Friday, December 18, 2015

Glögg / Glühwein Recipe: A Swedish & German Christmas Tradition

Mulled Wine Recipe
Christmas markets in Berlin, Germany last year
Three years ago, Nick and I hosted our first Christmas party in Minneapolis, and at this Christmas party he introduced me to a marvelous Christmas drink by the name of Glögg (Swedish) or Glühwein (German). Ever since then, and especially after the last two years at Christmas markets in Sweden, Denmark, Germany, and Paris, this has become a Christmas tradition of ours! In any case, now that we are back home in the U.S. and have made this for a Christmas party here, I figure it is about time to share our recipe!


  • 2 bottles red wine (Barefoot Cabernet works excellent, but it is up to you! Cheap is just fine, as long as you enjoy the wine normally it will be great!)
  • 1 bottle sweet white wine (Barefoot Moscato is what we use!)
  • 1 orange
  • 1 lemon
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 1/2 cup raisins or dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup blanched almonds
  • 1 cup sugar (more or less depending on taste)
  • optional: 1-2 cups vanilla flavored vodka (more or less, depending on taste & desired strength)
Step 1: Combine wines in large saucepan.
Step 2: Halve orange and lemon, squeeze juice into wine mixture. Be careful not to get lemon seeds in mixture!
Step 3: Add cinnamon sticks, raisins, almonds, and sugar. 
Step 4: Bring to a rolling boil. Once boiling, turn heat down and simmer for 15 minutes. Taste glögg, adding sugar as necessary to sweeten.
Step 5: Remove from heat. Add vodka just prior to serving. 

So there you have it with a delicious, authentic Swedish Glögg recipe! As you can see, glögg is relatively easy to prepare and only takes 20 minutes or so to whip up. It is the perfect holiday drink, and will make any room truly smell like Christmas! 

Now, for those of you who are confused, or have experienced glögg or glühwein yourself, you may be wondering if they are actually the same drink? In short, no, they are not. Both are a hot, spiced, mulled wine drink. Both glögg and glühwein have a wine base and spices added, but after this point the similarities end. Key differences between glögg and glühwein: glögg will typically have vodka added, while glühwein will typically have brandy added. Glögg will be heavier and have more sugar added, while glühwein is lighter, has more spices, and has less sugar added. 

It is important to note that depending where you are in Europe, and which recipe is followed, there can be other differences! I've experienced glühwein that does not have the added raisins and almonds. Personally, this is my preference, and I always strain these out of my holiday drink. This is most certainly a recipe that you can experiment with and change up based on your personal preferences. For those of you who have tried glögg or glühwein before, what is your preference? To anybody who hasn't tried glögg before, what are you waiting for? Whip up a batch today!

**If you liked this post, please pin it!**

Gluhwein Recipe

Saturday, December 12, 2015

My Top Travels of 2015

December is always a great month to do some reflection on the last year. Personally, this last year was a big one- personally, professionally, and certainly in terms of travel! I only visited two new countries, but was able to explore a lot more around my home turf right here in the U.S. Without further ado, here are my top travel moments in 2015!
Our spectacular view in Riga, Latvia
The other evening at wine club, a question was posed to Nick and I of which our favorite travel destination within the past year. I think I surprised not only him, but myself as well, when I instantly responded Riga. I don't know exactly what it was that prompted me to instantly respond with Riga. Perhaps it is the fact that Riga was such a unique destination for us, unlike anywhere else we had been. Perhaps it is that Riga is not thought of as a tourist-y destination. Perhaps it is the fact that we had a terrific long (truthfully, short) weekend traveling to, exploring, and traveling from Riga. Whatever it is, I absolutely I adored my time there. For anybody that ever has the opportunity to take a similar trip that Nick and I did, I highly recommend it! We traveled on a 12-hour ferry to Riga, had a full day there, and then headed back to our original destination. What a great way to explore new places!

Cobblestone streets of Stockholm, Sweden
Some people might argue that traveling to Stockholm doesn't really count as travel, as I was living just an hour outside of the city. Truthfully, I don't care what others say- because Stockholm is one of my favorite cities in the world, and I traveled there frequently, it counts as one of my top travels of 2015. February was my last visit to the city, when I traveled and met one of my family members whom I hadn't seen in years there. I was able to show him the city from an insider's perspective, giving him little facts and tidbits about the city that only somebody with intimate knowledge of it might know. I will always treasure the time I spent with him (and previous family members in 2014!), showing him around one of my new home cities.

