Glögi is the Finnish version of mulled wine, known as glögg in other Scandinavian countries and Glühwein in German-speaking areas.
Glögi is made with red wine or red fruit juices, heated up along with sugar and spices — cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, orange peel, allspice, mace, nutmeg, etc — and served mixed with raisins and almonds. It may be served as a welcome drink, before a meal, or after dinner, accompanied with sweet or savoury snacks or cocktail bites.
Most Finns simply buy premixed glögi off the shelf at grocery stores or state-run Alko liquor outlets, serving it with raisins and blanched almonds. These days, though, many people seem to be favouring the simple and homemade for Christmas – which goes for drinks as well as food, cards and gifts.
375 ml fruity red wine
375 ml strong blackcurrant juice or red grape juice (or both mixed)
1 stick of cinnamon
3 – 5 cloves
3 – 5 allspice berries
a pinch of whole cardamom seeds
small piece of dried Seville orange peel
100 ml sugar, or to taste
(vodka, cognac or whiskey)
Scald the almonds and peel them. If you cannot find dried Seville orange peel, substitute it with a couple of thin strips of the zest of a fresh regular orange.
Pour the wine and the juice(s) in a saucepan and heat the mixture up. Do not let it boil. Add some sugar and the spices, mix thoroughly until the sugar has dissolved and let steep on a low heat for 5 – 10 minutes (or longer) without boiling. Strain the glögg and spike it up with a dash of vodka, if you like. Reheat the mixture, if necessary.
Drop a few blanched almonds and raisins in serving mugs or tea-glasses with a spoon in them and pour the hot glögg over. Serve immediately, for example with eg star-shaped Christmas pastries or gingerbread cookies.