Vegan Egg Nog Taste Test

I think last week’s raw Thanksgiving temporarily depleted my kitchen creativity. This week, I’ve been burnt out! I’ve had savory oats for either lunch or dinner most days, and pasta and veggies the others. Oh, and avocado toast. It never gets old.

I’ve also been hitting the egg nog hard. Sans alcohol, but still. It’s gotten slightly out of hand. And I’m not sure I’ve ever even tried real egg nog – it sounds gross to be honest – however, somewhere in the last couple of years, I discovered the vegan versions and now I appear to be seasonally-obsessed.

Vegan Egg Nog Taste Test // picklesnhoney.com

It all started out so innocently when I was at Whole Foods the other day shopping for food photography props (not groceries, that was the day before). I spotted the new Califia Farms Holiday Nog, and then the So Delicious coconut milk version. I’ve tried the latter and remembered liking it, but then I recalled a conversation I had with my brother where he said Califia Farms Nog tasted off and weirdly alcoholic in a bad way. Torn between trying something new and going with what I know I like (story of my life), I decided my best bet was to buy both. And then I passed the Rice Dream Nog and got that too. Taste test time!

I’m not going to lie, I was very excited for this taste test, and asked Aaron to take part too. He was, admittedly, less excited, but knew there would be cookies after (that post is coming soon!). We tried the Califia Farms Holiday Nog first because we’re both suckers for pretty packaging and almond milk. The verdict? A nice, creamy texture followed by a very bizarre quasi-alcoholic flavor and overpowering smell. Aaron didn’t get alcohol at all and instead proclaimed that it tasted like bubble gum. From there on out, that was all I could taste. Nutmeg-y bubblegum. Not good.

Vegan Egg Nog Taste Test // picklesnhoney.com

The Rice Dream Nog was up next, and the consistency was much more watery. Thankfully, the flavor did not include bubble gum, but instead was heavy on the cinnamon. Aaron enjoyed this brand the most, but I found it tasted like cinnamon rice milk, which I suppose it is.

And lastly, the So Delicious Nog, which I found to be thick and almost custard-like, with the most traditional egg nog flavor of the bunch. This was my favorite, and I also found the color to be the most appetizing and golden with flecks of what I hope were nutmeg and not “natural” something or other…which brings me to my final point. All three include carrageenan and those lovely “natural” flavors. So while it’s awesome that there are multiple options for dairy and egg-free nogs, the ingredients could be better.

Final verdict: So Delicious Coconut Milk Nog in a pinch, but homemade is probably best. I think I feel my kitchen creativity returning…

xo
Amanda

P.S. Barley was really into this photo shoot for some reason. Perhaps it was the delicious nutmeg bubble gum smell, or maybe he just wanted to get back in front of the camera.Β Either way, this is why we don’t photograph food on the floor.

Vegan Egg Nog Taste Test // picklesnhoney.com

Vegan Egg Nog Taste Test // picklesnhoney.com

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  1. Erin says

    I hope they carry at least one of these brands vegan-egg-nog-verisions at my local grocery store in Canada. If not finding a simple home made recipe will have to suffice!

    1. Amanda says

      I’m sure you’ll be able to find one. I believe Silk has a version as well and I remember it being tasty. πŸ™‚

  2. Caitlin says

    it’s funny that you don’t know if you’ve ever had real eggnog before. i was just telling my coworker the other day about how i feel left out of the whole “egg nog” spirit of christmas because i remember having it on several occasions pre-vegan days and HATING it. i’ve been curious about the vegan versions, but know they carry a hefty ingredient list so never picked one up. i may have to try your homemade version when you create one πŸ˜‰

    1. Amanda says

      I think egg nog is one of those polarizing things – love it or hate it! Hoping to create a homemade version soon!

  3. I used to love real eggnog, and I honestly think the vegan versions are a pretty good substitute (although it has been years since I’ve had real eggnog, so it is hard to tell). I used the Califia as a base for oatmeal this year, and I thought it was pretty good, but it isn’t so great for drinking. I think the coconut milk nog is probably a more realistic version. And I only drink it a few times a year, so I don’t worry too much “natural flavors” although I would totally be onboard with a “cleaner” version.

    1. Amanda says

      I agree about the “natural” flavors – fine in moderation, but it’s a little disappointing that they’re not solely using, you know, spices for flavor. πŸ™‚

  4. Omg, I have also been hitting the eggnog hard as well! Like…almost an entire So Delicious carton in one day!!! That’s the only vegan option we have up here in Alaska, at least in my part of town. I have decided to try to make my own though! πŸ™‚ Cool taste test! I love that Barley wanted to show off his little paws, hehe.

