When we think about food type of presents for Christmas, we often go straight for the chocolates and biscuits. Yet there are many wonderful Christmas drinks that can be shared with friends, and the Scandinavian classic drink, Glögi, is certainly one of them. There are as many variations as there are drinkers, but the one thing they all have in common is that it is hot and full of spices. You may think it is madness to be drinking it in the middle of summer, after all, it is usually cold and snowy where it’s traditionally enjoyed, but to me, this really is Christmas in a cup and I have not gone a year without it.
This drink goes equally well as a pre-dinner drink when you have friends over, or as something to be enjoyed with the whole family over a plate full of gingerbread biscuits. My personal favorite, however, would be one spiced up with a bit of vodka after the kids have gone to bed, accompanied with a gingerbread biscuit topped with a slice of nice blue vein cheese. Again, I know this may sound strange to you, but I urge you to try, as all the flavors – the sweet, the rich, the crunchy and the spicy complement each other perfectly.
Pick up a glass bottle from the dollar shop (or Ikea if you’re lucky enough to have one near you) and print out a Christmassy wine bottle label from the net, and you’ll have a present that didn’t cost the earth but that will be surely appreciated.
2 cups water
¼ cup sugar
2-3 cinnamon sticks
15 whole cloves
8 cardamom pods, crushed
3cm piece of ginger, peeled
1l grape juice (or any red juice of your choice)
(Optional extras: red wine or vodka)
Serve with natural sliced almonds and sultanas.
Put water, sugar and spices into a pot. Bring to boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Cool down and strain to remove the spices.
If not serving straight away, add the syrup into the grape juice and put in a nice bottle. Store in the fridge. Otherwise add the juice into the pot as well and heat up.
For children as those not using alcohol, serve as is heated up, with a teaspoon of each sliced almonds and sultanas mixed in the mug.
For adult version, add 1/3 of red wine or 2cl of vodka on the bottom of the glass and top with hot juice.