Christmas as you all know is a good time to eat a lot of different food but it is also a time for some special drinks to be served and consumed.
When to drink: at dinner.
Beer is a staple in any household, be it Japanese, Scandinavian or Canadian. The Christmas style of beer is usually darker and might have some different flavours and spices to it. In Japan Suntory sometimes have a Christmas style beer that is pretty good. Otherwise any dark or black beer should do the trick.
How to get it: Any supermarket, Yamaya and import stores might have German Boch beer which is much the same, look for Santa or winter landscapes on the bottles.
When to drink; at dinner.
Snaps is spiced strong alcohol that we drink at dinner. It is served as a shot and drunk as a toast. Usually it is the host of the dinner that serves and initiates the drinking of the snaps. The first time the host generally raises his glass and says a few words and ask everyone to toast but later on he usually spares the words and raises his glass to signal people to drink.
The shot, can in some cases be refilled 6-7 times during the course of the dinner.
Traditionally it should be taken in one gulp, however to keep the dinner civilized it is generally ok to sip it as well.
How to get it: IKEA sells some snaps in their food corner otherwise you could make your own. Just take any unflavored alcohol base around 30-40% and add some spices and flavours.
Vanilla snaps: 70cl vodka, 2 whole vanilla canes , 2 tablespoons of sugar. Pour the sugar into the Vodka and stir until it’s dissolved. Break one vanilla cane in half and let one be whole, put them in the bottle, shake and let rest for around 1 week.
Cinnamon and lemon snaps: 1 lemon (or any citrus fruit like orange, lime or yuzu). 1 whole cinnamon. Wash the lemon carefully to get rid of chemicals on the skin, peel it with a sharp peeler or knife, try not to get any of the white stuff on the peel because it is bitter. Put the peels and the cinnamon into a bottle of unflavored alcohol and let it rest in a cool place for 2-3 days.
Feel free to experiment(that’s what we usually do) but use fresh or whole products instead of processed or chemical substitutes. Frozen berries work pretty well also.
Mulled (hot and spiced) wine:
When to drink: after dinner, at tea time.
Mulled wine is a really good way to stay warm in a cold winter. Generally a bit sweeter and spicier than normal red wine it is usually drunk after dinner or at tea time together with sweets or cookies.
Where to get it:
There are many different kinds of mulled wine , IKEA has the swedish style and AEON stores have the german Gluwein. You could also make your own.
Mumma (or yummy as the English translation would be) is a traditional Christmas drink that is not sold but you have to mix it yourself. I think traditionally this was for young people or maybe even children if the mix was weak.
When to drink it: at dinner
How to make it: Take port wine, porter and cider or ramune and mix together in a pitcher. The final mix should be foamy and a bit sweet. The amount of each ingredient is dictated by your preference and how strong you want the drink to be. If you can’t find port wine, red wine can be used.