Gløgg, I do believe, is one of the best things that happens all year. Gløgg (it rhymes with lug not log, just fyi), the Scandinavian version of mulled wine, begins making an appearance in homes across that dark cold part of the world at the start of advent. Hygge, the Norwegian and Danish word for things that make you feel warm, fuzzy, cozy, and like you're basking in soft gold light, is an important part of how Scandinavians make the winter wonderful and enjoyable, and gløgg parties are the very epitome of hyggelig. Oh there ain't no party like a gløgg party, hey, ho, hey, ho...
So, grab some friends, and maybe a straw goat or two, and start a pot of aquavit-spiked gløgg warming on the stove. To keep things easy, you can serve a menu that has a couple simple, homemade show-stoppers complemented with Scandinavian foods that are easy to pick up from the grocery store. Maybe it's because of my job, but I like to serve a refreshing punch in addition to the spicy, warming gløgg.
Gløgg (serves about 6-8)
A traditional, and potently festive, Scandinavian version of mulled wine.
- 2 cups dry red wine, like pinot noir/burgundy
- 2 cups ruby port
- 1 cup Vikre øvrevann aquavit
- 1 whole orange, studded with 10 cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 quarter-inch thick slices fresh ginger
- 1/4 cup honey (plus more to taste)
- Combine all the ingredients in a heavy-bottomed pot, and heat over low heat for at least a couple hours to let the gløgg warm and the spices infuse. Don't let boil. Taste and add extra honey, if you'd like. Serve warm with raisins and almond slices in the mug, if desired.
Favorite punch (serves 6-8)
Sweet but not too sweet, fruity but not too fruity, this punch has a way of pleasing everyone...
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 12 oz. Boreal Juniper Gin
- 6 oz. Aperol
- 4 oz. grapefruit juice
- 4 oz. lime juice
- 8 dashes Peychaud's bitters
- 2 cups club soda (plus more to taste)
- In a serving bowl or pitcher, combine the sugar with 1/4 cup of the club soda, and stir until dissolved. Add the gin, Aperol, fruit juices, and bitters and stir well. Add a large piece (or a few) of ice, top with soda, stir again, and serve.
- Em's Mom's Norwegian Meatballs
- Roasted root vegetables with creme fraiche and parsley pistou
- Creamy rice pudding
- Rye crispbread
- Scandinavian cheeses like Jarlsberg and Danish blue
- Gravlax (or make it if you're feeling ambitious!)
- Pickled beets
- Gingersnap cookies