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Julmust is a soft drink that is consumed mainly in Sweden at Christmas. For the rest of the year it is found under the name must. At Easter the name is påskmust. (jul=Christmas, påsk=Easter). The content is the same regardless of the marketing name although the time it is stored before bottling differs; however, the beverage is more closely associated with Christmas and somewhat less with Easter. It is often hard to find the drink in off-season. 45 million litres of julmust are consumed during December (to be compared with roughly 9 million Swedes), which is around 50% of the total softdrink volume in December and 3/4s of the total yearly must sales.

Must was created by Harry Roberts and his father Robert Roberts in 1910 as a non-alcoholic alternative to beer. The syrup is still made exclusively by Roberts AB in Örebro. The original recipe is said to be locked up in a safe with only one person knowing the full recipe.

Must is made of carbonated water, sugar, hops extract, malt extract, spices, colouring (E150), citric acid, and preservatives. The hops and malt extracts give the must a somewhat beer-like taste, but must is not fermented and contains no alcohol. Must can be aged provided it is stored in a glass bottle. Some people buy must in December only to store it a year before drinking it.

Julmust might be the source of some annoyance for Coca-Cola in Sweden, since Sweden is the only country where the consumption of Coca-Cola drops during Christmas. Many Swedes drink julmust instead. This was quoted as one of the main reasons Coca-Cola broke away from their contract with Pripps and started Coca-Cola Drycker Sverige AB instead. Coca-Cola now produces its own julmust, albeit very anonymous and never advertised until 2004, when Coca-Cola started maketing their julmust under the brand "Bjäre julmust".

Those outside Sweden who are curious to try Julmust might be able to purchase and sample a bottle from a nearby IKEA. However, it should be noted that availability is not guaranteed; one is most likely to find it in stock early in the month of December. However, according to IKEA Public Relations, as of March 2006 Julmust will be available at all outlets in the USA throughout the entire year. This remains to be verified.

In November of 2004 Pepsi marketed a product similar in idea and somewhat in taste to Julmust to the United States called Pepsi Holiday Spice. It was only on sale during the 2004-2005 holiday season.

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Christmas Guide, v. 2.0, by MultiMedia

This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.

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