Spike Your Eggnog with these Michigan-Made Liquors

Get into the holiday spirit with our boozy pairings featuring Two James, Valentine, Detroit City Distillery, Rusted Crow, and Cabresto
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Photograph by Joe Vaughn

Like Black Friday or ugly sweaters, eggnog is one of those things that’s synonymous with the holidays. With its silky texture and sweet and spicy flavors, this creamy beverage is prime for boozy pairings, sure to warm your chest even in the iciest of conditions. After a blind taste test and much deliberation, we have painstakingly ranked locally distilled liquors in search of the perfect complement to eggnog. Cheers!

Winner: Davy Jones’ Rum – Rusted Crow Distillery 

It’s no surprise that good rum is a natural pairing for ’nog. Our tasters noted the combo’s traditional taste, comparable to passed-down family recipes. Although Davy Jones isn’t spiced rum, its flavor brought out the warm flavor of the cinnamon, finished with a slightly sneaky and satisfying burn.

 

Second Place: Railroad Gin, Detroit City Distillery 

This took us all by surprise. Combined with eggnog, the gin took on a sweet flavor similar to brandy. One tester noted it “tasted like Christmas,” but kept the integrity of the eggnog. “Very smooth,” another said, calling it the most “dangerously drinkable.”

 

Third Place: Vodka, Valentine Distilling Co.  

Half of our panel couldn’t even taste the alcohol when mixed in. Still, for those looking for a boozy treat, this was polarizing, pulling both favorite and least favorite comments. If you’re looking for a spike without the burn, this is surely the choice for you.

 

Fourth Place: Grass Widow Bourbon, Two James Spirits 

A fraction of a point separated our third- and fourth-place winners. The strong rye flavor pulled mostly positive reviews, earning favor for spiciness and whiskey tones. Regular bourbon drinkers noted the combination’s smoothness; others were taken aback by the strong flavor.

 

Fifth Place: Ultra Silver Tequila, Cabresto

While its sweetness worked on some level, when combined with the syrupy eggnog, it became apparent why the liquor is best mixed with sour and acidic flavors. On its own? Yes. Paired with ’nog? Not so much.

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