Advent Calendar Dec 5: Julmust

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 bottled soft drink comes in different sizes, fully sugared and also in 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 can be mixed with gin, vodka, rum or Jägermeister to make Christmassy cocktails. When blended with porter or stout and other ingredients, it creates a classic Christmas drink called Mumma.

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

If you live outside of Sweden and want to try julmust, head to your nearest Ikea! Called Vintersaga, they sell the beverage in 500ml bottles.

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