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Photo: Calvin Sit

Drink This: Glögg

Chef Jaakko Sorsa of Finds in TST reveals his personal recipe of how to make this Scandinavian Christmas treat

Written by
Douglas Parkes

“Glögg is a very important Christmas drink in Finland. If you visit anyone’s home or a restaurant in December, the first thing you get is glögg. Everyone has their own recipe. There are as many different recipes as there are meatball recipes.

Typically, the base is red wine, water and sugar, all spiced with cinnamon and cloves. For wine, I use pinot noir, since it tastes quite like blackcurrants. I always like to use different berries, so this year I’ve thrown in raspberries as they’re quite tangy. Using these berries helps build layers of flavour. That way, it’s more difficult to find out what’s in there, it’s like a magic potion. It’s nice to add some orange and lemon, too. For this I use the peel, not the dried kind – I find they’re too bitter. I always like ginger, so that goes in too. Cardamom isn’t very common but I enjoy the scent, so I add that as well.

You want to heat the glögg to about 70 degrees in order to keep the alcohol. After that, you can cover it and just leave it. Ideally for at least three hours to get all the flavour out of the ingredients. It doesn’t even need any extra heat afterwards. Towards the end, add some berry wine. For special guests I would choose cloudberries, since they’re extremely fruity. The final step is the hard liquor. In Finland we often add vodka to ensure there’s a kick in case too much alcohol accidentally evaporates off. You don’t need to add it to the saucepan, just put some in each cup and pour the glögg over it. It gives off a nice scent and helps give everyone nice red cheeks!”


750ml red wine
25g raspberries
100ml berry liqueur
50ml of your spirit of choice (can be vodka, whisky, gin, etc)
50ml Honey
Cinnamon sticks, orange and lemon peel, ginger, cardamom, cloves (to taste)

1. In a pot, heat the red wine together with all the seasonings and berries. Heat it to no more than 70 degrees so the alcohol doesn’t evaporate. Turn off the heat.
2. Let it sit for three hours, then strain at the end.
3. Add 50ml of your chosen spirit to the cup, then pour on the glögg.
4. Add almonds and raisins to the cup as a kind of snack, if hungry.

Drink some glögg here

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  • Tsim Sha Tsui

Feeling thirsty? Try chef Sorsa’s glögg and other Scandinavian delights here in Tsim Sha Tsui.

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