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Cocktail of the Week | Gløgg


With Christmas and winter comes the continued love of mulled drinks.   There must be millions of litres drunk each year of mulled something. You could probably drink a different version of mulled wine each day in December. This week, we are taking inspiration from our recent trip to Copenhagen and this week’s cocktail of the week is Gløgg.

Gløgg in Denmark is a staple winter drink. As the borders through the Nordic countries moved regularly over the centuries, it is impossible to say whether it is a Danish started drink, a Swedish drink or German variation of Glühwein imported to Denmark. However it arrived, the Danes have made it theirs! There appear to be as many different versions of the drink as there are Danes! It is traditionally drunk with a Danish winter treat called Æbleskiver, a doughnut/pancake type dessert that is served many ways. We were told the traditional way is with strawberry jam and a sprinkling of icing sugar.

To make this week’s cocktail you will need;

  • Bottle red wine
  • Almonds slivered
  • 1 cup raisins
  • Your own version of mulling spices

To start, heat the wine, but don’t let it boil. Add the spices and allow the flavours to infuse for a short while before serving. You can buy premade versions of the spices and as there are many versions, any type of mulled spices will recreate the drink. To serve, pour the wine into a suitable glass or mug using a sieve to remove the spices if using your own. Add the raisins and slivered almonds to the drink and stir. If you are so inclined, you can add a shot of rum, brandy or any other spirit of your choice.

Gløgg is a great way to keep warm whilst taking a short break from the sightseeing across Copenhagen. The only tip we can give is that it is best to serve Gløgg with a teaspoon to get to the good stuff of the warmed raisins and almonds.


Orchard Blog | Gløgg
13th December 2016

Planning our trip to Copenhagen

Posted in Explore by
Copenhagen Planning

We are very excited, we have just booked for a long weekend in Copenhagen for the beginning of December.  This will be Calum’s second visit to the city, and Rich’s third. We pondered heading to another European city but after going through all the pros and cons of elsewhere we kept on coming back to Copenhagen. We loved it last time we went together and are looking forward to getting to know the city even better.

What to do?

We are visiting on the first weekend of December and are planning on doing our Christmas shopping in the City. Aside from that we have come up with some suggestions on what to do:

  • Wander around Tivoli Gardens to see the Christmas lights
  • Climb Rundetaarn for views of the city
  • Visit Amalienborg to learn about the Royal Family
  • Cross the Øresund Bridge to visit Malmö

Suggestions welcome!

What else do you think we should we do? Do you know of any great bars, pubs or restaurants that we should visit? And what should we eat and drink? Are there any must-see museums or attractions? We’d love to hear your suggestions, so let us know in the comments or drop us a message on any of our social media channels.  We look forward to hearing from you!


Copenhagen Planning

21st September 2016

Swedish Crayfish Party

Posted in Gather by

Last summer we turned our hand at hosting a Swedish Crayfish Party (Kräftskiva), a traditional party to celebrate the start of the crayfish season (find out more on the Swedish National Website).  Hosting a kräftskiva was a bit of a challenge seeing as neither of us have ever been to one, or had even eaten Crayfish, but we thought we’d give it a go anyway… if it all went wrong we’d just drink plenty of Akvavit.

Scandi culture is becoming ubiquitous nowadays, so with a between IkeaScandinavian Kitchen (we love this place!) and The Stockholm Deli we could find nearly everything we needed: Crayfish, Akvavit, crispbreads, cheeses, garlands & lanterns.  We decided against the funny hats, a decision we later regretted, as apparently this is all part of the tradition!  The only thing we couldn’t find is Dill Crowns which seem to be a key part, a bit of a shame but we survived without.

We started with Gravdlax on rye bread, not sure how traditional this is but it’s my favourite so we went with it! We then downed our first shot of ice cold Akvavit before getting onto the main event; plenty of crayfish accompanied with several salads, cheese pies, crispbreads and some herby mayonnaise.   Not being experience in eating crayfish, they took some getting used to, they are a bit fiddly but once you get in they are delicious.  But be warned they do make quite a mess, some sort of bib is a must!

To follow we had a Blackberry and Almond cake, we found the recipe in Fika: The Art of the Swedish Coffee Break, with Recipes for Pastries, Breads, and Other Treats.  A good book and a very simple and tasty cake! To finish off we found a selection of Swedish cheeses… and lastly for good measure we had some Daim bars!

We’d read that one of the keys to a successful kräftskiva are the drinking songs.  After a bit of research we found a simple enough tune for us to learn, Helan går, Luckily we also found the Phonetic transliteration, so fortified with some more Akvavit with gave it our best shot… not sure how successful this was (and apologies to our neighbours!)

