Every winter, our national pasttime somehow turns into complaining about how it basically feels like midnight outside even though it’s only 4pm. But while most of us are hunkering down waiting for the winter to pass, people in Scandinavian countries have figured out how to make the best of those long, dark, and often snowy hours. They’ve learned how to embrace the cold by luxuriating in all things comforting and cozy. Many of us might be familiar with the Danish word hygge by now, but over in Norway, the love of cold weather comforts is known as koselig.
And at the top of the list of things that elicit koselig for the Norwegians is glogg, their winter-proofing beverage of red wine mulled with a mix of heady spices like cinnamon and orange peel. In most Scandinavian countries, glogg becomes the beverage of choice for parties, a quiet night in with friends, or as a post-dinner digestif in front of the fire. “Glogg is a beautiful thing,” says Darren Davidowich, co-owner of Hetta Glogg, a Kingston-based company making glogg in the traditional Norwegian style. “And glogg is perfect for the Hudson Valley lifestyle, given our weather and hobbies like skiing and hiking.”
At the base of Hetta’s glogg is port wine gently mulled with oranges, raisins, cinnamon, and cardamom. Brandy is added at the end to fortify the wine, a centuries’ old technique for giving wine a longer shelf life. When heated (as is customary), the result is a rich, velvety mulled wine that boasts the raisins’ complex, honeyed sweetness and cardamom’s verdant edge.
Cozying up with a warm cup of Hetta glogg—garnished with a sprinkling of extra raisins or sliced almonds if you’re feeling fancy—is a way to tap into your own feelings of koselig, like watching a snowstorm from the comfort of the couch or relaxing after a brisk hike or walk with the dog. It’s also great served as a gift, its sleek, clear glass bottle tipping its hat to the promise of holiday enjoyment inside.