Are you ready for a mug of warming and enchantingly fragrant, piping-hot mulled wine — Finnish style? If you want something special for these holidays, make a batch or more of this Authentic Finnish Mulled Wine Spice and whip up a Nordic version of mulled wine that we Finns call “glögi.”
What is mulled wine?
I bet every country has its version of mulled wine. During cold months, nothing warms better than a steaming-hot spicy drink — with added booze. For kids and those who don’t consume alcohol, alcohol-free versions of these cozy drinks are available — they just tend to be pretty sugary!
However, converting mulled wine into a keto version is really easy. The spices are naturally keto, and if you consume alcohol, you can choose dry red wine and sweeten it with a natural keto-friendly sweetener. For a non-alcoholic version — which I prefer — you can use dry non-alcoholic red wine and sweeten it accordingly. 100% cranberry juice diluted with water and sweetened with a natural non-caloric sweetener is another wonderful alcohol-free option.
A traditional mulled wine recipe often consists of wine or cider heated with a mix of warming, wintery spices. Many recipes also use sweet juice and added liquor like brandy, vodka, or rum. The Finnish version, glögi, has a specific combination of spices and a certain way of preparing the drink.
Whichever mulled wine recipe you are going to make, be sure to use whole spices, as ground spices won’t incorporate properly into your drink.
How to make this Authentic Finnish Mulled Wine (Glögi) Spice Mix
Making this Finnish version of the mulled wine spice mix is easy. The traditional spices are cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, cloves, and bitter orange (this one is important!), so my recipe uses them as well — except I use Ceylon cinnamon instead of the regular cassia cinnamon.
Naturally, there are various glögi spice recipes nowadays because it has been a huge trend for years to tweak traditional recipes into “interesting” novel variations. Well, I think tweaking traditional recipes is simply a trick to sell more magazines and get clicks to recipe pages. The magazines and websites seem to be competing on who invents a fancier tweak of a traditional recipe — which nobody tries in the end because everybody wants the traditional recipe anyway, not those awkwardly peculiar modern tweaks!
That’s why I wanted to keep my mulled wine spice mix recipe as traditional and authentic as possible. I just fine-tuned the measures to my liking. If you want to tweak this recipe to your liking, please check the Tips for Variations section at the end of this post.
But, let’s take a look at what you need for one batch of Authentic Finnish Mulled Wine (Glögi) Spice Mix that is enough to season 1 quarter (1 liter) of liquid. As we Finns have our own way of preparing glögi, I will give you directions for that as well.
So, for one batch of my Authentic Finnish Mulled Wine (Glögi) Spice Mix, you’ll need 2 Ceylon cinnamon sticks…
…1-inch (2.5-cm; 1/2 oz = 14 g) piece of fresh ginger, thinly sliced…
…1 tablespoon cardamom pods…
…1 tablespoon crushed dried bitter orange peel…
…and 1/2 tablespoon whole cloves.
Combine them in a small bowl or jar, and that’s it!
How to use the spice mix the Finnish way to make glögi: Heat 1 quart (1 liter) of your preferred keto-friendly liquid until piping hot. I prefer dry alcohol-free red wine sweetened with a combination of powdered erythritol and stevia.
A saucepan works best for heating.
Now the liquid is piping hot. Don’t let it boil, though!
Add the spice mix.
Here we go.
Cover with a lid and let infuse for 1 hour.
Filter out the spices and reheat the liquid until piping hot. Serve with blanched almonds or almond flakes and raisins (you don’t have to eat them; they are for decoration purposes only!).
How I came up with this easy keto spice mix recipe
I’m all about authenticity and traditional recipes — converted into keto. You might be familiar with my Authentic Finnish Gingerbread Spice Mix. It’s my to-go recipe whenever I need the best gingerbread spice for my gingerbread cookies, gingerbread smoothie, gingerbread mug cake — you gingerbread name it!
To be honest, I haven’t been happy with the commercial Finnish glögi spice mixes because they 1) are not organic and 2) contain regular cassia cinnamon instead of non-toxic Ceylon cinnamon. Therefore, inventing my own glögi spice mix sounded like a good idea. I could simply buy organic spices and mix them into my favorite combination to season my glögi.
