Welcome to another Swedish Christmas tradition. This week it’s another type of drink, but a non-alcoholic one this time: julmust!
It’s a sweet soda type drink that Swedes drink for Christmas (and for Easter then it’s called påskmust. Jul=Christmas, påsk=Easter). The recipe is a secret, of course, and only three people apparently know it. Apparently, it’s made from 30 different spices and ingredients. There are lots of different brands of julmust, but all of them buy the syrup you need to make it from the same company, Roberts AB.
It’s a very distinct flavor. It looks sort of like a mix between Coca Cola and Guinness beer, but it tastes like neither. I can’t really explain it. But it’s available at Ikea stores, so you can always try one next time you visit Ikea.
We take our julmust seriously. There are diet versions for those who wishes to keep their sugar intake down. Some of them are aged in an oak barrel as if it was a whiskey. But if there’s one thing we don’t do with julmust it’s mix it with some kind of alcohol and make a drink out of it. We want it pure! Clean 😁
Swedes drink a lot of julmust. 50% of all soft drinks we drink in December is julmust and it impacts the sales of other sodas, like for example Coca Cola. For the longest time The Coca-Cola Company was baffled and couldn’t understand why the sales plummeted during December in Sweden. When they found out why, they tried really aggressive marketing for Coca Cola, but that didn’t help either. So what they did in the end was create their own julmust brand in Sweden…but the syrup they use to make it is bought from Roberts AB. just like all the other brands. But that way they at least get some of the market share for julmust. 😁
Here in Malaysia julmust is available at Ikea and every year when they launch the Christmas line, I rush over there and buy lots and lots of julmust. Or Swedish Festive Drink as they call it. Then I enjoy it with gingerbread cookies and always, always Instagram a picture of my julmust. That’s also tradition these days. 😁