A much as I always loved Christmas, the nowadays commercialised version of it just gets on my nerves. Year by year, shops are decorated with Christmas stuff even earlier, pervasive commercials make you feel as if the nuclear war is coming and you just HAVE TO buy all the presents NOW, at least a month in advance (not to mention omnipresent, nerve-wracking “Laaaaast Christmas” song putting it’s final touch to spoil the mood). Yes, it is somehow uplifting to see all of this beautiful decorations, and yes, it is nice to feel that soon you’ll get several days off your work, but for God’s sake why to start with all of it already in November? By early December I’m sooo fed up with all the “ho ho ho”, buy presents thingy, that I try to avoid shopping at the malls at all costs. However, I do like Christmas time as such, the time of anticipation for something special to happen. Nowadays, it doesn’t have much of a religious meaning to me but it is all about the family gathering, slowing down the pace, going back to the basics.
The Christmas time has a scent, a beautiful smell of cinnamon, cardamom and orange peel. Making mulled wine is one of those great Christmas traditions. In every country it is made differently and called differently, but the point is the same – to combine the wonderful aroma of Christmas with a delicious soul-warming beverage. Glögi, as it is called here in Finland, is THE thing that makes me feel like Christmas time has come. There’s nothing better than a warm cup of glögi in the evening. We usually are fine with a non-alcoholic version of it that is extremely popular here, but once the temperatures dropped below -15C we decided it’s time to make it “real” and spice it up with some booze The recipe comes from a finnish magazine Kotivinkki and it’s absolutely addictive
400g frozen raspberries
1/2 dl sugar
5 dl apple juice
2 star anise
1 piece of cinnamon bark, broken in half
10 green cardamoms, crushed delicately
5 dl white wine
1. Add raspberries, sugar, juice and spices to a saucepan. Boil on a small heat for about 10 min.
2. Use a sieve to separate the spices and berries from the liquid.
3. Add the wine and heat it up (do not boil!).