Jay Chou, one of the most iconic Chinese pop music artists for the post-80s and 90s generations. His music can always pinpoint and reflect your emotions and thoughts. On the 20th anniversary of his first album, he released a single Mojito that went viral on the internet with his typical music style featuring an integration of Chinese and Western elements. The relaxed and dynamic melodies showing rich Latin American characteristics and the sweet lyrics expressing love remind you of the beautiful memories in the youth.
After the single was released on June 12, a wave of “Mojito fever” started spreading online as people were sharing photos of sipping mojito in the bars, cafes or equally exquisite homemade cocktails on social media. Havana, Cuba, home of mojito, made the travel lists of more people. While on the other side of the planet, on the vast land of Northern Europe, what drinks are brewed here?
Tina Stafrén/imagebank.sweden.se 自史前时代以来，谷物就是斯堪的纳维亚最重要的食物来源，烹饪方式也多种多样：煮粥、烤面包、作为配料制成其他食物，或是发酵酿成啤酒。经过漫长的发展，许多饮品的传统却几乎未曾改变：mjöd蜂蜜酒、麦芽啤酒、圣诞葡萄汁julmust以及谷物或马铃薯酿成的烈酒schnapps等等。 Since prehistoric time, cereals have been the most important source of food in Scandinavia and there were many ways of using it – boil to porridge, bake bread, as ingredients in other foods and of course, ferment it to make beer. The beverages have been developing for a long time, though many have remained almost the same; mjöd made of honey, beer and julmust from malt, schnapps from grain or potatoes, etc.
Image by Meritt Thomas Mjöd, or mead in English, is an alcoholic beverage made by fermenting honey, water and yeast, the Vikings’ favorite. Different herbs, fruits, grains or spices can be added to create various flavors. In the epic poem Beowulf, the hero of Geats, a tribe in modern southern Sweden, aided the king of the Danes to defeat monster Grendel. The place where they held feasts and drank mjöd were called “mead hall”. In China, records of mead can date back to BC 780 during the Western Zhou dynasty in the emperor’s banquets. It was popular during the Tang and Song dynasties – as recorded in Compendium of Materia Medica by Li Shizhen in the Ming dynasty, Sun Simiao, the King of Medicine in China, used mead to treat diseases such as rubella.
In January 1733, sailors of the Swedish East India Company found Batavia Arrack, a double pot-stilled “rum” based on sugarcane molasses on an unplanned stop in Batavia (now Jakarta) on the Island of Java, Indonesia. For the long sail back to Gothenburg, “punch” was created, and so was the tradition of Swedish Punsch. Punsch consists of spirit (Batavia Arrack), sugar, citrus/acidic wine, spice/tea and water. A glass of warm punsch with ärtsoppa—pea and ham soup—was a common Thursday-night tradition；even today, special occasions are frequently toasted with punsch.
Helena Wahlman/imagebank.sweden.se Glögg, or mulled wine, is a warm beverage best enjoyed during the cold weeks leading up to Christmas. It tastes even better if you drink it with gingerbread snaps. As a popular feature at Swedish outdoors Christmas fairs, glögg is usually made of red wine, sugar, spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, cloves, and optionally also stronger spirits such as vodka or brandy. There are non-alcoholic versions as well. Glögg can be bought ready-made in cups or bottles, or made from prepared spice packages, or from scratch. In Sweden, this is a beverage consumed almost exclusively during the Christmas season, usually with raisins and blanched almonds added.
小龙虾派对 Crayfish Party – Tina Stafrén/imagebank.sweden.se Schnapps has been distilled in Sweden since the late 1400s. It was first used as a medication and herbs and spices were added to increase the salutary effects. Schnapps became more commonplace in the 1600s and has been a part of Swedish culinary traditions. Still the Swedish people commence both Christmas and Midsummer feast with herring, bread, cheese and schnapps spiced mostly with anise, fennel or cumin, followed by traditional drinking songs.
Image by Pasi Mämmelä According to the famous Swedish food researcher Richard Tellström, it requires six times more malt and therefore cereals to make strong beer, so it is only used at feasts; slåtteröl (harvest beer), gravöl (funeral beer), barnsöl (baptizing beer) and most importantly, julöl (Christmas beer). Svagdricka (weak beer) is served for daily use and is still common at Christmas. Julmust 圣诞葡萄汁
Image by Aurelie Luylier Must葡萄汁是瑞典节庆宴会中最常出现的非酒精饮料，由麦芽、啤酒花及多种香料酿制而成。上世纪初，瑞典圣诞特饮julmust面世，成为啤酒和schnapps烈酒的替代品。在其他节日期间，也会看到must的身影，比如复活节时的påskmust和仲夏节前后的sommarmust。 Must is still one of the most popular non alcoholic malt beverages for feasts in Sweden, made of malt, hop and a variety of spices. And julmust (Christmas must) was launched in the beginning of last century as an alternative to beer and schnapps. It is called påskmust during Easter and sommarmust around Midsummer.
Tina Stafrén/imagebank.sweden.se 在这片寒冷的土地，饮酒是再正常不过的事。大量本可制成食物的土豆和谷物被酿成了酒类。19世纪初，瑞典建立了首个规范适量饮酒的组织。1914年，酒类实行定量配给制，直至1955年被废除，并成立了国营酒类商店Systembolaget。尽管瑞典法定饮酒年龄为18岁，但是必须年满21岁才可以在Systembolaget消费。 Drinking is wide spread in these cold latitudes and large quantities of potatoes and cereals that could have been used as food are distilled in almost every household. In the beginning of the 19th century, the first organization for moderate drinking was created. A little later, in 1914, rationing was imposed which lasted until 1955, when Systembolaget was founded as a part of the sobriety movement, a special shop only for alcoholic beverages which had limited opening hours and only sold to people over 21 years old.
烈酒博物馆 Museum of Spirits – Tina Stafrén/imagebank.sweden.se 即使在地中海葡萄酒文化的强烈影响下，瑞典的酒文化依然有其独树一帜的魅力。从产于瑞典南部并风靡全球的绝对伏特加（Absolut Vodka），到继承与创新并存的本土酿酒厂，将古老的传统不断传承发展。 Even with strong influences from the Mediterranean wine culture, many smaller local breweries are arising with both traditional old recipes and newer creations besides the world famous Absolut Vodka manufactured in southern Sweden. So the deep rooted traditions continue to develop.