Every year, when Christmas comes, everyone gathers around their family and friends for some special traditions. In some places, these traditions involve some heart-warming drinks to get everyone feeling merry and spirited. Check out these 9 different Christmas drinks… and be sure to try them this year!
Eggnog – North America
Everyone knows about Eggnog! You see it in all of Hollywood’s Christmas-themed blockbusters! This sweet, creamy drink is a favourite for everyone in the USA and Canada, who drink it between the time of Thanksgiving through the end of the Christmas season.
But did you know that the Puerto Ricans also have their own version of Eggnog? The Coquito. The main difference is that they use coconut milk and condensed milk instead of just regular milk.. hmmmm… tasty!
Mulled Wine – Mostly Europe
Mulled Wine is another of the world’s favourite christmas beverages. Several European countries have their own version of this spicy, scentful drink, but they’re usually all based on the warm wine infused with sugar and spice (and everything nice). The first records of Mulled Wine date back to the Romans, so it MUST be good if it’s made it this far!
Here’s what other names there are in various countries for mulled wine: Gluhwein (Germany & Austria), Glögg (Scandinavia), Quentão (Brazil), Vin Brulé (Italy) and Vin Chaud (France), amongst many, many more.
Feuerzangenbowle – Germany
Feuerzangenbowle (I had to google its spelling) is a traditional German christmas drink similar to mulled wine (or Gluhwein). However, there’s a whole procedure to drinking it. The red wine is served into a bowl similar to a fondue set, with burner and all. Then a Feuerzange (metal grate) is placed on top of the bowl where a Zuckerhut (sugar hat) is dropped on. The rum-soaked Zuckerhut is then set alight and caramelises into the bowl of wine.
There’s even a festival dedicated to this drink, in Tübingen, Germany. Locals watch a film called Die Feuerzangenbowle in the main square, while the council prepares a massive tub of the drink for everyone to savour.
Wassail – UK
The name of this Christmas drink hardly sounds British, does it? Truth is, it’s name comes from the Norse and was called Was Hál in Old English. Early versions of it were made with ale and mead, but nowadays they are essentially the Cider or Ale version of mulled wine, with Apples in it, and in some recipes, beaten eggs.
Julebrus & Julmust – Scandinavia
Julebrus and Julmust are the traditional christmas drinks of Norway and Sweden. Both of them are berry-flavoured soft drinks that are usually made by local breweries. During Christmas, these drinks are so popular with the locals that other soft drink sales drop by 50% over the season.
Fun fact: Coca-cola sales in Sweden drop so much around Christmas time, that a few years ago they decided to make and sell their own Julmust to cover for this drop.
Cola de Mono – Chile
Cola de Mono, or Monkey’s Tail, is the Chileans’ favourite drink for Christmas. The drink is very similar to a White Russian cocktail: aguardiente, milk, sugar, coffee and cloves. Sounds good? That’s because it is! Of course, remember to make the virgin version for the kids in your family.
Ponche Navideño – Central America
Ponche Navideño is exactly what it sounds like: Christmas Punch. Central Americans love to have some special punch around Christmas time. Essentially, the Ponche Navideño is a hot, bubbling fruit salad… with some rum in it for those who want it. Mexicans love to add lots of Tejocotes, the fruit in season, but other countries all like to mix it up their own way.
Poppy Seed Milk – Lithuania
Poppy Seed Milk is Lithuanians drink of choice to accompany their Christmas Eve Kūčiukai. Two cups of poppy seeds are softened over a few days in hot water and then crushed with a pestle and mortar. This process is repeated over and over until there’s a good amount of concentrated “milk”, which is then diluted in cold water. To finish it off, Lithuanians add some sugar or honey to make all that tastier.
Sorrel Punch – Jamaica
The Sorrel Punch is relatively similar to other christmas punches, but with a Jamaican twist in it. Yes, it obviously has rum in it, but what makes this punch stand out is its use of sorrel, popular in Caribbean cuisine, which gives this Christmas drink its deep red colour.
How many of these worldly traditional Christmas drinks have you tried? Why not introduce your family and friends to some of these this Christmas? You might just start your own tradition!
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