When it’s Christmas time in Sweden, you can expect more than just snow. You can expect beautifully wrapped gifts, normally completed with a final touch of a written rhyme. The rhyme is traditionally written on a tag attached to the gift and gives a subtle hint of what’s inside.
Sometimes, families gather to spend time writing rhymes together (they like to call this ‘Rimstuga’) and indulge in some Glögg – a delicious mulled wine Swedes share at Christmas to help warm up a cold winter’s day or night.
This Christmas, be inspired by our gorgeous wrapping ideas – and why not try your hand at preparing some Glögg for the family.
What you’ll need:
750ml dry red wine
10 cardamom pods or 1/2 teaspoon cardamom seeds
2 cinnamon sticks
1/2 orange peel (fresh or dried)
1/4 cup dark raisins
1 cup sugar
How to do it:
1. If you’re using cardamom pods, crack each pod open slightly with a knife or nut cracker. Leave the seeds inside. This is so the flavour can escape.
2. Pour the port and red wine into a large stainless steel pot. Add all your lovely spices, including the raisins and orange peel. Cover and simmer.
3. In another pot, add your sugar and half of your brandy and stir, over a low-medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Let this simmer for another 15 minutes, until the sugar starts to caramelise and the bubbles get bigger.
4. Add your sugar mixture to your wine mixture. Stir, then cover and let it simmer over a low heat for about 45mins – 1 hour.
5. Taste your Glögg. If you need to, add more sugar or brandy. Only a little at a time, until you’re happy with the flavour.
6. Strain to remove the spices and dried fruit. Pour into small cups and add raisins and blanched almonds before sipping away.