Traditional Holiday Drinks From Around The World 🍸Dara Wechsler
All around the world, the holidays are seen as a time for celebration! What better way to celebrate than a festive drink? DineMarket shares some of our favorite holiday drink recipes from around the world. Whether you like hot or cold, refreshing or decadent, we know that one of these recipes will become a new favorite tradition for your holiday season!
Eggnog – United States & Canada
This is the perfect holiday classic drink that can be enjoyed hot or cold, spiked or not. This mixture of milk, cream, and eggs has been finding its way into American and Canadian festivities since the 13th century.
- 6 large eggs
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg (plus more for garnish)
- 2 cups brandy
- 1 cup milk
Gather the ingredients. Beat the egg yolks 1/4 cup of the sugar, salt, vanilla, and nutmeg (if using) together until it is very thick and has a light yellow color. Slowly beat in the brandy and milk.
Let it cool, then cover and chill overnight in the refrigerator. Shortly before serving, beat the egg whites to soft peaks.
Gradually beat in the remaining 1/4 cup sugar and beat this mixture to soft peaks again, creating a meringue-like cream.
Serve the eggnog in a mug or in some Irish coffee glasses, and grate some nutmeg over the top for a garnish.
Hot Mulled Wine – Romania:
The cold days have arrived and the holidays are approaching, everyone in Romania is getting ready to celebrate and warm up with some hot mulled wine – vin fiert.
- 1 bottle red wine (semi-sweet)
- 2 Peppercorns
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 1 Sliced small orange
- 1 Sliced small apple
- Honey – to taste (if using a dry or semi-dry wine)
- 6 whole cloves (optional)
- Pour wine into a pan and heat slowly over a medium-low flame.
- As wine heats, add spices. Then, add the orange and apple slices.
- When wine begins to steam, turn the heat down. Don’t let the wine boil!
- Let the wine absorb the flavor of the spices for at least 10 minutes. If the wine approaches boiling and your flame can’t be lowered turn the heat off and cover the wine to hold in the heat.
- Serve the wine after 10 min. For spicier flavor let it sit longer. Taste before serving; add a bit of honey if needed (if using a dry or semi-dry wine).
Puerto Rico – Coquito
Originating in Puerto Rico, Coquito, meaning “little coconut” in Spanish is a traditional Christmas drink that’s loaded with rum, coconut milk and condensed milk, and cinnamon. Just think of it as the winter’s Pina Colada.
- 4 oz raisins
- 1 1/2 cups dark rum
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 (15 oz) can cream of coconut (Coco Lopez)
- 1 (13.5 oz) can coconut milk
- 4 oz evaporated milk
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 tablespoons shredded coconut, optional
In a large pitcher(or two) with a lid add raisins, dark rum, and cinnamon sticks. Leave it to sit for 1 hour.
In a blender, puree all the other ingredients well and pour into the pitcher with the mixture, and shake well to combine.
Recommended to chill for at least 4 hours and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a month.
Make sure to shake vigorously before serving.
Italy – Bellini
The true classic Bellini originated in Venice, Italy in the 1930’s and was made with only two ingredients. Today, there are many different variations, but a true Bellini, named after artist Giovanni Bellini, must be made with Italian white peach puree and Prosecco.
If you would like to get a bit fancy, serve in a fancy flute and throw in a fresh raspberry or two for a visual treat.
- 3 white peaches, ripe, peeled and quartered
- 400ml of Prosecco, dry, chilled
- Blend the peaches in a food processor until a smooth purée
- Strain through a fine mesh sieve
- If you would like to make it a bit sweeter, add some agave or simple sugar syrup
- Refrigerate until chilled, for about 2 hours
- Chill champagne glasses, and when you’re ready to serve, divide the peach purée between the glasses, top with Prosecco and stir gently until combined. Serve immediately.
Mexico – Rompope
Originally brewed by the nuns of Santa Clara Convent, and very similar to eggnog, the holidays in Mexico are celebrated with a cocktail Rompope. This creamy delight is made from nuts such as almonds, sugar, milk, cinnamon sticks, vanilla, egg yolks, and Mezcal.
- 1/3 cup blanched almonds (skins removed)
- 6 cups milk
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cinnamon stick
- 8 egg yolks
- 1 cup premium rum
- Process the almonds into a paste in a food processor.
