Nordic Advent with Glögg

Author: Caroline Brandelious   Date Posted:7 December 2019 

Nordic Advent with Glögg 

It’s time to light candles, heat up the mulled wine and eat plenty of crispy gingersnaps. This time of the year the words “hygge” and “mys” really comes into play in Scandinavia. Four Sundays before Christmas Advent is celebrated. Snuggle up on the couch and make your home cosy, warm and enjoy a warm drink with yummy treats. 

Advent is all about cosy lights and brightening up one of the darkest months in Scandinavia. Advent always takes place on a Sunday, the four Sundays before Christmas Eve. The main idea is to light one candle each Sunday in December and when all four candles are lit Christmas has arrived.

The whole tradition of celebrate Advent goes back to the Christian religion where advent means “coming” and it is the countdown of Jesus to be borne. Advent also involves fasting for a lot of people and praying in the waiting of Jesus arrival. 

There are special candle holders made for Advent. There are several ways to decorate these candleholders. A very traditional way is to fill the candle holder with dried moss, but it is all up to your creativity to decide what your candleholder should look like. It is also traditional to put electrical candles lights for decorations or big lamps in shapes of stars hanging in the windows. 

Feeling the warmth from the candles and all the decorative lights, is just as important as feeling the warmth on the inside. Advent is the time when you drink “glögg” a mulled wine. This warm drink is normally spiced with anise, cloves, cinnamon, and cardamom but there are hundreds of variations. It can be made using wine, cognac, cider, whiskey or in an alcohol free version. The glögg is always served with a few raisins and peeled almonds in it. 

It is very common to invite people to an Advent-fika. Which means a cup of coffee with saffron buns, gingerbread, glögg and other Christmas inspired cakes and treats. Even in schools and at workplaces they celebrate Advent in advance on Fridays, just to make sure they don’t miss out on all the joys of advent. 

In a lot of Swedish homes Advent-Sundays are also a day to make some art and crafts for Christmas and other preparation like making Christmas lollies or baking gingerbread. If you are an ambitious person the famous gingerbread house is a perfect activity to do on an Advent-Sunday. Here you can go absolutely crazy in your fantasy and build any kind of dream house. Don’t get disappointed if it doesn’t turn out the way you wanted it to be. That is normally what happens to everyone, the best part is still left when you can eat it all up when Christmas is over. 


Stockholm Glögg:


750 millilitres red wine

6 cloves

1 cinnamon stick

1 piece dried ginger

1 star anise

100 gram light muscovado sugar 

50 millilitres cognac

Peel from one orange

Raisins and peeled almonds



1.- Pour the wine in a bowl or pot, add cloves, cinnamon stick, ginger, star anise, orange peel. Cover the bowl and leave it for 24 hours. 

2.- Heat up the wine on low heat (don’t boil), add sugar and cognac.

3.- Strain the glögg and serve it warm with some raisins and peeled almonds in it. 


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