This year, I skipped Thanksgiving and went to Denmark where Noma has transformed the national food experience over the past 10 years to be more than just pickled herring (but yes, also pickled herring!). Farm to table is front and center there, with families of restaurants designed to focus intently on different parts of a farm and its products. A bakery to employ the grains and, oh, how the country knows good bread! A dairy or creamery for milk, cheese and ice cream. Meats, veggies starring in small courses across all plates. Nothing is left out.
What's fun is that all of this great food is served in comfortable, casual restaurants followed by invitations to delightful cocktail bars, both of which underscore the centuries-old way of being that permeates every element of the national culture. First, is HYGGE, pronounced Hoo-guh or Hue-gah (for natives it is somewhere between the two). I have covered this before (because it is so delightful and because it was a novel idea on the US scene in 2016 -- see Gettin' Hygge-y Wit It). It's an easy practice to adopt. Light some candles. Wear cozy clothes. Get snuggly with those you love. Put a fire in the fireplace. Make some hot cocoa (or see below for a great alternative recipe!). Voila.
With a trip to Denmark under my belt, I decided to up the Hygge ante a bit by adding Glogg (say Glook where the k almost sounds like a g) to my repertoire. Essentially, it's mulled wine and it's delicious, cozy and everywhere in Copenhagen. They sell it from cute stands and stalls everywhere so it can warm you up whenever your Hygge is slipping.
Here's how you do it:
Add the following to a pot on the stove:
2 bottles of red wine
1 bottle of a sweet(ish) white wine
1 cup of Vodka
Juice from one orange
1/2 cup of sugar or more to taste
an optional dash of bitters, try a local homemade one if you can
Add the following ingredients to the pan by collecting them in a square of cheesecloth tied with a string:
peel or zest of one lemon, limit the white pith
peel of one orange, limit the white pith
cinnamon sticks, a couple will do
a bit of whole cloves, say 10 or so
a bit of fresh ginger, just a slice is fine
Heat it to near boiling and add a handful of yellow raisins and blanched almond spears. While these are optional, they are truly authentic. I tried it with and without. I prefer without, but I think they add some flavor, so opt to strain yours out. Feel free to add your own flair -- a cinnamon stick on the side, an orange slice, a star anise.
I can think of some very special Inns upstate where this would be a perfect addition to the wintery scene. But short of that, you will find it on my stove, should you chance to stop by.
If you are in the mood to make this, stop by and see Meg at Upstream Wine & Spirits in Livingston Manor or your favorite alternative spirit shop. If you need just the right glasses, head to the River Gallery in Narrowsburg. It's time to get your Hygge on with some Glogg!
XOXO Farm Girl