Did you know this about the annual Blossa glögg?
The planning, testing and manufacture of glögg is exacting teamwork, and the work on a new Blossa annual glögg starts one and a half years before. Three important things are always taken into consideration with Blossa annual glögg. The new flavour needs to be a pleasant surprise every year, so it has to be sufficiently different from previous years. In addition to this, it has to reflect current taste trends.
To top it all off, its taste has to be compatible with the fundamental character and flavour palette of Blossa. At the beginning, there is a long list of different flavour outlines, from which we usually choose two alternative themes, of which one is chosen as the winner.
Much-loved annual glögg has been enjoyed for 15 years
From 2003 onwards, Blossa has brought out a new flavour for every winter season. Initially, the themes revolved around Nordic flavours, but from 2011 onwards, Blossa has ventured further afield. Sources of inspiration have included El Salvador, Japan, France, England, India, Italy, Hawaii and Marocco. Åsa and her team taste a new flavour hundreds of times before deciding on the final blend. “Tasting is continuous, and it takes several months to determine the final blend.” Åsa goes on to say.
Selecting glögg spices is a precise job
Blossa glöggs are made from natural ingredients only. Spices such as cloves and cardamom are roughly ground and infused with ethanol to make a spice extract. The infusion is stored for around four weeks in tanks, then matured for a further four months, before it is ready to be added to the wine base of the glögg. The herbs to be used in the annual glögg are also infused at Blossa’s own factory. “The quality and flavour of herbs is strongly affected by the season”, says Åsa. “When the first test batches are being prepared, the spices might be freshly picked and of a totally different composition to what they are six months later. To ensure the consistent quality of the final product, we may have to adjust the composition and proportions of the spice mix.”
Producing a seasonal drink is a big challenge
Around 700,000 bottles of Blossa annual glögg are produced every year. The vast majority of this is consumed in Sweden, a country known for drinking glögg and where Blossa has a long history.
These kinds of quantities are not produced in a moment, not even in the largest of factories. So, we start production already in May in order to be ready in good time for the coming glögg season. This way, the glögg has time to settle in the bottle before being released to the market.
Tasting is continuous, and it takes several months to determine the final blend.
“From summer onwards, the factory is a Christmas-scented hive of activity”, Åsa laughs. The 30-strong production team keeps a close eye on the glögg’s journey, all the way from receiving different batches of spices and testing to the bottling of the ready product.
The glögg specialist knows everything about glögg
Åsa has been making annual Blossa glögg right from its inception in 2003. Her glögg-producing career is impressive: she has spent almost thirty years making the drink. “For me, a glass of glögg after a bracing ski is winter at its best! I will never get fed up of this job: every day is different.”