7 Festive Cocktails That Start With Store-Bought Eggnog

A world-renowned mixologist shares his favorite tricks for sprucing up store-bought eggnog.

The holidays are never complete without a mugful of rich, creamy eggnog. Made from a mixture of beaten eggs, cream, sugar, spices, and often served spiked with a splash of liquor like brandy or rum; this classic holiday cocktail embodies the joyful season. Dating back to the 18th century, eggnog has made its way around the world, with variations from spiked eggnog to eggnog martinis springing up along the way.

To offer up some delicious eggnog inspiration this year, we turned to Nashville-based drink expert Rob Floyd, who helped launch José Andrés's The Bazaar as its lead mixologist. His expert take on holiday cocktails? Floyd, who is also a regular on the hit show Bar Rescue, explains that making a tasty holiday drink should be easy, accessible, and affordable. Enter store-bought ingredients.

Here, Floyd shares a few easy ways to add some extra flavor, spice, and toppings to turn store-bought eggnog into a drink everyone won't be able to put down. Think homemade cinnamon whiskey, jalapeño-infused tequila, and tasty garnishes like shaved dark chocolate. Plus, we found a few fun TikTok-inspired eggnog recipes to try, including an eggnog milkshake and vegan eggnog latte.

Cinnamon Whiskey Eggnog

Turn the bottle of whiskey you already have at home into a cinnamon whiskey that rivals your favorite name-brand drink in a few easy steps. To make Floyd's at-home cinnamon whiskey, combine one bottle of inexpensive whiskey (750 mL to 1 liter), 3 ounces of simple syrup or agave, and six to eight cinnamon sticks in a large mason jar. Seal with a lid and store in a cool, dark spot in your pantry for three to five days, shaking it every so often.

After a few days of steeping, give the concoction a try. If you're looking to amp up the heat and flavor, Floyd recommends adding a few dried chili peppers and a vanilla bean for a day or two longer to add depth, spice, and dimension. Once the flavors begin to meld and infuse the whiskey to your liking, strain the mixture, and combine two ounces of whiskey per four ounces of store-bought eggnog to make a fiery holiday drink that'll keep you warm on a cold winter night.

Spicy Horchata-Style Eggnog

Play a riff on the classic Mexican beverage, using store-bought eggnog and jalapeño-infused tequila for a sweet and spicy cocktail. Similar to making cinnamon whiskey from scratch, Floyd recommends combining a bottle of your favorite tequila with jalapeño pieces (making sure to keep the heat-inducing seeds as well) and a cinnamon stick in a mason jar. Give the bottle a shake now and then, and give the liquid a taste test until you've reached your desired spice level.

Mix 1 ounce of the spicy tequila, 1 ounce of mezcal, and 4 ounces of eggnog for an original twist on a holiday favorite. Floyd also recommends adding an optional dash of chai syrup for added warmth and a sprinkling of dark chocolate shavings for a photo-worthy garnish.

Fire-Smoked Eggnog

In a recently gone-viral TikTok video that has garnered over 2.6 million views, Floyd explains how to add smoke to a beverage for more flavor, aroma, and excitement. He starts by creating the cocktail of his choice (in this case, an Old Fashioned) and then gets things fired up with an ignited rosemary sprig that he carefully extinguishes with an upside-down shaker to trap the smoke as he covers the entire drinking glass. The result: a smoky, Old Fashioned that'll tantalize your tastebuds, fill your nose with a delightful aroma, and impress your special guests. Follow the same steps with your favorite eggnog drink for the perfect fireside beverage.

Eggnog Martini

If vodka is your go-to liquor, an eggnog martini will do the trick. To make, combine 4 ounces of store-bought eggnog, 1 ounce of vanilla-flavored vodka, and 1 ounce of amaretto in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well until fully combined, and serve in a chilled martini glass. Dust with cinnamon, freshly ground nutmeg, and a cinnamon stick for a sophisticated holiday cocktail suitable for the season.

Eggnog Milkshake

In a TikTok video, user @officialfunfoods shares how to make an eggnog milkshake by blending 1 cup of eggnog, and three to four scoops of vanilla ice cream until smooth and creamy. Then finishes the drink with a heaping dollop of whipped cream and a dash of cinnamon before enjoying.

Classic Spiked Eggnog

Now if you're looking for a more traditional approach, spike store-bought eggnog using your favorite liquor like brandy, bourbon, or rum. For a well-balanced drink, add one part spirit to five parts eggnog, and finish off with a sprinkle of cinnamon and freshly grated nutmeg for a boozy refreshment.

Vegan "Almond Nog" Latte

If you're looking for a caffeine boost, @traderjoesfoodreviews shows on TikTok a vegan-friendly, dairy-free "eggnog" latte, using Trader Joe's Almond Nog. To do so, they add ice cubes in a cup, then fill the glass two-thirds full with cold coffee, and top it off with frothy vegan, store-bought eggnog for a refreshing morning drink.

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