On Dec 13th, a special Swedish tradition called St. Lucia takes place where an elected Lucia wears a crown of candles (of course nowadays it is powered by batteries, especially when it’s supposed to be worn by small kids), and dressed in a white gown with red girdle comes with her handmaidens and star boys, singing the Lucia Song. St Lucia brings light to the darkness of the world. I fell in love with it when I first saw the Gothic version of St. Lucia in Absolut Vodka’s Nordic legend advertisement series.
Since the Middle Ages Swedish people have been known to drink glögg during Advent, a spiced mulled wine. The word “glögg”comes from an older verb “glödga” which is not commonly used in Sweden anymore and it means “heated up”. The drink is usually served warm, and comes in different flavors, but the most common one is made of red wine and different spices, and this helps fighting the cold in chilly winter. Almonds and raisins also go with the wine, as well as ginger thins (a thin gingerbread-like crackers). “Glögg” also has a non-alcoholic version which is made from the juice from dark berries instead of red wine. In the winter time it’s easy to get “Glögg” in the local market or a grocery store in Sweden. In China, of course the best place to find it is Ikea. You can warm the bottle in a pot of hot water, then serve the warm contents. Or, you can also try to make it from scratch. ;-)
|Glögg – Swedish Mulled Wine|
Kitchen Gadgets: Saucepan
- 400ml French red wine
- 1/2 cinnamon stick
- 2 tsp orange peel
- 5 whole cardamom
- 3 cloves
- 2 tsp sugar
- Put all the spices into a tea strainer, place the strainer in the saucepan then pour in the wine.
- Turn on the lowest heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Serve with almonds and raisins! And of course ginger thins if you have any.
Even though it’s heated there might still be some alcohol left in the glögg, so if you’re sensitive to it, replace the red wine with red grape juice, but remove the sugar.