Brand: Apotekarnes

Cost: 14 KR

Found at: Coop


It’s a long time coming, but I’ve finally gotten what’s coming to me.


For years, I have delighted in watching non-Americans try root beer: gleeful in their reactions of disgust and horror. I was raised on the stuff, so I can drink it like water, but to anyone who didn’t grow up on it, it is (apparently) utterly foul. I remember one exchange student, in particular, stifling a gag and explaining that it tasted like the worst sort of medicine.


I have much the same reaction to the Swedish Julmust (literally “Christmas juice”). Like root beer, Julmust developed as a non-alcoholic alternative to beer and is widely popular in Sweden around Christmas and Easter. In fact, several of Emil’s Swedish cousins have gone out of their way to remind me (the American) that Julmust consistently outsells Coca-cola during the holidays. The taste is a little difficult to pin down: like flat root beer mixed with white wine, or Diet Rite mixed with cheap beer, or month-old, unsweetened Pepsi that has been re-carbonated in a knock-off SodaStream from Wish.com. It’s oddly sour and while Emil can swig it with the same gusto that I swig root beer, I find it utterly unappealing. It may not taste like medicine, but it certainly does not taste like cola.


At least I can begin to balance the karmic scales by being this year’s source of beverage-based entertainment. But if you think I won’t bring a crate of revenge root beer to Christmas next year, you would be mistaken.  Just because I’ve learned my lesson, does not mean that I won’t repeat my mistakes.

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