What Does Eggnog Actually Taste Like?

Eggnog is a sweet, eggy drink with a rich and creamy texture. It has a similar taste to melted ice cream—with most of the same ingredients. Depending on your recipe, spiced flavors of nutmeg can also make your eggnog taste like gingerbread cookies.

Many adults love drinking eggnog during the winter holidays because you can also mix alcohol into it!

This article will help you understand what eggnog tastes like and various details about the drink, including how to tell if you would enjoy eggnog (plus how to serve it).

How I Would Describe the Taste of Eggnog

Eggnog is a creamy milk-based drink with a sweet and eggy taste. The spices in this winter drink make eggnog taste like several desserts, including melted ice cream, heated custard, gingerbread, and even bubblegum.

The way you serve eggnog and the recipes you use can change the texture and flavor of this famous holiday drink. For instance, cold eggnog can bring out the sweetness and the sugar. Whereas serving eggnog warm will bring out the spices.

Melted Ice Cream

According to some, eggnog has a similar taste to melted ice cream. The two foods share the same main ingredients: milk and sugar. To create a sweeter and less nutmeg-flavored eggnog, reduce the amount of nutmeg and cinnamon you add. Also, refrain from sprinkling any additional nutmeg on top.

Heated Custard

Warmed eggnog resembles heated or fresh cinnamon custard. The delicious taste of the eggnog is creamy, but it has not gone overboard on spices or sugar. Eggnog like this is served lukewarm at a perfectly drinkable temperature.

When aiming for a heated custard taste and consistency, add a moderate amount of sugar and spices. It is helpful to add a generous sprinkle on top of extra nutmeg or wet and cover a spoon in nutmeg before mixing.

Gingerbread Cookies

Nutmeg is the main flavor in eggnog, which is why so many people associate this delicious drink with gingerbread cookies. It is a delicious comparison and an even more delicious combination.

The gingerbread taste is especially noticeable when you warm the eggnog and drink it hot. If you prefer to drink eggnog cold but cannot taste the nutmeg flavor, powder the top with an additional layer of nutmeg and cinnamon.


As one of the primary ingredients, eggnog has a somewhat eggy taste. Some people cannot taste the eggs at all, but since all ingredients in eggnog are raw (including the eggs) it's sometimes possible to taste a hint of raw egg.

Spicy or Sharp (If You Add Alcohol)

Eggnog with alcohol is sharper and adds a sting to your tongue, especially when it is served warm. When there is alcohol in eggnog, the cinnamon and nutmeg become amplified too. Depending on the type of alcohol you add, the overall taste can also change.

Why Do People Like Eggnog?

People like eggnog because of its creamy, sweet taste and ability to mix with alcohol. Eggnog is a traditional holiday drink with an intense flavor that pairs well with many traditional holiday foods like gingerbread houses, snickerdoodles, ham, fruit cakes, and more.

The taste of eggnog is selectively appealing because of how thick and creamy the egg yolks become. Eggnog can be served cold, warm, or mixed with various drinks.

Who Likes Drinking Eggnog?

Eggnog is a common drink across the world that people have been drinking for centuries! Many people love this drink and for different reasons too.

The most common people who love this drink are adults. Mainly because of its acquired taste and the ability to mix this delightful wintertime drink with various types of alcohol. Rum, peppermint schnapps, scotch, or bourbon are the most common alcohols mixed into eggnog.

Since eggnog is a flavorful holiday drink, many people who celebrate the various winter holidays and festivities are common eggnog drinkers. Eggnog brings a sense of holiday cheer, and it warms you inside, which is why you will often find this sweet, spiced drink at holiday parties.

Who Might Not Like Drinking Eggnog?

Picky eaters and people who struggle to eat foods with strange textures might not like eggnog. The dairy-based version could also be bad for certain lifestyles like dairy-free or vegan diets.

Many others struggle to drink eggnog due to the intense sweetness too, which is why there is some debate about whether eggnog actually tastes good.

People who may dislike eggnog include:

  • People who do not like creamy textures
  • People who do not like cinnamon
  • People who do not like eggs
  • Children
  • Lactose intolerant people

According to Drink Hacker, eggnog can be an acquired taste. The time it takes to begin enjoying this beverage is why many children may not enjoy the taste. As an adult, many find they later enjoy it.

How Is Eggnog Usually Served?

Winter Holidays

Eggnog is traditionally served warm during the winter holidays. The warmth of the drink is perfect for cold weather because of its heat and the many spices! Serving eggnog cold is less common, although some people like it that way.

Drinking eggnog during the holidays is an annual tradition that has been around since the 18th Century. This tradition has carried into modern times, and many people (even those who do not like eggnog) still drink a glass because it is an annual family holiday tradition.

Serving Eggnog with Alcohol

Adults sometimes mix alcohol into their eggnog, which causes the eggnog to lose some of its sweet taste. The eggnog will become tart, and the taste of cinnamon and spices will be much sharper. Additionally, the consistency of the eggnog drink may also thin out.

The most common alcohols mixed into eggnog include rum, bourbon, and brandy. There are six official alcoholic eggnog drinks. Each incorporates eggnog, with a special taste of its own because of its different alcoholic ingredients.

These alcoholic drinks with eggnog include:

  • Baltimore eggnog
  • General Harrison eggnog
  • Imperial eggnog
  • Eggnog (plain)
  • Sherry eggnog no. 1 and Sherry eggnog no. 2