 All in all it was a very fun evening, not entirely sure how authentic our Crayfish Party was, but we all had a great time!

 Take a look at some more images from the party below.

Crayfish Party 7Crayfish Party 9 Read more…

13th July 2016

Cocktail of the Week | Lingonberry Collins

There is really only one thing to say about the 24th June 2016, MIDSOMMAR! If you needed an excuse to have a cocktail, this excuse goes without saying! The Swedes enjoy a drink and Midsommar is the start of making the most of the warmth and sun! To be fair, winter is as good a time to enjoy a drink as well!

One of the most prevalent and probably, easily recognisable Swedish fruits is the lingonberry. It is a key ingredient in many dishes. You are likely to have had a lingonberry jam at Ikea when you stop to have meatballs in the restaurant. We bought a bottle of lingonberry syrup  on a recent trip to Ikea and tried to think of a suitable cocktail to use it with. After some thinking, and a rummage in the drinks box, we decided the best drink to make the most of the flavour would be a Collins based drink. Digging out the Vodka Collins recipe from a few weeks ago, we adapted it slightly to work for the lingonberry. It was handy to learn that this cocktail is quite versatile.

For the cocktail of the week, you will need:

  • A tall Collins glass
  • 1 Measure of lingonberry syrup
  • 2 Measures of vodka
  • ½ measure of lemon juice
  • Soda water
  • Ice

Start by adding the ice to the glass and adding the measure of lingonberry, followed by the vodka and lemon juice. Stir to mix the drink before adding the soda water to fill the glass. We did not use sugar syrup for this drink, as the sugar in the lingonberry was sufficient to compensate for it. We used a jug to make this cocktail as a welcome drink for the Midsommar dinner party we had with our friends and multiplied the mix by four.

There you have a Lingonberry Collins, our fusion of a vodka Collins and a Swedish staple. It was certainly one way to start the summer off in style!


Lingonberry Collins

Orchard Blog | Lingonberry Collins
30th June 2016

How to host a Swedish Midsummer Dinner

Posted in Gather by

Last year we went of a break to Stockholm and instantly fell in love with the city and the country. One thing we learnt about on our trip was the Swedish traditions surrounding Midsummer.  On our return home we decided that it would be fun to have a go at a Swedish Midsummer party ourselves. We had our first attempt last year and we enjoyed it so much we did it again this year. This is how we created our perfect Swedish midsummer dinner:


Midsummer’s Eve is the traditional holiday to mark the start of the short Swedish summer season, involving getting back to nature and celebrating the countryside. It is one of the lightest nights of the year and was thought to be magical.  Although summer solstace falls on the 20th or 21st of June, the ever-organised Swedes celebrate on friday between 19th and 25th June. It is a public holiday and most take the opportunity to get our of the city and get back to nature.  Traditional activities involve creating and dancing around a maypole, collecting wild flowers and eating the first strawberries of the season. Traditionally unmarried girls would go out and collect seven varieties of wild flowers, it was said that if they slept with these under their pillows they’d dream of their future husbands.


A Swedish party needs Swedish food.  Not having developed a taste for the traditional pickled herring we opted to go for a meal of gravadlax followed but meatballs. Gravadlax is salmon, cured in salt and dill, we served this with a mustard and dill sauce and some rye bread. For the main course Calum made Scandinavian style meatballs from scratch and served with a potatoes salad, a beetroot salad and a cucumber salad. We had some lingonberry jam and a cream sauce gravy.

For desert Calum made a Strawberry Cream Cake. This is a midsummer classic that includes layers of sponge, strawberries and cream. We followed this recipe but there are plenty of variations to choose from. After the gorgeous cake we had a selection of nordic cheeses including Herrgardsost, Ädelost and Prästost severed with some Scandinavian style crisp breads.


A bit of researched suggested that Sweden is more of a beer drinking country than a wine one so we served up ice cold larger.  But after a bit more further research and talking to the good people at the Swedish grocery store we decided we needed some Aquavit.  We opted to go with a bottle of Lysholm Linie Aquavit (which we subsequently discovered was Norwegian, but we’ll gloss over that fact). This aquavit is fascinating, after the potato based spirit is distilled and flavoured with some herbs and spices it is placed in old sherry casts.  These casts are then loaded onto the back of a ship and go for a trip around the world, crossing the equator twice. Each bottle has a code on it so you can see where your bottle stopped off on the way.  To accompany our aquavit we tried our hand at some Swedish drinking songs, with limited success!