After the hockey season, Nick and I were able to spend two weeks relaxing in the Dominican Republic. From scuba diving to zip lining, we did it all! I think scuba diving was both of our favorite activity. When we weren't on the go, absolutely nothing could beat lounging on the beach, fruity cocktail in hand, and watching the ocean waves roll.

The High Trestle Trail Bridge in Madrid
This post absolutely wouldn't be complete without a brief mention of Iowa. Certainly, I had never anticipated moving to Iowa - and certainly not this year! Nonetheless, we have ended up in this state. While Iowa may not be at the peak of your travel list, there are certainly some worthwhile things to do. Check out my posts on Des Moines and Jasper Winery for some more of my travels while living here in Iowa!

Hiking in LA
The month of July brought me to California for my very first time! I spent several days visiting a friend in LA, touring the area and going on gorgeous hikes. Oh, what a trip it was! While LA was not my favorite place in the world, it was so terrific to visit old friends. After LA came several days in Napa Valley, which for any wine-lover like myself is an absolute must! I can't wait to continue exploring new wine regions and vineyards around the world.

Lake Coeur D'Alene in Coeur D'Alene, Idaho
September took me to the beautiful city of Coeur D'Alene in Idaho. I've mentioned this before on here, but years ago I had heard that Coeur D'Alene was supposed to be stunning. When the opportunity came for Nick to take a work trip here, I tried to convince him to take me with. He didn't believe me on the gorgeousness of this city originally. Luckily for me, he did some research, discovered I was right (as always!), and just a few days before our anniversary that he revealed he was surprising me with a trip there. The rest, truthfully, is history as I quickly fell in love with this stunning city!

This year will wrap up with trips to Minneapolis and Northern Minnesota - Bemidji and Duluth, specifically. How was your year in travels, and what was your favorite destination?

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Currently // December Edition

Well, December is officially here and in full swing! It has been awhile since I've done one of these posts, so lets catch up on life lately around here!

Relishing: The fact that last weekend, Nick and I were able to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with both of our families. We hosted dinner at our condo, and had such a great time spending the holiday with family after the last several years abroad!

Anticipating: An extremely busy next 10 weeks! I have decided to double up on my MBA course load, so am taking two classes now- in addition to working full-time and running this blog! It will be an interesting, and busy, 10 weeks while I work on my courses. Fortunately, they are both marketing courses- in my field of choice- so I should at least enjoy them!

Experimenting: With new dinner recipes! Neither of us have a ton of time to prepare meals, but we are trying to find healthy, quick dinner options. If you've got any recommendations, send them my way!

Laughing: About this funny picture from tailgating for the Gopher football game last weekend! What started as a cute family picture with my brother, Goldy (school mascot) and myself, quickly turned into one of my favorite pictures as of recently!

Watching: Quantico and Blindspot. Both of these are great new TV shows, and I've become absolutely hooked! Of course, this is in addition to my typical TV shows of Scandal, The Blacklist, and Homeland. Good thing a couple of these (and Suits!) are on winter break right now or I wouldn't have time for anything but TV!

Collecting: Everyone's Christmas & holiday cards! Holiday cards are always one of my favorite things to receive and catch up with friends and family. Then again, I love any type of mail that isn't a bill!

Last year's pic, but skating with Nick is always a blast!
Enjoying: coaching hockey! Nick and I joined a hockey league down here on Wednesday evenings. Usually right before our hockey, the squirts (8-10 year olds) are out skating, and I've seen several girls out there. I talked with a couple of the other coaches and I'm going to start skating with them whenever I am able, just as a way to be present for the female hockey community. Yesterday was a blast and I'm looking forward to doing it more often!

Exploring: Different destinations for a quick getaway in the beginning of March for Nick and I. With both of us being busy at work and now my additional class load, our next trip might have to wait until my semester break! The countdown to March is certainly on!

Buying: Christmas presents. I'm late to the game (in my opinion!) this year and haven't yet completed my shopping. Hopefully I'll be able to do this by the end of next week!

And that is about it for me! I'm not going to lie, it's been quiet around here for awhile - all for good reason! Now, if you can stay patient with me, I promise one of these days I'll get around to telling a few stories. In the meanwhile, entertain me- what is going on in your life? Is everyone ready for the upcoming holidays?
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