The festive season is here and nothing beats having your hands wrapped around a warm cup of mulled wine. Although it’s a Christmas favourite there are a variety of delicious alternatives that are just as tasty.
Wassail comes with a centuries-old tradition in which villagers go out into their orchards to pray for a good year, and good quality cider apples. Translated to “good health”, wassail is a rich, exciting drink filled with cider apples, sugar, ale, ginger and nutmeg – and on occasion topped up with some gin. Its appeal has diminished over time but some villages still practice ‘wassailing’ in areas like Gloucestershire, where they decorate apple trees.
A brandy flip is an adaptable recipe historically heated with a red hot poker. Simply mix egg yolks, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, beer, and a generous pouring of brandy for instant satisfaction. This recipe dates back hundreds of years and is versatile as you can use any of ale of your choice. The brandy can be changed with almost any spirit that you prefer; bourbon and rum also work well with this drink. Designed to be a soothing bedside companion, this flip can be enjoyed hot or cold and is a great alternative to mulled wine.
Glögg is the Swedish version of mulled wine, however, different spices are used and the bottom of the glass is filled with almonds and raisins for a crunchy twist. Glögg is usually served in small glasses as Swedes are often travelling from one Glögg party to another and want to keep up their stamina!
The perfect non-alcoholic alternative to mulled wine, cranberry punch is a deliciously fruity drink with just as much flavour. Made with cranberry juice or fresh cranberries, pink lemonade, and ginger ale, this drink is a great addition to a party with its bright colour and flavoursome taste.
Just as warming as mulled wine, mulled cider is a less sweet alternative. Made using a similar technique, mulled cider is packed with spices to create a harmonious taste that can be served in mugs or fancy glasses.
Also known as milk punch, egg nog is a popular festive drink that is a rich, sweet, creamy beverage. Traditionally made with milk, cream, sugar, whipped egg whites, and egg yolks, this drink can also be made alcoholic with a distilled spirit or your choice. Egg nog is particularly popular in Canada and the United States throughout the Christmas season and can be dated back to the early 1900s. The name egg nog comes from its obvious egg ingredient and ‘nog’ comes from the drinks original serving style where it was poured into wooden cups called “noggins”. But don’t worry, you can serve it in whatever you like.
Coquito is a coconut-based alcoholic beverage traditionally served in Puerto Rico. It has a similar taste to egg nog and is often referred to as ‘Puerto Rican egg nog’. Made with rum, coconut milk, condensed milk, cinnamon, and cloves, this drink is popular at Christmas and New Years Eve celebrations and is traditionally served alongside the holiday dishes and desserts.
If alcoholic drinks such as mulled wine aren’t your thing but you want to join in the festivities, then nothing will beat a gingerbread coffee. This is a sweet, indulgent, drink that is ideal for those of you who want a change from hot chocolate. The flavour of aromatic gingerbread, with ginger and cinnamon is sure to warm you up. Try adding a gingerbread biscuit on the side for a real treat!