Glögi Nights


Patience is not a virtue that I possess in great quantities.  Especially not when it comes to Christmas.  At the first sniff of December I’m writing cards, listening to Slade and draping fairy lights over every plant in the house.  Saturday, being December 1st, was no exception.  After finishing my gift shopping (impressed?) and having a festive lunch with a friend, I headed home to have my own private pikku joulu party. 

Meaning ‘little Christmas’ in Finnish, pikku joulu is a term used for any pre-Christmas Christmas party.  A standard pikku joulu party usually involves copious amounts of alcohol, silly games and dancing till the wee hours.  Though I’m by absolutely no means averse to the standard pikku joulu, Saturday night was a far more mellow affair.  For starters the guest list consisted of me and me alone.  Candles were lit, presents were wrapped, joulutorttu were baked and glögi was consumed.  It was great!

Glögi (or glög, in Swedish) is a kind of mulled wine.  Moreoften that not it is spiked with koskenkorva (a clear Finnish spirit) but I’m a wimp when it comes to hard liquor and prefer to leave it out.  This is how I make it:


2 bottles of red wine

Peelings of one orange

6 whole cardamons, bruised

5 cloves

1 inch piece of ginger, halved

1 stick of cinnamon

1 cup of sugar

Raisins and sliced almonds to serve

  • Add wine to a large pan with the spices and leave to infuse overnight.
  • Add the sugar to the pan and heat gently until almost boiling.
  • Ladle into glasses or mugs and sprinkle in raisins and almonds.

PS The 2007 Food Blog Awards are taking place at Well Fed Network.  Nominations accepted until the 5th December.  I got my votes in just in time!  🙂


23 thoughts on “Glögi Nights

  1. Sounds yummy and good to get you in the christmas spirit. Must say your mega organised, im impressed. So far I have a grand total of two presents (which I didnt actually buy myself!) 🙂

  2. Glogi sounds yummy! Almost like our mulled wine with all the spices. I sometimes like to have my own private party also. That way I can put on Dave Mathews Band, dance and sing to my hearts content with no one to tell me how stupid I look! What a wonderful “outlet”. Just seeing the photo above, I am sure your house is looking quite “holidayish”!

  3. Love a party for one!

    Just a quick question…what kind of red wine did you use? Or does it not really matter? This is a stunning, pre-festivities recipe – and I feel much the same about hard liquor.

  4. fantastic glowing photo – red is such a warm christmassy colour! I would love to try your recipe – I have another similar mulled wine recipe which also leaves the wine to steep overnight but I like the sound of adding cardamoms and ginger to the cinnamon and cloves

  5. Gen – And you’re a lady of leisure this month too!

    Sophie – I love buying gifts and I love wrapping presents. Simply couldn’t wait!

    Deb – Haven’t heard of the Dave Matthews Band. Will listen out for them! 🙂

    Lucy – The story goes that glogi was first created to disguise bad wine. Cheap plonk is fine so long as it doesn’t give you a headache. I used a soft Californian Merlot. I’m reading from the bottle – don’t be fooled into thinking I know anything at all about wine. 🙂

    Johanna – Thank you! Hope you enjoy it. 🙂

  6. Dear wendy. I believe (though my little pocket dictionary doesn’t have this random a word in it) that the Russian word for mulled wine is ‘grog’. I like making links between words and geographic locations, I think Glögi, Glög and Grog sound fairly similar.

  7. Hi Wendy,
    I am VERY impressed that you finished shopping and wrapping the Christmas presents. I’ve only gotten as far as busy Christmas cards.

    This mulled wine recipe will come in handy. I still haven’t found one that I really like, so I would love to try this. It’s been raining here, so cooler than a typical summer day, so I have a good excuse to experiment with Glögi.


  8. That all sounds quite lovely…. but your third sentence totally distracted me….Christmas cards! I totally forgot about Christmas cards! Aaarrrgghhh!
    Maybe some of that lovely mulled wine would make me feel better….wouldn’t get the cards done, but I’d feel better!

  9. Nor I Wendy. The things I don’t know about wine constantly surprise me! ‘so long as it doesn’t give you a headache’ – brillant advice!

    By the way, I only just saw your link to the Well-fed Network. You brought a tear to my eye…you’re so lovely, Wendy.

  10. Little Miss Moi – I didn’t know that about the Russian word. I like knowing such things too. 🙂

    Nora – Bet it’s still warmer than our average summer’s day! Enjoy.

    Katie – It’s amazing how many things there are to do this month, isn’t it?

    Lucy – Well deserved, my dear. 🙂

    Susan – It fills the house with wonderful, wonderful smells.

    Christina – Had a very amusing pupil report writing session which involved one too many G&T’s. Haven’t tried wine and essay marking…yet!

  11. Sounds like a wonderful evening, Wendy. I like putting on the Christmas music, lighting the candles, and wrapping my gifts with no one else around. Your mulled wine would be a great companion. Happy Holidays, Wendy!

  12. Had a cup of glogi this morning at European Bazaar at Nile Hilton. The Finnish stand also had your cakes. I told them all about your blog. The glogi was yummy (don’t know how to do those funny symbols).

  13. Pingback: Piparkakut « A Wee Bit of Cooking

  14. The ingredients in Glogi are all my favourites. I’m going to try it for my Christmas party this year, especially as you said it fills the house with wonderful smells – how festive! It must be quite similar to the mulled wine we drink here in London. I’m already excited about organising my next party and its not going to be for another 3 months.

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