the eggnog, ensuring a delicious holiday treat.

It combines an 8-year Jamaican pot still rum with an uncommon variety from Martinique known as rhum grande arome, creating a vibrant, fragrant, and subtly earthy concoction.

This rum [1] pairs remarkably well with other liquor or spirits like cognac, brandy, bourbon whiskey, and Scotch whisky, enriching any final drink with added layers of floral and aromatic scents.

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4. The Diplomatico Rum

Man Holding Bottle of The Diplomatico Rum

Average Price: Around $34.99/750ml (Total Wine)

Alcohol Content: 40% ABV

Nose: Ripe fig, caramelized sugar

Palate: Sweet baked apple, warm cinnamon taste

Star Rating: ★★★★☆

Why We Like It: Diplomatico’s smooth, sweet profile with hints of baked fruits and spices mirrors the essence of an eggnog mix, making it one of the best rums for eggnog.

Although the flavors provide a subtler spicy presence compared to many other rums, it has a pronounced candied essence that you can’t find easily in other rum spirits.

Diplomatico crafts most of its rums and other spirits intending to be savored solo, which is evident in their rich, fulfilling flavors.

5. Skipper Demerara Rum

Bottle of Skipper Demerara Rum

Average Price: Approx. $29.99/750ml (Drizly)

Alcohol Content: 45% ABV

Nose: Rich toffee, dark chocolate

Palate: Spiced molasses, lingering warmth

Star Rating: ★★★☆☆

Why We Like It: Demerara distillers aged this rum in ex-bourbon casks for at least three years, making it among the best rums for eggnog. Its affordability in no way reflects a compromise on flavor.

Skipper’s bold molasses flavor stands up to the strong spices in spiked eggnog cocktails [2], making it one of the best rums for eggnog with a harmonious balance.

Though it’s not my top pick for sipping due to its pronounced intensity, its full-bodied nature shines when blended into a mix, transforming a simple eggnog drink into an indulgent, spirited delight.

6. Plantation OFTD Rum

Bottle and a Glass Plantation OFTD Rum

Average Price: Around $29.99/750ml (Total Wine)

Alcohol Content: 69% ABV

Nose: Intense molasses, orange peel, fiery spiciness

Palate: Dark chocolate, clove, marshmallow, caramel cream

Star Rating: ★★★☆☆

Why We Like It: This overproof rum gives most eggnog recipes a potent, flavor-packed punch. Its intense taste profile adds an indulgent twist to the classic egg nog mix.

Plantation Rum’s OFTD, a more spiked liquor, is one of the best rums for eggnog due to its high-proof and overproof qualities.

While some may find this rum a bit harsh for sipping, its traditional and delicious taste, plus its accessibility, make it one of my go-to rums.

7. Mount Gay Eclipse

Hand Holding Bottle of Mount Gay Eclipse

Average Price: Approx. $28/750ml (MSRP)

Alcohol Content: 40% ABV

Nose: Tropical banana, vanilla, caramel, summer fruit

Palate: Vanilla sweetness, allspice, burnt oak

Star Rating: ★★★☆☆

Why We Like It: Mount Gay Eclipse adds Barbadian flavors to the rich eggnog recipes. The vanilla notes provide a delightful backdrop to the creamy concoction, making each sip smooth and inviting.

Overall, Mount Gay Eclipse rum can enhance any mixed drink, making it an excellent choice for eggnog.

Its rich flavors meld beautifully, which makes this rum my top pick for concocting not just eggnog but also Rum Punch and Rum and Coke.

8. Amrut Old Port Deluxe Matured Rum

Amrut Old Port Deluxe Matured Rum

Average Price: Around $21.49/750ml (Total Wine)

Alcohol Content: 42.8% ABV

Nose: Rich molasses, hints of allspice

Palate: Smooth caramel taste, slight oak notes

Star Rating: ★★★☆☆

Why We Like It: This Indian rum brings an exotic twist to the traditional eggnog. Amrut has been gaining recognition for its whiskey, yet I find its rums to be truly remarkable.

Their rum recalls the traditional English-style rums from Guyana. The rum flavors are particularly pronounced, with deep cherry, allspice, and nutmeg notes.

With a little sherry, its rich molasses blend seamlessly with the creamy texture, enhancing the eggnog with a warm, spices-infused undertone.

9. Denizen Vatted Dark Rum

Pouring Denizen Vatted Dark Rum On a Glass

Average Price: Roughly $29.99/750ml (Drizly)

Alcohol Content: 50% ABV

Nose: Woody spice, a bit of burnt caramel

Palate: Bitter chocolate, complex spice taste

Star Rating: ★★★☆☆

Why We Like It: Denizen Vatted Dark Rum delivers a bold, spiced chocolate note that enriches egg nog drinks without overwhelming the taste buds.

When you blend this rum into eggnog drinks, expect a less sweet rendition. However, its rich and delicious flavor compensates for the lack of sweetness.

