Wednesday, December 8, 2021

7 delicious global Christmas cocktails to bring you cheer this holiday

I love Christmas. From the decorations to blasting holiday playlists, I'm all in. But one of my favorite December treats is holiday booze. You've probably tried eggnog and mulled wine, but allow me to expand your Christmas beverage palate with a few other favorites from other cultures.

Adventurous Tastes | Christmas Cocktails

Read on for holiday cocktails from around the world...

Mulled Wine

Let's start with the classics. Mulled wine combines red wine (don't waste your expensive stuff), brandy, and warming spices like cinnamon and cloves. It smells divine and warms you up nicely on a chilly evening of perusing holiday markets. Try this classic mulled wine recipe.

In 2019, my family went to Denmark and Germany for Christmas markets, and it was truly one of the most magical things we've ever done. I could fill volumes on why these are so wonderful, but for now, let's focus on the plentiful alcoholic options. 

European holiday market cocktail favorites


When we visited Denmark, the Christmas markets were full of glogg. It's a hygge-inspiring cousin to traditional mulled wine, mixing things up by adding raisins and nuts to the mix. Swedish glogg is stronger with the addition of aquavit or vodka. I prefer the Danish version, but you do you.

One of the most fun parts of drinking at holiday markets is that each market has their own custom mugs. I came home with quite a collection!

Try this Danish glogg or the stronger Swedish variation.

Woman wearing winter clothes and drinking mug of hot mulled wine
Bundled up and enjoying my first of many gluwheins


Not to be outdone, the Germans take their gluhwein (basically the same as what we call mulled wine) and light it on fire! I first tried this at the Middle Ages Christmas market in Munich. They poured me a giant goblet of gluhwein and then lit it up. You have to love a drink that's also a spectacle!

Blow your guests' minds with this Feurzangenbowle recipe.


At Munich's delightful Pink Christmas market, I fell in love with the simple pleasures of lumumba, hot chocolate spiked with brandy. This drink can go year-round when made with chocolate milk. It's named after the former leader of the Congo and is apparently one of the most popular alcoholic drinks in that country.

Man drinks white cocktail at German Christmas market
The hubs enjoys an Eierpunsch at a German Christmas market


This rich German take on eggnog was my holiday market beverage of choice. Its base is Eierlikör, a German egg liquor and then you add white wine and spices. While Eierlikör might seem like eggnog, it does have some key differences. The egg liquor is egg-based alcohol made with egg yolks, cream, and rum, while eggnog is made with the yolks, too, and milk, and doesn't on its own include liquor. If you get lucky you might find a similar egg liquor at your local store. We did last year, but I must admit that eierpunsch just wasn't the same experience at my house as it was strolling around among the twinkling lights of an actual castle.  Learn to make your own Eierlikör and Eierpunsch

Beyond the markets


Last year, we were stuck at home for the holidays, so I had to explore other options for cross-cultural beverage sampling. When I read about Coquito, and I knew I had to try it. With its creamy texture and the combination of cream of coconut and spices like cinnamon, this classic Puerto Rican drink is like a holiday pina colada. It was a delectable addition to our holiday arsenal. Make your own with this classic version.

Cafe Tigre

My good friend, Suzy, used her pandemic downtime to start a gorgeous Instagram feed/cocktail business. I haven't tried it yet, but this horchata holiday cocktail looks amazing! Follow her @spiritedshaker

Plan your own trip to European Christmas Markets so you can drink all these cocktails yourself!
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