Swedish word of the day: påskmust

Catherine Edwards
Catherine Edwards - [email protected]
Swedish word of the day: påskmust
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond

Here's a piece of Easter vocabulary you simply must learn.


Påskmust roughly means "Easter soda", but most Swenglish speakers use the original word even when speaking Swedish.

We take a look at the history of the word påsk (Easter) in this word of the day, but what about the must?

It comes from the Latin term vinum mustum (literally "young wine"), but before you get too excited, the must filling supermarket shelves at the moment is non-alcoholic (otherwise of course, it wouldn't be allowed in Swedish supermarkets at all). 

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The technique, however, is mostly unchanged: must is unfiltered juice from berries or fruit, which doesn't ferment. The term mustus in Latin, meaning "fresh", "young" or "new" is actually linked to the Greek word μύδος ("moisture").


A place where this kind of juice is made is called a musteri, and there are lots of types of must as well as the seasonally themed varieties: äppelmust (apple juice), körsbärsmust (cherry juice), and lingonmust (lingonberry juice) for example).

Påskmust and its wintery counterpart julmust (Christmas soda) are made by adding the fruity syrup (the recipes are a closely guarded secret) to carbonated water, and they are sold in huge quantities around both holidays. The earliest adverts for påskmust date back to 1947, but it is becoming ever more popular, with sales rapidly increasing over recent years.

The malty flavour is said to pair especially well with the traditional festive food of herring, meats, and more herring.

If you want to start a controversial discussion at fika or around a påskbord (like a julbord or smörgåsbord, but at Easter), pose the question of whether julmust and påskmust are one and the same. While the labels show different seasonal scenes, the tastes are suspiciously similar.

It seems that even manufacturers have admitted the ingredients of both drinks are identical, even if Carlsberg – the producer of the popular Apotekarnes brand – claim that the storage, occasion, and experience of the two drinks lead to differences in the perceived taste.

READ ALSO: Six ways the Swedes celebrate Easter


Under påskhelgen dricker svenskar mer än 10 miljoner liter påskmust

During the Easter weekend, Swedes drink more than ten million litres of påskmust

Är julmust och påskmust samma sak?

Are julmust and påskmust the same thing?

Villa, Volvo, Vovve: The Local’s Word Guide to Swedish Life, written by The Local’s journalists, is available to order. Head to to read more about it. It is also possible to buy your copy from Amazon USAmazon UKBokus or Adlibris.


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