The fire is roaring, the Christmas songs are playing, and you’re sipping on a… mulled wine, snowball or hot chocolate?
Ok, maybe not, let’s start again.
You’re on the beach or around the pool, the sun’s blazing and you can’t remember last night’s activity’s, guzzling a bottle of Chang or a Sangsom and Coke.
Sound more appt?
Everyone has a favourite Christmas tipple, and the season just doesn’t feel complete without it.
So going all international, here are some Christmas drinks from around the globe for you try at home.
Translating to “the bomb” in Italian, Bombardino is reminiscent of eggnog. It’s often enjoyed as an après-ski treat; while created in Lombardia, these days it’s found in cosy bars across the Italian Alps. The story goes that one day four skiers tumbled into a ski lodge to escape the blizzard and requested something warm and comforting. The owner quickly whipped together the only ingredients he had – milk, whisky and zabaglione, prompting one of the men to exclaim, “It’s a bomb” in Italian!
A sweet and spicy Christmas punch, Ponche Navideno is a bit like mulled wine, with more fruits and added nuts. Mexican local fruits, such as tejocotes, guavas, walnuts and raisins are all added to spices and sugar to make this hearty, festive cocktail. It is normally drunk on Noche Buena and in the 9 days leading up until Christmas, which in Mexico is referred to as Posadas. A simmering pot of Ponche Navideno, and the spicy scent it fills the home with are a sure sign of festivity in Mexico.
Sorrel punch is ubiquitous in Jamaica at Christmas time and heralds the beginning of the festive season. It’s made by combining gingerroot, sugar, a dash of rum, and bright red dried hibiscus flowers. The deep red colour just sings out Christmas, as does the spicy and fruity flavour, which manages to taste both refreshing and seasonal at the same time. A big pot is simple to make, and keeping it simmering on the stove will make your home feel homely and festive all evening long.
Glögg is essentially a hot mulled wine made from brandy, red wine and port, infused with a range of spices and fruits, and is very popular in Sweden. It’s perfect for warming hands and spirits on cold nights. Unlike the German Glühwein, glögg also includes a smattering of raisins and almonds. This festive tipple dates all the way back to 1500’s when it was said to have healing properties. We don’t know about that, but it certainly tastes good when it’s snowing outside.
Forget Glühwein – a far more intriguing German Christmas drink is Feuerzangenbowle. Surging in popularity since the 1944 film, Die Feuerzangenbowle, part of the joy of this beverage is in the ritual of making it: it involves positioning a chunk of German sugarloaf over the wine, soaking it through with rum, and then setting it alight. The sugar is kept burning until it has all melted into the wine. Turn off the lights to enjoy the spectacle in all its splendour, and then enjoy!