Finnish Glögi: Scandinavian-Style
Hot Red Wine “Mulled"' with Winter Spices

To warm your winter world, try a glass of hot red wine mulled with spices, fruit and for good luck, an almond. In Finland and Sweden, the spiced wine (mulled wine) is called glögi and vinglögg, because, I dare say, for the easy way it glug-glugs down our throats. Perhaps you're familiar with glögi's more famous cousins, the German glühwein that fuels the holiday season's Christmas markets or the Spanish iced sangria sipped during summer?

Finnish Glögi, the Mulled Wine ♥ KitchenParade.com, served hot in Nordic countries during winter.

Take a Moment, Take a Break. A Christmas Specialty. A Nordic Holiday Tradition. Weeknight Easy, Weekend Special. Potluck & Party Friendly.

New Year's in Helsinki

Twas a magical end to a year of hard work and four-continent travel.

On Christmas Day, I booked a ticket to Finland to spend New Year’s with the Finnish family who so warmly welcomed a young exchange student into their home two decades earlier.

Hurry was important: my Finnish mother was afflicted with the scourge of Alzheimers. Already, my Finnish sister warned, “Äiti (mother) may not recognize you.”

But Äiti did recognize me, not at first, only when I attempted much-rusty Finnish conversation. The first words to emerge were the Finnish names for foods, the subject of many patient after-school kitchen lessons with her all those years ago. In the present, she listened closely for some minutes, then laughed out loud, incredulous. “Alu?” she said. “You’ve come back?!”

Later that afternoon, my Finnish sister and I sat in the soft light of a coffee shop. We wrapped bone-cold hands around glass cups of glögi, hot red wine fortified with spices, fruit, a touch of sugar and, for good luck, an almond.

Outside in the darkness that falls early in the far north, new snow muffled an already holiday-quiet city.

All was well, for auld lange syne, indeed. Happy New Year’s to one, to all.

Mulled Apple Cider ♥ KitchenParade.com, how to mull apple cider with fruit and spices, turning everyday supermarket-variety apple cider into something special and irresistible.

You Might Wonder Be Wondering ...

Have another question? Ask away, I'll do my best to answer!


  • What Is "Mulled" Wine? Mulled wine is wine, usually red, steeped with spices; sweetened with citrus juice and sugar; and some times fortified with stronger spirits. It's served hot and is especially popular at Christmas in northern European countries.
  • What's the Best Red Wine to Mull? Aside from the obvious "whatever red wine that's already on hand," if you're buying wine especially for glögi, choose a dry, fruity red, a cabernet sauvignon, a merlot, a shiraz, a tempranillo, a malbec, a pinotage. Don't overspend, a $10-$12 bottle of wine will be lovely once the brandy, spices and fruit juice are added.
  • Can You Mull a White Wine? Yes! Just follow the same recipe.
  • What About a Non-Alcoholic Mulled Drink? Absolutely. I love Mulled Apple Cider, the fruit and spices turn supermarket apple cider into something special and irresistible, not just for kids and those who don't drink.

How to Drink Glögi Like a Finn

In Finland, glögi isn't a table wine. It's never served with food except perhaps a crisp, spiced cookie like Molasses Cookies.

Instead, glögi is an occasion of its own accord. And it's potent, best to stick to one glass!

  • A home might offer merry glasses of glögi to holiday carolers, warming hands and spirits.
  • On a snowy afternoon, you might meet a friend for hot glögi instead of coffee.
  • In an evening, you might sit by the fire or around a firepit after dinner, cradling a warm cupful.
  • If you host an outdoor party in December, you might offer two hot drinks in large vats, glögi and Homemade Hot Chocolate for a Crowd.
  • If you host a daytime holiday open house, keep a steaming potful on the stove.
Finnish Glögi, the Mulled Wine ♥ KitchenParade.com, served hot in Nordic countries during winter.



RECIPE for FINNISH GLÖGI
(Hot Red Mulled Wine)

Hands-on time: 20 minutes over 45 minutes
Time to table: several hours
Makes about 4-1/2 cups
  • 1 bottle dry red wine
  • 1-1/2 cups tawny port
  • 3 – 4 thin slices fresh ginger
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 6 cardamom seeds
  • 1 orange, zest and juice (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1/4 cup (50g) sugar
    TO SERVE
  • Currants or raisins
  • Whole almonds

In a saucepan, bring all the ingredients except the sugar just to a boil but do not allow to boil. Stir in the sugar and stir until dissolved.

If there’s time, turn off the heat and let the flavors meld for a couple of hours before serving. Glögi may be made 24 or 48 hours before serving, just cover and refrigerate. Before serving, return just to a boil but do not allow to boil. Remove the ginger and cinnamon. If you like (I don’t bother), strain out the spices and citrus zests.

To serve, drop a few currants and an almond into each glass and serve hot.

ALANNA’s TIPS Consider a double or triple batch, mulled wine is nice to have on hand for the holidays. My Dutch oven easily handles a triple batch.
NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Half Cup: 112 Calories; 0g Tot Fat; 0g Sat Fat; 0mg Cholesterol; 3mg Sodium; 10g Carb; 0g Fiber; 8g Sugar; 0g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS Old Points 2 & PointsPlus 1 & SmartPoints 4 & Freestyle 4 & myWW green 4 & blue 4 & purple 4
Adapted from The Best of Swedish Cooking (affiliate link). This is the 1995 edition, mine is the original edition published in 1983. It's a real gem for those with Swedish heritage.



A Menu for the Winter Solstice, New Year's Eve
or a Cold Winter Night

The Starters

Potato Bites with Smoked Salmon
Smoked Salmon Spread
Cranberry Orange Spread with Crackers
Black Pepper Almonds

The Main Course & Salads

Beef Stew with Cranberries
or Finnish Meatballs
Swedish Red Cabbage & Apples
(from A Veggie Venture)
Lighter Mashed Potatoes

The Sweets

Cranberry Apple Crisp
Finnish Fruit Tart
Mini Blueberry Tarts

After Dinner By the Fire, A Digestif

~ Finnish Glögi (Mulled Wine) ~
(recipe above)


Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, for more scratch cooking recipes using whole, healthful ingredients, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. If you make this recipe, I'd love to know your results! Just leave a comment below.

© Copyright Kitchen Parade
2009 & 2020 (repub)

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.

Comments

  1. Trust me, we're well into the middle of the glögg season over here already :D

    ReplyDelete
  2. Glogg sounds great and I can't wait to try it - but, please, no open houses or potlucks this (2020) holiday season.
    "Someday soon we all will be together
    If the fates allow
    Until then we’ll have to muddle through somehow
    So have yourself a Merry Little Christmas now"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amen, Sister! That said, I pulled this recipe out of the archives this week because my dear friend Ann and her family are gathering for Christmas -- outside! in winter! with heaters! and separate spaces for each family! My friend is in charge of the bar ... she thinks hot wine will go down verrrry easily.

      PS Your choice of carol is perfect. Consider it stolen! Have a lovely -- safe -- Christmas, GreenGrannie!

      Delete
  3. Anonymous12/19/2020

    Hi! You mention brandy when describing the types of while to buy but the recipe calls for port and doesn't say anything about brandy. Just want to confirm that I should be buying port, not brandy. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great catch, thanks for letting me know! The truth is, either one will work. My friend Ann is using brandy next week since she already has a bottle. But I’ve switched to tawny port because it adds to the fruitiness, not just the alcohol content. I also like the slight astringency that comes with tawny port. Some mulled wines are just sooooo sweet. This one is “less sweet”. Hope you love it! Thanks again for the eagle-eye edit. Have a lovely holiday ...

      Delete

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna