Mulled wine in the Nordic countries, recorded back to 1600s, are called gløgg in Norwegian and Danish, glögg in Swedish and Icelandic and glögi in Finnish and Estonian. Traditionally, spices were added to the poor-tasting wine of the time. As flavors improved, Glögg remained popular, becoming a traditional beverage associated with Christmas and social gatherings.
Non-alcoholic and alcoholic versions of glögg can be bought ready-made or prepared easily at home. The main ingredients of alcoholic glögg are red wine, sugar, spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, cloves, and bitter orange, and optionally also stronger spirits such as vodka, akvavit, or brandy. Glögg recipes vary widely; variations with white wine or sweet wine such as Port or Madeira, or spirits such as brandy or whisky are also popular. Glögg can also be made without alcohol by replacing the wine with fruit or berry cordials. Glögg is often served with raisins and blanched almonds.
In Sweden, ginger bread and lussekatter, a type of sweet bun with saffron and raisins, are typically served. In Denmark, gløgg pairings typically include æbleskiver sprinkled with powdered sugar and accompanied with strawberry marmalade. In Norway, gløgg is paired with chilled rice pudding ‘riskrem’.
How to host a Gløggparty? Here is our step by step guide.
1. Find a date in advent, preferably an afternoon during the weekend or evening during the week.
2. Invite friends and family, the more the merrier.
3. Decide on nibbles. Gingerbread cookies is a must. If you want something slightly more substantial you can serve up mini sized versions of Scandinavian Christmas foods too.
4. There is not much entertainment to plan for your gløggparty. Except a festive playlist with your favourite Christmas tunes. Also, especially if you have children attending the gløggparty you can always make a batch of gingerbread men dough as well as a batch of ready made cookies. Set up a work station in your kitchen, where guests can enjoy making their own christmas cookies or decorate some ready made ones. The cookies can be enjoyed at the party – or be taken home in a small cellophane party bag.
5. Plan the decoration, without overdoing the Christmas theme. Keep it simple; flickering candles, large white paper star in the window, a tree in a pot – and most importantly – a wreath on the door to welcome your guests.
Find more ideas on how to prepare your home for the festive season here.
6. Make the gløgg, preferably a day in advance to allow the spices to infuse. Make two batches, one with and one without alcohol. Find our best Gløgg recipe here.
7. Get ready to enjoy your Nordic gløggparty!