    1. Amanda says

      That makes me feel better! Those 1/2 cup servings do not work for me – I’ve been drinking like 3 servings a day. Oops! Also, be glad you have the So Delicious as your only option – it was the best of the bunch. I think homemade (per usual) is where it’s at though. πŸ™‚

      1. Agreed. 1/2 cup?! It’s craziness, for sure. I know I am excited to make my own!

  5. Thanks for doing the hard work for us! I’ve been tempted by that pretty Califia Farm Egg Nog package every time I go to the store but we already have way too many of their containers in our fridge since I like the almond coconut milk and Tom likes their almond milk iced coffee, glad I know now that I’m not missing much! Love the photos with Barley πŸ™‚ Can’t tell you how many food photos I have with Oto popping up in the background.

    1. Amanda says

      haha Yes, tasting all of those nogs was definitely hard work. I’m exhausted! πŸ˜‰ I still want to try the other Califia almond milks though. I keep hearing good things about them.

  6. Cadry says

    I tried some Califia almond milk earlier this year, and I didn’t like it at all. It was really chalky and reminded me of the way that Pepto Bismal used to taste. Since then, I’ve been hesitant to buy anything else from them. I’ll keep my eye open for the So Delicious nog. David bought the Silk nog a couple of weeks ago and put it in his coffee. I didn’t have any, but he enjoyed it!

    1. Amanda says

      Eww, almond milk that tastes chalky like Pepto Bismal…that’s pretty bad!

  7. This really makes me crave some nog right now! Nog is so perfect for the holidays. I usually don’t get creative with it and just drink it straight. I really want to try Califia Farms brand. Mainly because the bottle is so fancy πŸ™‚

    1. Amanda says

      Let me know what you think of the Califia Farms nog if you give it a try! As I said in my post, I found it to be strange (in a not-so-good way), but other people seem to enjoy it. They do have a very fancy bottle. πŸ™‚

  8. Somehow, I didn’t even know vegan egg nog existed. I’ll have to try the So Delicious one!

    1. Amanda says

      Oh yes, vegan egg nog is a thing! πŸ™‚

  9. Brittany says

    I’m so glad you posted this review! I’ve been staring down the pretty packaging on the almond milk nog for weeks but haven’t been brave enough to try. I think when the craving hits I’ll reach for the old faithful So Delicious!

    1. Amanda says

      I think that’s your best bet. Or maybe get the Califia with the So Delicious as back up. πŸ™‚

  10. i have never had egg nog before and dont know how I feel about it πŸ™

    1. Amanda says

      Give (vegan) egg nog a try! You will likely love it or hate it…hopefully, love it. πŸ™‚ I’d recommend So Delicious or Silk.

  11. Shannon says

    Silk nog and So Delicious coconut nog are still my top too for drinking and baking with.
    I love Calafia’s almond milk, but was really disappointed with their nog. I felt like it had a very chemical-y overpowering nutmeg flavor.

    1. Amanda says

      Yes! I don’t know what Califia was thinking with that nog flavor. So bizarre!

  12. Beka says

    I’m so glad I wasn’t the only one who thinks the Califa Holiday Nog smells and tastes like bubblegum! I bought some the other day hoping it would be good and get me into the holiday spirit but it was terrible and I’m
    kind of upset that I’m gonna have to waste it and pour it all out because I just can’t get past the bubblegum-ness.

    1. Amanda says

      Yes! It’s oddly flavored like bubblegum…so strange! You could try mixing it into smoothies to mask the flavor, or maybe pass it along to a friend? Some people seem to really like the Califia Nog.

  13. Catherine says

    Does the So Delicious Coconut Milk Nog taste like coconut? That is my issue with products that are coconut based. They just end up tasting like coconut and you only get a hint of whatever flavor it’s actually supposed to be. I like coconut, but I absolutely do not want my eggnog tasting like it.

    1. Amanda says

      haha Totally understand about the coconut + eggnog flavor combo! It’s been a while, but I do remember some coconut flavor coming through. Perhaps an almond milk nog or soy nog?

  14. Becky says

    Wow! MY dog is also named Barley!!!

    1. Amanda says

      haha That’s so fun!

  15. Kelly says

    We are obsessed with the Califia version but haven’t tried the others. I’m hoping I forget the bubble gum comment by the next time I try it. We have gone through 12 bottles of the stuff this year so I’m thinking of trying to make my own!

    1. Amanda says

      lol re: the bubblegum comment. I don’t know what it is…maybe it’s a flavor addition, or just some people’s palettes?! I think I read that bubblegum uses nutmeg, so perhaps that’s where that comes from. So strange!

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