10. Myers’s Rum Original Dark

Myers's Rum Original Dark

Average Price: Around $24/750ml (Wine-Searcher)

Alcohol Content: 40% ABV

Nose: Rich honey, subtle oakiness

Palate: Spiced caramel, maple syrup

Star Rating: ★★★☆☆

Why We Like It: Myers’s is a staple for dark rum lovers. Its deep and rich aroma sets the stage for a tasting profile that’s both robust and smooth.

I like how the palate offers a delightful balance of spiciness and sweetness, making it versatile for both sipping and mixing.

Whether you’re crafting an eggnog or simply enjoying it over ice, Myers’s delivers a consistently satisfying experience.

Hacks To Elevate Your Cocktail

  • Use fresh, grated nutmeg for a burst of flavor, perfect if you prefer a hint of spice.
  • Chill your chosen rum bottle before mixing the egg nog drink for a smoother texture.
  • You can garnish it with a cinnamon stick for an improved tasting profile.
  • Whip the eggnog mix separately to create a frothy drink.
  • Steer clear of white rum due to its delicate and clear characteristics. Opt for a gold or aged rum instead.
  • If you’re looking for a playful alternative that echoes the qualities of rye whiskey, consider selecting a spiced rum.
  • Try to add brandy or cognac liquor to your sampling selection. Consider it the benchmark spirit among the others; trust me, you might be pleasantly surprised by its compatibility.
  • Combine equal parts of brandy and rum into the eggnog to enjoy a delightful fusion of traditional flavors.

What Type of Rum Is Best For Eggnog Recipes?

The best type of rum for an eggnog drink is aged or gold rum for its flavor depth. The matured flavors of vanilla, oak, and spices complement the creaminess of eggnog, enhancing its depth and warmth.

As mentioned, I suggest you avoid white rum since it lacks the tasting profile needed for a perfectly crafted and delicious eggnog.

If you want to add some kick, spiced rum is a good bottle to mix with your eggnog, as it can impart some spiciness to the eggnog’s tasting profile.

Types Of Rum & Their Eggnog Compatibility Level

Light Rum

Light rums are versatile but may be too subtle for eggnog’s robust flavors. If you prefer this type of rum, I would recommend only one bottle – Cruzan’s light rum, which I like for its tropical edge.

Dark Rum

Dark rums add a rich, molasses-like sweetness that pairs beautifully with eggnog. This type captures the Caribbean signature notes, making it appealing for crafting eggnog.

Some of the best rums to try include:

  • Plantation Original Dark Rum
  • Plantation 3 Stars
  • El Dorado 3-Year-Old

Aged Rum

Aged rums (usually in an ex-bourbon barrel) deliver a complex flavor profile that can truly elevate a simple eggnog.

For me, it’s the best type for making eggnog, and it pairs well with other spirits, like brandy, whiskey, and cognac.

I prefer a bottle of El Dorado 13-Year-Old for the best eggnog and opt for Rhum JM VO and Skipper Demerara Rum as alternatives.

Spiced Rum

Spiced rums infuse eggnog with additional layers of flavor, making each sip a spicy delight. If you’re thinking of using any white rum, you better think twice since it lacks the flavor depth.

“I’d like to have been an old-time pirate. Out on the sea with a rum.” — Tom Waits, American Singer-Songwriter

For the best-spiced rums, try any of the following:

  • Lemon Hart & Son Blackpool Spiced Rum
  • Chairman’s Reserve Spiced Rum
  • Crusoe Spiced Rum

FAQs Related to Best Rum for Eggnog

What are some recommended rum options for making eggnog?

Several rum brands are well-suited for eggnog, offering a balance of flavor and affordability. Popular choices include Bacardi, Captain Morgan, Mount Gay, Appleton Estate, and Cruzan.

Should I use dark or light rum for eggnog?

The choice between dark and light rum depends on personal preference and desired flavor profile. Dark rum tends to impart richer, caramelized notes, while light rum offers a lighter, more subtle flavor. Experiment with both to see which you prefer in your eggnog.

Are there any specific rum regions known for producing excellent eggnog spirits?

While rum is produced in various regions worldwide, Caribbean countries like Jamaica, Barbados, and Puerto Rico are renowned for their rum-making traditions. Look for rums from these regions, as they often offer excellent options for eggnog.

Can I use spiced rum for eggnog?

Yes, spiced rum can add an extra layer of flavor to eggnog, infusing it with warm spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove. However, be mindful of the sweetness and spice level of the rum, as it may impact the overall balance of the eggnog.

Should I opt for aged rum when making eggnog?

Aged rum can contribute complex flavors and a smoother finish to eggnog. However, it’s not necessary to use aged rum, especially if you prefer a lighter or more straightforward flavor profile. Both aged and unaged rums can work well in eggnog.

In Summary

The right rum can make all the difference in your eggnog. While all the rums listed here are good in their own way, the standout rum, for me, is the El Dorado 12-Year Rum.

It has the perfect blend of sweetness, body, and complexity, making it my top-choice rum for eggnog. It’s a choice that surely brings warmth and cheer to any festive gathering.

How about you? What’s your favorite rum for eggnog?


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