Glögg and other hot drinks for cool weather
What are hot drinks?
Drinking mulled and spiced wine has been a common practice in Europe since before the Middle Ages. The German Glühwein and the English mulled wine are spicy drinks served steaming hot. Traditionally spiced wine is sold in squares and marketplaces in the weeks leading up to Christmas.
The glögg familiar to Swedes and Finns resembles its European sisters. Drinking glögg has been a popular Christmas tradition in Sweden since the 1890s. It arrived in Finland at the beginning of the 1900s and gained popularity as a Christmas drink after prohibition.
Glögg gets its name from the Swedish word glödga, which means “to mull”.
According to an old tradition, glögg was made by dipping a sugarloaf in spirits and mulling it in spiced wine, the preparation method from which the drink got its name. The citrus fruits, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and ginger used to season glögg were also common spices in the late 1800s.
Serve glögg hot or cold
Seen as a traditional Christmas beverage, glögg and other hot drinks have gained a stronger foothold in recent years outside the glögg season, or the weeks leading up to Christmas.
The cocktail boom currently gripping Europe, and particularly the UK, is reshaping Christmas traditions. Although glögg is primarily served during the Christmas party season, spicy drinks served hot or cold and mixed with other beverages are enjoyable all year round and thus prolong the glögg season significantly.
Home-cooked spiced wine, for example, is ideal for chilly nights any time of the year, whereas, when chilled, glögg also easily lends itself to a lovely punch or an exciting, spicy sangria, or even coffee. Glögg is also a delightful ingredient in many pastries and other dishes.
It is also a drink that easily takes on a new twist with a little bold seasoning. Given that glögg is richly spicy and sweet, it even stands up to surprising flavours. Combining glögg with heated cider or a welcoming toast made from glögg and sparkling wine are good examples of glögg’s versatility. Look into hints when heating up your glögg.
Use glögg in cooking
Glögg is a natural choice for a drink to pair with pastries during the Christmas party season, but it also works as an ingredient in pastries. You can also use glögg to glaze desserts like parfaits or cheesecake to make them fit for the glögg season.
Aromatic and spicy, glögg is also ideal for other dishes. It is perfect in marinades, helping to tenderise and season meat, as well as in sauces and stews or brines for vinegary herring dishes.
Glögg has a broad world of flavours for bold combinations
The instructions for mixing glögg drinks also apply to food. The spicy and sweet world of flavours offered by glögg is so broad that it can be paired with the most varied tastes.
Glögg is good with traditional gingerbread cookies and the various blue cheeses and fruit served on the side. In savoury delicacies, glögg is perfect with, for instance, Scandinavian-style rye and malt bread as well as reindeer mousse.
Add a fresh touch to your glögg serving by placing the glögg glasses on top of a serviette on a saucer, with a bite-size delicacy or two on the side. Try, for example, spiced chocolate, liquorice or even marshmallows for a playful touch.