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Is Rum or Bourbon Better For Eggnog? (2024 Updated)

Is Rum or Bourbon Better For Eggnog

Last Updated on February 25, 2024 by Lydia Martin

Choosing the best liquor to spike your Eggnog is probably one of the most stressful decisions you’ll have to make if you’re a newbie in the spirits world. So, is rum or bourbon better for Eggnog? 

Let’s put an end to this relentless debate now.

Rum or Bourbon: What’s Good For Eggnog?

Rum Bottle, Is rum or bourbon better for eggnog?

Rum is better for Eggnog because its distinctive flavor profile blends seamlessly with the egg-based cocktail. Rum also packs a punch that’s perfect for some occasions we want our drink strong.

Even if the Eggnog is a little sweet, you can still taste the toasted spice notes.

However, you can also try bourbon for your Eggnog. The liquor’s flavor pops out of the drink, making it an excellent mixer for any cocktail.

In-Depth Comparison

Tasting Notes

Bourbon Bottle

Rum is sweeter than bourbon because it is made from sugarcane molasses.

Bourbon, on the other hand, is made from corn, barley, rye, and wheat. It carries over the flavors from the grains used.

Additionally, bourbon has caramel and toasted oak taste notes, while rum has fruity and toasted spice notes. But what do you mix with bourbon?


Rum is less expensive than bourbon whiskey because it has a lower production cost. The standard price range of rum is $11 – $30, while bourbon costs $16 – $87.

Rum and bourbon aged for a long period are more expensive than those aged for a short time. 

When choosing which alcohol is best used as a mixer, less expensive brands tend to be better choices most of the time.

Alcohol Content

Old Forester

Rum and bourbon are distilled and bottled at a minimum of 40% ABV (80 proof) [1]. Some rum has at least 57.5% ABV, called “overproof.” 

It’s preferable to have strong alcohol as a mixer for the Eggnog cocktail to cut through the sweet flavors of the rest of the ingredients.

Best Brands To Use

For Rum

Chairman’s Reserve Spiced Rum – It has a complex flavor profile with orange peels, clove, cinnamon, and allspice taste notes. It’s sweet on the palate with a punchy kick of clove. It’s heavy on the spices that go well with Eggnog.

Chairman's Reserve Rum

Traveller’s 1 Barrel Belize Rum – Sweet molasses will greet the nose with cocoa and tobacco notes. It has a smoky flavor, but it’s sweet mid-palate. The sweetness mixes well with Eggnog.

For Bourbon

Evan Williams Black Label Kentucky Straight Bourbon – If you like a strong cocktail using this bourbon as a mixer for Eggnog might be the best choice. It has taste notes of caramel, brown sugar, and oak. It’s smooth and has a full character.

Evan Williams Black Label

Bulleit Bourbon Whiskey – It has a bold and spicy character due to its high rye content. It adds spice and kick to your Eggnog.

Smoothness Level & Quality

Bourbon Eggnog

Both rum and bourbon are made from premium-quality raw ingredients and are aged carefully. Quality bourbon and rum also have distinctive flavors and aromas. 

Bourbon is smooth because it’s a milder spirit with a rich flavor profile. Meanwhile, a quality rum is also smooth, sweet, and smoky.

Taste Test: Eggnog Cocktail Recipe

Eggnog Cocktail

Try this recipe to determine which liquor is better for an Eggnog Cocktail. You can interchangeably use rum and bourbon to add excellent flavors to the creamy and sweet Eggnog cocktail. 

Prep Time: 30 mins

Total Time: 30 mins


  • 4 eggs, separated, room temperature
  • ¾ cups sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground allspice
  • 12 ounces of whole milk
  • Pinch of salt
  • ½: 400;” aria-level=”2″>¼: 400;” aria-level=”2″>¼ cup brandy-based orange liqueur
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Freshly grated nutmeg (for serving)


In a large bowl, beat the eggs on medium speed until fluffy. Add in a pinch of salt, sugar, allspice, and cinnamon. Blend for one minute. Then, gradually add the bourbon (or rum), orange liqueur, and cognac. 

Stir in the milk and heavy cream, then cover and refrigerate. Divide between punch cups to serve. Add freshly grated nutmeg.

Servings: 8

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Should you use top-shelf rum or bourbon brands for Eggnogs?

No, you shouldn’t use top-shelf rum or bourbon brands for eggnogs because you’re only using them as alcohol mixers. Save your top-shelf alcohol brands to enjoy on their own. Check out our favorite alcoholic eggnog brands here

Can you put spiced rum in Eggnog?

Yes, you can put spiced rum in Eggnog. Spiced rum elevates the drink and gives it a boozy kick. 

What’s the best whiskey to put in eggnog?

The choice of the best whiskey for eggnog depends on personal preferences, but many recommend a rich and flavorful bourbon, such as Maker’s Mark or Woodford Reserve, as their caramel and vanilla undertones harmonize with the creamy and spiced nature of eggnog, creating a delightful and festive combination.

