Every year, when Christmas comes, families and friends gather around the table for some special traditions. In many places around the globe, these traditions involve some heart-warming drinks to get everyone feeling merry and spirited.
Eggnog – North America
This sweet, creamy drink is a favorite for everyone in the USA and Canada, who drink it between the time of Thanksgiving through the end of the Christmas season. Enjoy the classic holiday drink spiked with rum, bourbon, or brandy, or in nonalcoholic form - you can't go wrong with traditional easy to make eggnog drink for Christmas.
Wattlecino - Australia
Wattleseed is a type of acacia seed celebrated in Australia; the golden wattle blossom is Australia’s national flower.
When the seeds are ground, it can be used as a coffee substitute, and the resulting cappuccino, the cleverly named Wattlecino, will be caffeine free and will taste like a combination of chocolate and coffee with a hazelnut finish without any of the traditional coffee bitterness.
Read: Where to Taste Hot Mulled Wine in Kyiv
Masala Chai - India
Masala Chai translates into English as “spiced tea”. Traditional Masala tea differs greatly from its popular around the world version - Starbucks style chai. It’s strong and rich in flavor. Basically Masala Chai is a black tea steeped in hot milk and water that has been flavored with green cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, ginger and peppercorns. Each maker may add a unique flavor – nutmeg, vanilla or star anise.
Masala Chai is very easy to prepare at home. In the western world it is most often brewed with ginger, which adds the special Christmas flavor to the drink.
The drink is also popular in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh. When asked by a local to partake in a cup of chai, always say yes. It’s very rude not to.
Feuerzangenbowle – Germany
Feuerzangenbowle is a traditional German Christmas drink similar to mulled wine (or Gluhwein). However, there’s a whole procedure about drinking it. The red wine is served into a bowl similar to a fondue set, with burner. 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 caramelizes 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 savor.
Julebrus & Julmust – Scandinavia
Julebrus and Julmust are the traditional Christmas drinks of Norway and Sweden. Both of them are berry-flavored 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.
Ponche Navideño – Central America
Ponche Navideño is a 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. In some regions it reminds more of a special Christmas meal then a drink as it is being prepared with a great amount of chopped fruits. Mexicans love to add lots of Tejocotes, the fruit in season, but other countries all like to mix it up their own way.
Hot Toddy - Ireland
It is traditional Irish hot drink, which gets especially popular around Christmas time. Hot toddy (also hot totty and hot tottie) is typically a mixed drink made of whisky and water with honey, herbs and spices. The whiskey shouldn’t be of high quality, otherwise it won’t cut through the spicy taste of the cloves, the rest of the spices and the sweetness of the brown sugar.
Read: Best Drinks to Keep You Warm This Winter
Many countries have variations on the theme of mulled wine, however there many other traditional winter drinks to keep you warm and cozy during those chilly days. «Destinations» rounds up some interesting and peculiar traditional warm winter drinks from around the world.