WtS Advent Calendar Dec 5: Julmust

Welcome to the Watching the Swedes (WtS) Advent Calendar. Every day, I will open a window containing a Swedish word that has something to do with Christmas and the festive season.

Today’s word is ‘Julmust‘ which is a fizzy Christmas beverage.

I would venture to say every Swede likes to drink at least one glass of julmust at Christmas. However, according to statistics it is even more! Apparently Swedes drink an average of 5 litres per person of the fizzy drink during December. The alcohol-free soft drink is bought in bottles at the supermarket and comes in different sizes, fully sugared and also in a diet form.

Said to include over 30 ingredients, its actual recipe is top secret, only known to three people. Despite all the cloak and dagger stuff, the connoisseur can detect the flavour of hops and malt. The taste is reminiscent of the old-fashioned ‘Dandelion and Burdock’ drink for those of you that understand that British reference.

Julmust was invented by a teetotaler and sales began in 1910 as an alternative to ale and port. Although intended to be alcohol-free, the drink is often blended into Christmassy cocktails or mixed with porter or stout and other ingredients to create a Christmas drink called Mumma.

I have even drunk it mixed with red wine – a so called Kalimusto. I recommend trying the experience – although it actually is a fairly unpleasant one!

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