What kind of rum is best with eggnog?

For eggnog, spiced rum is often considered the best choice, adding warmth and depth to the traditional holiday beverage. Brands like Captain Morgan or Sailor Jerry, known for their spiced varieties, contribute notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla, complementing the creamy sweetness of the eggnog and enhancing its overall flavor profile.

What makes eggnog better?

Several factors contribute to making eggnog better, including using high-quality ingredients like fresh eggs, whole milk, and cream. Adding a good-quality spirit, such as bourbon or spiced rum, enhances the richness and complexity of flavors. Grating fresh nutmeg on top and allowing the eggnog to chill and meld the flavors overnight can also elevate its taste, creating a smoother and more decadent experience.

Do bourbon drinkers like rum?

While personal preferences vary, bourbon and rum are distinct categories with different flavor profiles, and individuals who enjoy one may not necessarily prefer the other. Bourbon, a type of whiskey, is characterized by its sweet and oaky notes, while rum, a distilled sugarcane or molasses spirit, offers a diverse range of flavors, from light and crisp to dark and spiced. While there may be crossover appeal for some drinkers, each spirit typically has its dedicated fan base.

What bourbon is best in eggnog?

The choice of the best bourbon for eggnog depends on personal taste, but many recommend a high-quality, well-aged bourbon like Buffalo Trace or Maker’s Mark, as their rich and caramel notes complement the creamy sweetness of eggnog, creating a harmonious and indulgent holiday concoction.

What is the difference between whiskey and bourbon?

While all bourbons are whiskey, not all whiskeys are bourbon. The primary difference lies in the production process and specific regulations. Bourbon must be made in the United States, have a mash bill containing at least 51% corn, be aged in new charred oak barrels, and meet certain proof requirements. Whiskey, on the other hand, is a broader category encompassing various styles and can be produced anywhere in the world with different grain compositions and aging processes.

Is eggnog better with white or dark rum?

The choice between white and dark rum for eggnog depends on personal preference. White rum, with its light and crisp profile, can offer a clean and refreshing taste, while dark rum, often aged and featuring richer, molasses-driven flavors, can contribute a more robust and complex character. Experimenting with both allows individuals to tailor their eggnog to their desired flavor profile.

Is Bacardi rum good in eggnog?

While Bacardi is a well-known brand, its light and versatile character make it suitable for various cocktails, but some may prefer darker or spiced rums for eggnog. Bacardi’s smoothness can work well in the beverage, particularly if one prefers a lighter and more straightforward rum flavor in their eggnog. Ultimately, the choice of rum for eggnog comes down to individual taste preferences, and Bacardi can certainly be a delightful addition for those who enjoy its crisp and clean profile.

Is Captain Morgan a rum?

Yes, Captain Morgan is a well-known brand of rum. Known for its spiced varieties, Captain Morgan offers a range of flavored rums that are popular choices for various cocktails, including the classic “Rum and Coke” or the festive “Spiced Rum Eggnog.”

Is Scotch whiskey good with eggnog?

While traditionally bourbon or spiced rum is favored in eggnog, some individuals enjoy experimenting with Scotch whiskey. The smoky and peaty notes of Scotch can add a unique twist to the creamy sweetness of eggnog, creating a more complex and robust flavor profile. However, it’s a matter of personal preference, and those who appreciate the distinctive qualities of Scotch may find it to be a delightful pairing.

Does eggnog with whiskey go bad?

Eggnog with whiskey, like any perishable beverage, can spoil if not stored properly. If the eggnog is made with raw eggs, it is particularly important to refrigerate it promptly and consume it within a short timeframe. Whiskey, with its higher alcohol content, may help preserve the eggnog to some extent, but it’s crucial to follow proper storage guidelines to ensure the drink remains safe and enjoyable.

Is eggnog made from Whisky?

Eggnog is traditionally made with a base of milk, cream, sugar, and beaten eggs, flavored with spices like nutmeg. While bourbon or rum is commonly used to add a spirited kick to eggnog, it is not inherently made from whiskey. The choice of alcohol can vary, and individuals may opt for different spirits based on personal taste preferences, with whiskey being one of the options to enhance the flavor of this festive beverage.

So, Is Rum or Bourbon Better For Eggnog?

Based on a taste test, our team chose rum as the liquor that works better for Eggnog because its distinctive flavor profile pairs well with the holiday spices present in Eggnog. It makes for a sweet and comforting drink perfect for chilly winter nights. Rum Eggnog might is a great choice if you want a strong kick in your drink.

While your alcohol choice will depend on your preference, rum and bourbon are great mixers for Eggnog. Try our recipe and do your own test taste, too! 


  1. What’s the Difference Between Bourbon and Scotch Whiskey?
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