In summer it was sima, now in winter it is glögi – Finland’s seasonal drinks are excellent!
Glögi is the Finnish version of mulled wine – for us the closest equivalent was Glühwein – made from grape (and/or red berry) juice, with alcohol-free versions available everywhere (if you’d prefer the “stronger” stuff, you’ll need to pop by your local Alko). Glögi is usually flavoured with cinnamon, aniseed, cloves and ginger, with more traditional incarnations containing almonds and raisons. Brigitte and I really enjoy glögi – it can be a bit sweet, but that is easy remedied by slight dilution.
There are a lot of different varieties – we’ve tried a few from our local grocery store, and have enjoyed Valio‘s vaalea (white / light) glögi. Stockmann’s concentrated glögi tasted a bit too strongly like blueberries – not unpleasant, but a little weak (I prefer the spicier versions). Marli’s glögi’s are good… but we’re still tasting and testing to find our favourite!
And the tasting and testing is unlikely to end soon, because after the “traditional” glögi’s there are the more exotic varieties. The excellent “Mämmi” blog gives its own history and explanation of glögi here, as well as receipes for all sorts of variants here, here and here.
Next week there will be two glögi events at my work – the first a get-together held by the international office, the second a special Christmas coffee-break at our department. I’m looking forward to it!