I Paid: $2.99 for 1 quart (prices may vary by region)
There’s something about the iconic goodness of eggnog that lends itself to all sorts of irresponsible holiday-season tinkering, largely for the worse. So the only sensible reaction you can have upon spotting Trader Joe’s Chocolate Flavored Egg Nog is, “Good Lord, what have they done now?”
The concept is pretty straightforward: Take the rich, creamy, indulgent holiday taste of eggnog and layer in chocolate for an X-to-the-power-of-Y expansion of the beverage’s celebratory impact. This stuff should be so rich, so sweet, so celebratory that one cup should instantly put you in the mood to party—until mid-February or thereabouts.
In fact, one cup of this stuff instantly puts you in the mood to gargle with salt water.
At first, Chocolate Flavored Egg Nog tastes like thick chocolate milk. Then it tastes like “off” chocolate milk. Is it pre-laced with bottom-shelf alcohol? Some sort of personal grooming product? While thick, the stuff doesn’t taste particularly eggy, and the chocolate flavor gets lost amid the nasty chemical back note.
Upon first trying this, I doubted my own senses and thought: “Wait, it’s chocolate eggnog—this can’t possibly taste bad, right?” So I asked my wife, Becca, to sample it, careful not to bias her perception. It went like this:
ME: Hey, honey. Try this! It’s chocolate eggnog, by Trader Joe’s.
BECCA: Oh, no. Oh, that’s terrible.
ME: Yes! I totally thought so too! Good Lord.
In conclusion: Eggnog is enough by itself. If you’re going to add anything, add fresh-grated nutmeg and/or high-quality rum. Fa la la la la, la la la, that’s it.