Fun Facts About Glögg
Spiced wine has been popular for over 3,000 years, even "The Iliad" mentions soldiers enjoying spiced wine with goat cheese.
Sources indicate that the Romans had a similar drink called "conditum paradoxum", which could be translated as "surprising spices". In a cookbook from the 300s, "De re coquinaria" (On the Art of Cooking), there is a recipe for the Roman "glögg".
Another precursor to glögg was "Hypocras", which was considered a health drink, or medicine. In writings from the Antiquity, there is mention of healing spices and herbs added to heated wine. Hypocras was named after Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine.
Sweden and Glögg
Sweden saw the arrival of glögg during the 1500s. King Gustav Vasa was the first famous person to have proclaimed "glögg" their favourite drink. "Lutendrank" was an early version of glögg.
The King inspired his son, Erik XIV, to also become a lover of glögg. For his coronation in 1561, Erik ordered 201 "kannor" (500 liters, or some 130 gallons) of glögg.
Glögg in the World
The Danish word gløgg is imported from the Swedish glögg. Early on it was called glødet vin which evolved into the word glødg, and is used today. Danes often serve it with aebleskiver (a Danish apple delicacy, served with sugar and jam).
The word glögg stems from the Swedish "glödgat vin", mulled wine, from the 1600s. Hanna Winsnes, born in Drammen in 1789, wrote Norway's first published cookbook, "Skrub", in 1845. It has a glögg recipe, to be served warm.
Glögg came to Finland via Sweden. During Finland's Prohibition (1919-1932) glögg drinking vanished almost completely. When the prohibition was done away with, glögg was advertised in magazines directed to the Swedish-speaking part of the Finnish population. Hence, in the 1950s-1960s, drinking glögg was enjoyed almost exclusively among that part of the swedish-finish population. A decade later, recipes for glögg started appearing in Finnish magazines as well, and since then, most of Finland has incorporated glögg in its Christmas celebration.
German-speaking people drink "gluhwein", a warm, spiced wine. In English, it is called "mulled" wine. The French and Swiss name it "vin chaud", and the Italians "vin brulé" (French for burnt wine). Romania: "vin fiert"; Serbia: "kuvano vino"; Poland: "grzane wino"; Slovakia: "varené vino"; Russia: ”глинтвейн”, Czech Republic: "svarené vino"; Slovenia: "kuhano vino"; Hungaria: "forralt bor"; Brazil: "quentao", and in Chile it is called "navegado".