Glögi – The Finnish Mulled Wine

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
for serving:
dark raisins
(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.

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