Package up some DIY holiday hygge

A gift of gløgg

gløgg recipe

Photo: Daytona Strong
Top: The ingredients to gløgg are striking—with the right packaging they’ll make a great gift.

Daytona Strong
Taste of Norway Editor

During this time of the year, few things are as cozy as the smell of spices filling the house. I make multiple pots of gløgg throughout the months of November and December, as it’s one of the easiest ways to add a touch of hospitality and hygge to the home. I’ve perfected my recipe over the years, and I got to thinking recently that deconstructing it into a gløgg-making kit would make a great gift, especially for a host or hostess.

And if you don’t make multiple pots, this is a great way to make use of all the spices and dried fruit you bought to make one pot of gløgg for your holiday party.

Gather a few small food-safe decorative bags. In one, combine the raisins, figs. Place the cinnamon sticks, cardamom pods, cloves, and star anise in another. In the third bag, place the almonds, and add the sugar to the fourth. Tie each with twine or a pretty ribbon and place in a gift bag or basket along with a bottle of wine and a jar of the aquavit. Add an orange, which the recipient will use for the orange peel.

gløgg recipte

Photo: Daytona Strong
The finished product.

You include:

• ¼ cup raisins

• 8 dried figs, quartered

• 3 cinnamon sticks

• 10 green cardamom pods

• 2 tsps. whole cloves

• 1 star anise

• ¼ cup blanched almonds

• 2 tbsps. sugar

• 1 (750 ml) bottle red wine, such as cabernet sauvignon

• 1 ½ cups aquavit (or vodka or whiskey)

• 1 small orange

Clip the gløgg recipe on this page and include it with your gift. Or make it extra special by packaging the spices with a copy of The Norwegian American’s Taste of Norway cookbook—it also contains this recipe! See the ad on page G7 for information.

Daytona Strong’s Gløgg

1 ½ cups aquavit (or vodka or whiskey)
¼ cup raisins
8 dried figs, quartered
3 cinnamon sticks
10 green cardamom pods
2 tsps. whole cloves
1 star anise
2-inch piece of orange peel
1 (750 ml) bottle red wine, such as cabernet sauvignon
2 tbsps. sugar
¼ cup blanched or slivered almonds

The day before serving the gløgg, pour aquavit into a jar with raisins, figs, cinnamon sticks, cardamom pods, cloves, star anise, and orange peel. Cover and let steep overnight, swirling occasionally. After about 12 hours, strain the mixture, reserving spices and fruit. You can make it ahead up to this point or proceed immediately to the next steps (in which case you need not strain the aquavit).

When ready to heat the gløgg, combine spice-infused aquavit, wine, sugar, and reserved spices and fruit over low heat. Cover and let it slowly warm up for about half an hour, giving a stir and taking a taste now and then to see how the flavors are developing. Be patient and keep a gentle heat—you don’t want it to boil, or even simmer. When the gløgg is hot and the flavors have developed to your liking, ladle into mugs, ideally something clear and heatproof, adding raisins, figs, and almonds to each. Garnish with a cinnamon stick and slice of orange if you wish.

Note: The longer the spices stay in the gløgg, the stronger they will become. If you’re going to keep the gløgg on the stove for a while, you may want to remove the cloves, and maybe the cardamom and orange peel too, when it develops its proper flavor. If you have leftovers, strain into a jar, reserving the raisins figs and almonds. Reheat on the stove, with the reserved raisins, figs, and almonds, when ready to serve again.

Recipe by Daytona Strong of the Scandinavian food blog, Outside Oslo.
Visit for more Scandinavian recipes.

Daytona Strong is The Norwegian American’s Taste of Norway Editor. She writes about her family’s Norwegian heritage through the lens of food at her Scandinavian food blog, Find her on Facebook  (, Twitter (@daytonastrong), Pinterest (@daytonastrong), and Instagram (@daytonastrong).

This article originally appeared in the November 16, 2018, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.


The Norwegian American

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