Since I already knew which spices I wanted to use, coming up with the best ratio was surprisingly straightforward. I actually just used my gut feeling and ended up with a very nice spice mix that I have already made in several batches!
In fact, I’m planning to use it in a mulled wine spiced keto cheesecake which I’m going to make for the holidays, so, very soon!
Here’s the recipe for you to enjoy:
- 2 sticks Ceylon cinnamon
- 1-inch (2.5-cm; 1/2 oz = 14 g) piece of fresh ginger, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon cardamom pods
- 1 tablespoon crushed dried bitter orange peel
- 1/2 tablespoon whole cloves
- Combine all ingredients in a small jar. Use in your keto mulled wine creations (see the post on how to make Finnish glögi.)
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Brewer's Best Bitter Orange Peel 1 oz.
Organic Way Premium Dried Ginger Root Cut & Sifted (Zingiber officinale) - Organic & Kosher Certified | Raw, Vegan, Non GMO & Gluten Free | USDA Certified | Origin - India (1/4 LBS)
SPICE TRAIN, Handpicked Organic Cloves Whole (283g/10oz) USDA Certified Premium Cloves from South India in Resealable Zip Lock Pouch | Antioxidant, Perfect for Cooking, Smoothies, Pomander Balls & Tea
The Spice Way Cardamom Pods- ( 4 oz ) Whole Green Cardamom Pod kosher by OK
SPICE TRAIN, Organic Cardamom Pods (100g/ 3.53oz) +8mm Large size Green Cardamom Pods/Elaichi | Rich in Vit A & Antioxidants | USDA Certified Organic & 100% Raw from India in Resealable Ziplock Pouch
True Organic Ceylon Cinnamon Sticks, 08 ounces Bulk Bag, USDA Organic & Kosher Certified, Non-GMO, Ceylon Cinnamon stick, Perfect for Baking, Cooking, Drinks & Beverages, Pure Ceylon Premium Quality [8 Oz]
Organic Ceylon cinnamon sticks, True or Real Cinnamon, Premium Grade, Harvested from a USDA Certified Organic Farm in Sri Lanka 1 oz / 28 g (3" cut 6 to 7 sticks) | This is not cassia and ceylon cinnamon is not stronger in flavor like cassia
Tips for variations
You can certainly give as much variation to this spice mix as you want — it might not be just the authentic Finnish version anymore! That said, I’ve seen Finnish glögi spice mixes containing spices other than the ones mentioned above.
And naturally, you can add any spice or seasoning you like to this spice mix. Well, maybe you’ll try out my recipe first and then tweak it to your liking. Here are some ideas of spices that go well with mulled wine:
- Dried lemon peel
- Dried regular orange peel
- Chopped vanilla pod
- Whole star anises
- Allspice berries
- Black peppercorns
- Whole nutmeg (careful with this one as it might cause nausea if consumed in high amounts!)
By the way, you can prepare batches of this spice mix, place the mix into small transparent bags or tiny glass jars and give them as pretty presents. Just be sure to use dried ginger or dry the ginger yourself before packing the spice mix.
Another way to make this recipe a pretty present is to cook glögi concentrate. To make the concentrate: Use just 1 cup (240 ml) of your favorite keto-friendly liquid (like alcohol-free red wine) and sweeten it with an easily dissolvable natural sweetener like stevia, monk fruit, or powdered erythritol. Heat the mixture and let the glögi spice mix infuse for 6 hours. Filter out the spices and reheat the liquid until boiling. Transfer into sterilized bottles. When preparing the glögi, dilute in a 1:4 ratio (concentrate + water).
This week was again really busy, mainly with Ketokamu activities. I’m back home from the trip to beautiful Kustavi and the charming cottage there.
We launched a Ketokamu Christmas game which became an instant hit. Moreover, we also launched sachets of our strawberry and lime-seasoned Ellu electrolyte drink. I wrote all the texts (like newsletters and social media posts) and took photos for the launch and related giveaways.
The sachets were sold out from our Ketokamu online store almost instantly, but luckily, people can get them from many grocery stores.
Now, I’m preparing for the holidays, which means my favorite hobby: baking! I have a huge list of keto baked goods which I’m going to bake next week. Can’t wait!