- Simmer the milk, sugar and cinnamon stick in a heavy-bottom saucepan until all the sugar dissolves and the milk heats but does not boil.
- Promptly remove it from the stove and let it rest for 30 minutes.
- Whisk the almond paste into the milk mixture.
- Start to beat the egg yolks until they’re creamy, and then slowly add the milk mixture, stirring continuously until it’s mixed well.
- Return the pan to the stove and cook the mixture over a low heat, constantlyl stirring, until the mixture thickens, about 8 to 10 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and allow the rompope to cool completely.
- Add the rum and stir before serving.
UK – Wassail
This British holiday drink will warm up your body and brighten your mood. Slow-cooked to perfection, this sweet and spicy mulled cider with a deep and fruity flavor will definitely be a crowd-pleaser.
- 1 gallon Apple Cider
- 4 cups orange juice
- 4 hibiscus tea bags
- 10 cinnamon sticks
- 1 teaspoon whole cloves
- 1 tablespoon juniper berries
- 1 1/2 inch fresh ginger piece, cut into slices
- 1 apple, sliced into rounds
- 1 orange, sliced into rounds
Place all the ingredients in a slow cooker and cover with a lid. Turn the slow cooker on high heat and cook for 3-4 hours, until the color darkens and the fruit is soft. Remove the tea bags and serve it hot.
France – Kir Royale
Kir Royale gives you the reason to dress up and celebrate this holiday. Originated in France, this champagne cocktail is traditionally enjoyed as an aperitif for special occasions. The Kir Royale is a blend of Crème de Cassis, a blackcurrant liqueur for sweetness, and dry champagne.
- 2 tsp Creme de cassis
- 185ml/ 3/4 cup champagne or sparkling wine
Pour creme de cassis in a champagne glass, then top with Champagne and serve!
In reality, you don’t need to measure – just eyeball it by color, take a sip and adjust to taste! Some people like it sweeter, with a deeper red. Some people like just a tiny hint of blackcurrant.
Cava – Spain
Cava meaning “cellar” in Catalan, is a light medium-bodied, dry sparkling wine that has become the go-to drink for all celebrations across Spain and around the world.
Cola de Mono-Chile
Cola de Mono is the traditional Chilean holiday beverage of choice with the literal meaning of “monkey’s tail”. This creamy creation is a mixture of milk, sugar, coffee, cloves, and aguardiente (a catchall name for several alcohols in Central and South America).
- 1 can (12 fluid ounces) NESTLÉ® CARNATION® Evaporated Milk
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar or to taste
- 3 whole cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 tablespoon NESCAFÉ CLÁSICO 100% Pure Instant Coffee Granules
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch ground nutmeg
- 1 cup Chilean aguardiente, white rum, brandy or vodka
- Combine evaporated milk, water, sugar, cloves, and cinnamon stick in a medium saucepan.
- Bring to a gentle boil over medium-high heat while stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves
- Add coffee granules and stir until it dissolves and then stir in vanilla extract and nutmeg.
- Remove from heat and let it cool for 20 minutes. Then, remove cloves and cinnamon stick, add the brandy, and pour into an empty bottle.
- Refrigerate until chilled, for approximately 4 hours.
- Pour into 2 oz aperitif glasses and garnish with a cinnamon stick.
Glogg which means “glowing ember” is Sweden’s version of mulled wine, which is often enjoyed over the Christmas holiday. It’s extremely easy to make and even easier to drink. It’s perfect for any festive gathering.
- 1 bottle of red wine (blends work best)
- Optional: 1 1/2 cup of bourbon (or vodka)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons orange zest
- 2 tablespoons raisins (plus 1 teaspoon for serving)
- 1 tbsp cardamom pods
- 2 tbsp ginger (fresh root; sliced)
- 1 stick cinnamon
- 8 cloves
- 2 tbsp almonds (blanched and slivered)
- Garnish: orange slices
- Combine the wine, bourbon or vodka (if using), sugar, orange zest, raisins, cardamom pods, a slice of ginger root, cinnamon stick, and cloves into a pot.
- Heat to approximately 175 F and reduce heat to let it simmer for 2 minutes.
- Promptly remove from the heat and let it rest for one hour.
- Then, strain the mixture to remove the fruit and spices.
- Gently warm the mixture and pour into glasses. Add a few almonds and raisins to each serving and garnish with a slice of orange.
