Holiday Drinks From Around the World
Wherever in the world you are from, the holidays are an excellent time to have a drink. Perhaps out of celebration, perhaps to tolerate an entire evening with the uncle you just blocked on Facebook. And if you’re looking to try something a little different than that same bottle of Jack that’s been in the cabinet for years, follow our map highlighting the sippable ways people celebrate during the holidays in all corners of the globe.
From Scandinavian Glogg to Puerto Rico's Coquito, there is an array of festive flavors and a variety of variations in how the world tips one back and ring in the season. Some come from a bottle, some are mixed up at the bar, and some are simmered low and slow for pure winter warmth and comfort. If eggnog isn't your thing, maybe this is the year to try wassail. And, of course, there's nothing naughty about popping a bottle of cava, even on a cold night.
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Cava - Spain
Spain’s sparkling wine, nothing says holiday celebration quite like bubbles. Cava is served at the end of Christmas Eve dinner and Christmas Day lunch, as well as with the big holiday meals on New Year's Eve, New Year's Day and Three Kings Day.
Cola de Mono - Chile
This cold milk punch is a mix of milk, sugar, coffee, cloves and aguardiente (a catchall name for several alcohols in Central and South America, although in Chile it’s usually made from grapes). Think of it like a better White Russian.
Coquito - Puerto Rico
Usually made with rum, coconut milk and condensed milk, think of it as winter’s answer to the piña colada.
Eggnog - United States & Canada
Hot or cold, spiked or not, the mixture of milk, cream and eggs has been hitting holiday-ready stomachs hard since the 13th century and continues to find its way into American and Canadian festivities.
Glögg - Scandinavia
Sweden’s version of mulled wine, it’s often made with a cornucopia of winter drinks: dry red wine, port and brandy. If it’s good enough to get Scandinavians through the winter, it must be something special.
Glühwein - Germany
German mulled wine often found at Christmas markets and the bottoms of ski hills, it has all the winter spices you’ve come to love from clove to cardamom to cinnamon.
Ponche Navideño - Mexico
Literally, “Christmas punch,” the traditional Mexican holiday drink can be made with all kinds of fruits, nuts and spices from hibiscus to apple to guava.
Poppy Seed Milk - Lithuania
Part of the 12 dish Christmas Eve dinner served across much of Eastern Europe, this simple drink is made by steeping and then crushing poppy seeds before mixing them with boiling water and honey.
Sahlep - Turkey
A mix of milk, sugar and sahlep flour, the winter warmer may be an endangered species. Sahlep flour is made from orchid bulbs, which the Turkish government is taking steps to protect.
Sorrel Punch - Jamaica
You’ll find this punch, made by steeping dried hibiscus flowers and ginger, all over the island during the holiday season. Drop in a shot of that other famous local beverage to make it extra festive.
Uzvar Kompot - Russia
Usually served on Christmas eve, non-alcoholic (sorry guys) uzvar is made by steeping dried fruit in water and honey.
Wassail - United Kingdom
A British hot mulled cider dating back centuries, presumably it’s what gives people on the other side of the pond the confidence to wander around the neighborhood singing for strangers.