A Drink for the Yule Season

While most of us celebrate Yule only on the Winter Solstice, Yule is actually a season. If you have northern European ancestry, your ancestors likely celebrated Yule for a period of 3-10 days, depending on where they lived and what their cultural customs were.

The first day of Yule in 2020 is December 21st and the last day is January 1st. Throughout that 11 days, any custom you celebrate for Yule is appropriate, so don’t stress over doing things only on the 21st. I know some people who plan a series of family-oriented things or rituals each day to represent or otherwise celebrate the season as long as possible.

Whatever you decide, drinks are almost always part of the festivities, and if you choose not to drink alcohol, most Yule-themed drinks can be made non-alcoholic.

Here is a recipe my husband and I made up, which we nicknamed ‘Krampus’ because why not?

What you will need (makes 3-4 standard mug-fulls):

  • 4 cups apple cider
  • 1/2 cup cranberry juice
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 4 orange slices
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp Allspice
  • Nutmeg
  • Cloves
  • optional: 1/2 cup Scotch* (the smokier/peatier the better)

What you will do:

  1. Heat all the ingredients except the Scotch on the stovetop in a pan and bring to a soft boil. Remove from heat and let sit for about 5 minutes, then stir in the Scotch if you’re adding it.
  2. Garnish each mug with one of the oranges and any of the cloves if you want.

*We used Lagavulin 16, as its a nice smooth Scotch with just enough peat and smoke to really complement and contrast the sweet of the juice and cider. Any other Scotch would probably be fine though. You could also optionally substitute 1/2 of the cider with mead.