Krupnikas – Lithuania Poland, and Belarus
Krupnikas is a traditional holiday sweet alcoholic drink made from grain alcohol (usually vodka), citrus, spices, water, and honey. The Spices often included in the blend are cinnamon, vanilla pods, ginger, cloves, and allspice.
- 10 cardamom seeds
- 1/2 nutmeg seed
- 2 teaspoons caraway seed
- 10 whole cloves
- 10 whole allspice berries
- 4 (3 inch) cinnamon sticks
- 2 teaspoons whole peppercorns
- 1 pinch crushed saffron threads (optional)
- 2 (1 inch) pieces fresh ginger root
- 2 (1 inch) pieces fresh turmeric (yellow ginger)
- 3 strips of orange zest
- 3 strips of lemon zest
- 4 cups of water
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 2 pounds honey
- 1 quart 190 proof grain alcohol
- Crack the cardamom seeds and nutmeg with a heavy skillet on a cutting board. Toss them into a saucepan with the caraway seed, cloves, allspice berries, cinnamon sticks, peppercorns, saffron, ginger, turmeric, orange zest, and lemon zest. Pour in the water, and bring to a boil. Cover, and simmer until the liquid is reduced by half. Then, strain the spices, and set the liquid aside.
- Pour the honey into a large pot, and bring it to a boil over medium heat. Skim off any foam on the top. Stir in the strained liquid from the spices and vanilla extract.
- Remove from heat and place far from the stove to avoid any flare-ups from the grain alcohol. Slowly stir in the grain alcohol. Then, place the pot back onto the burner over low heat and cover. Heat through, being careful not to boil or even simmer. Remove from heat and let stand overnight with the lid on.
- The next day, pour the liquid into sterile bottles, seal, and allow it to settle for at least 2 weeks. The longer you let it sit, the better it tastes. It’s best to serve it warm.
Kompot- Ukraine, Russia, & Poland
This drink can be compared to drinkable jam and is a simple and festive treat! Kompot is made by boiling fruit and sugar in water, this beverage is a great refreshment for all ages!
- 2 cups desired fruit
- 8 qt water
- 1 cup sugar
Prepare all the ingredients. Bring water to a boil. Add fruit and cook for 15 minutes. Add sugar and stir to let the sugar dissolve.
Made with hibiscus, the drink Sorrel became a tradition because December was one of the last months of the year that the flower grew. Now, you can identify the beverage from the hints of cinnamon and sometimes, notes of mint or ginger.
- 2 cups whole dried hibiscus
- 2 inches ginger, sliced in thin coins for mild flavor, or chopped/grated for stronger flavor.
- The peel of 1 orange
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 6 cups of water
- Sugar to taste
- Water, rum, and/or ice, as desired
- Add all ingredients to a pot, cover and bring to a gentle simmer. About 10 minutes.
- Simmer for another 30 minutes to extract all the spiced goodness.
- Cool and refrigerate overnight for strongest flavor.
- Strain, mix with ice, water, and rum as desired.
Sujeonggwa – Korea
Have you ever heard of cinnamon punch? Well, now you have! Sujeonggwa, or “cinnamon punch”, is a fruit-based drink that gets its kick from spices like cinnamon, ginger, and persimmons and is usually associated with New Years.
- 70g/2.5 ounces cinnamon sticks, rinsed
- 100g/3.5 ounces fresh ginger, skinned and thinly sliced.
- 2 ½ cup sugar
- 22 cup of water
- Pine nuts, dried jujube, and dried persimmon for garnish
- Put the ginger into a large saucepan. Add 11 cups of water, close the lid, then boil it on medium heat for 40 mins. At the same time, put the cinnamon sticks into a separate large saucepan. Add 11 cups of water, close the lid, then boil it on medium heat for 40 mins.
- After 40 mins, get another large saucepan (it should be large enough to hold the combined boiled water from step 1 and 2). Drain the boiled ginger and cinnamon sticks in turn through the sieve. (Discard the ginger and cinnamon sticks).
- Add the sugar into the saucepan (from step 2) and boil it for 10 to 20 mins further on high heat (or until the sugar dissolves completely).
- Cool down the punch for a couple of hours before you serve and enjoy! (If you are able to add the dried persimmon, put it into the drink at least 1 hour before you drink it, so it softens and releases the fruity flavor into the drink.)