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Holiday drinks from around the world

Wikipedia Commons

Wherever you are in the world, the holiday season is often a time for large family gatherings filled with traditions, chatting, and reminiscing over plenty of warming foods and drinks. While here in the good ole’ US of A, we’re fond of egg nog and hot chocolate, cultures all over the world indulge in their own traditional seasonal beverages.

Below are some tasty beverages from across the globe. With recipes for each of them across the Internet, they can even be recreated in your own kitchen!

Coquito - Puerto Rico

This traditional Puerto Rican concoction is made up of coconut, cinnamon, nutmeg, and rum. Some say the drink is comparable to egg nog, while others claim it’s even better! I just might need to try this one.

Wassail - England

Flickr: torbak hopper

This hot mulled cider is a classic English drink that dates back to the 13th Century. Wassail features hard cider, sugar-roasted apples, brandy, and sweet spices. Incidentally, wassail, or waes hael, actually translates to a toast. As a big supporter of all things cider, I’ll toast to that!

Ponche Navideño - Mexico

Flickr: torbak hopper

Ponche Navideño literally translates to Christmas Punch. This warm, spiced punch from Mexico is made of dried fruits and the optional dash of alcohol for grown-ups (by that we mean of legal drinking age in your respective country-because we know everyone follows drinking laws…). The Mexican staple is traditionally served in clay mugs after a long day of caroling.

Sorrel Punch - Jamaica

Sorrel is the Jamaican word for hibiscus, a flower that can be found on all corners of the island. While the drink is iced, it holds true to the holiday flavor with cinnamon, fresh ginger, and spices.

Cola de Mono - Chile

Cola de Mono translates to “Monkey’s Tail” and over in Chile, it’s a holiday favorite. It’s a milk-based punch made with sugar, spices, coffee, and spiked with a hearty dose of aguardiente (a brandy). While the origins of the drink are not clear, I can’t help but wonder how a milk-based drink became associated with the hot Chilean Christmas.

Sahlep - Turkey


Sahlep is a popular and cherished drink in Turkey that is only available for a small portion of the year. It contains all your basic holiday drink necessities—milk, sugar, and cinnamon—but what makes it different is the rare sahlep flour which claims a unique sweet flavor with hints of floral tones. If I ever make it to Turkey in the winter months, I will definitely be seeking this one out.

Uzvar Kompot - Eastern Europe


This traditional holiday drink is prepared from several types of dried fruits including apples, pears, and prunes. It is most commonly served with dinner in Poland, Ukraine, Serbia, Russia, and other Eastern European countries.

Glühwein (Mulled Wine) - Germany


Glühwein, a German-style mulled wine comparable to England’s Wassail, literally translates to “glow wine.” The traditional wine based drink can be found at various stands at Christkindl markets throughout Germany and Austria, and is made up of different spices, red wine, citrus fruits and sugar. Of the entire list, this is the only drink I’ve been fortunate to try and I highly recommend it!


Diane Ferrer

This holiday season Global Citizens around the world are gathering with friends and family to celebrate religious events, cultural traditions, and to mark the New Year. As we come together for this special time of the year, let's also come together for a broader goal. We need to come #Together4Zero and make sure that 2015 is the year that sets the world on the path to ending extreme poverty. So use these drinks as an excuse to gather those closest to you. Together we can start the conversation of how to come #Together4Zero and finally bring an end to extreme poverty.

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