Imbuljuta tal-Qastan is a traditional Maltese drink served after Midnight Mass on Christmas as well as on New Year’s Eve. This spicy drink, includes chestnuts, citrus, and a blend of holiday spices for a drink that's truly festive.

Imbuljuta tal-Qastan: Maltese Christmas Drink [Vegan]



  • 2 cups dried peeled chestnuts
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 6 cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon spice blend (cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves, to your liking)
  • Rind of 1 tangerine
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream (optional)


  1. Wash and soak the chestnuts for at least 8 hours.
  2. Drain and put the chestnuts in a pan. Add 4 cups of water, cinnamon, cloves, cocoa powder, sugar, spice blend, and mandarin rind cut into small pieces.
  3. Bring to a boil and simmer until the chestnuts are tender, about 1 hour.
  4. At the end of cooking, break the chestnuts into small pieces with a large spoon without crushing them.
  5. Dissolve the cornstarch in a little water and add to slightly thicken the sauce.
  6. Serve hot in a cup or a bowl.