In Sweden they create garlands and raise a floral maypole (despite midsummer falling in June) whist we didn’t go full out and create our own maypole we did pay honour with filling old jars full of flowers. We got some Ammi visage from our local florist, it has very similar flowers to Cow Parsley and looked great with our blue and white scheme.  We got our plates, glasses, lanterns and napkin (repurposed tea towels) from Ikea, and found some vintage cutlery and a lace table runner to complete the scheme.


We loved hosting these dinners and we had a great time both this year and last. We now think this Swedish midsummer tradition will become one we keep up in the years to come. Do you think of this summer celebration, let us know your thoughts in then comments.

Top Five | MidsommarSwedish Midsummer Swedish Midsummer

Orchard Blog | Swedish Midsummer
29th June 2016

Top Five | Midsummer

Posted in Top Five by
Top Five

We have reached Midsummer and the year seems to be whizzing past too quickly! Lets have a look at this week’s top five:


Top five | International Giraffe Day

It was the International Giraffe Day on the 21st June. Interesting fact, the Swahili word for Giraffe is Twigga (pronounced Twee-ga), which Calum knows as he grew up calling them that! Giraffes are such graceful animals and to have a day that promotes and celebrates them is a great thing!


Top Five | National Garden Scheme

Each year, Rich’s parents open their garden for the National Garden Scheme.  This charity donates all the proceeds from people opening their gardens for visitors to various charities. There are three houses in Horsell that open their gardens and the local allotments open to visitors as well.  Tea and Cake is also served for people to enjoy in the surrounds of the garden.  The week before is usually a hive of activity whilst Rich’s parents prepared the garden for the day.  Thankfully, we had a good day (no rain) and a good number of people came to visit.


Top Five | Deck Chairs

As we are in-between our own property at the minute, we are trying not to buy anything that could change the type of property we buy.  However, we have been eyeing up some deck chairs in Sainsbury’s for a while and on Saturday bought a pair. We love the look of them and hope that the garden we get will do them justice.


Top Five | Nordicana

As you might have noticed, we like a bit of Scandinavian style!  For Rich’s birthday, Calum bought a copy of the Nordicana Book.  It is a great book to start understanding the Nordic culture, history and traditions.


Top Five | Midsommar

25th June was Midsommar in Sweden and we celebrated this as best we could (not being Swedish).  We will go more into this in a blog post later this week.  It is traditionally the start of the holiday period in Sweden and the Country effectively shuts to celebrate.  We invited our friends Ben and Lauren over to celebrate and enjoy some much needed fun and happiness.

27th June 2016

London’s Best Scandinavian Cafes

Posted in Explore by

If you speak to us for longer than five minutes you will soon realise we are complete Nordophiles, our love of anything nordic is strong! Luckily for us London has a sizeable Scandinavian diaspora and with that comes a good selection of Scandi food and drink establishments. In the name of research we set out to discover London’s Best Scandinavian Cafes. Coffee and a cinnamon bun anybody?

Scandinavian Kitchen

Scandinavian Kitchen

Centrally located, Scandi Kitchen is our go to place for meatballs, fika and seasonal goodies. They have very friendly staff, and is often full of expats making this a happy and lively place to visit. The cafe also has a grocery section at the rear. Make sure you sign up to their excellent weekly newsletter to keep you up to do date, and with plenty of insight into all things nordic! (hint: they love Eurovision)



A Swedish bakery located in Covent Garden, Bageriet is tiny but utterly charming. An excellent selection of baked goodies and some wonderful staff make this great little stop off if you are in town. We are just waiting for an excuse to buy one of their mouth watering Princess Cakes!

Nordic Bakery

Nordic Bakery

If you are looking for some Scandinavian cool, head no further than the Nordic Bakery. They have three beautifully designed locations in the West End. Open all day, they serve up both sweet and savoury dishes. As is to be expected their bakery selection is excellent, we are particularly fond to their butter buns.



If you find yourself in Bermondsey be sure to head to Hej.  They serve outstandingly good coffee, best enjoyed with one of their delicious cinnamon buns. And their coffee should be good they are self confessed coffee addicts and run a coffee school on the site! Hej has a nice community feel with welcoming staff, a flower stall outside and pets welcome.



Located on Brick Lane, Fika is a cafe, bar and restaurant. Great for weekend brunches, and Scandi inspired dinner throughout the week. It has a great little roof terrace if you want to dine al fresco. They have lovely staff, it really makes a difference when it gets busy!

Cooper & Wolf

Cooper & Wolf

If you find yourself way out east head to Cooper & Wolf.  Located in Clapton, just across from Millfield park, Cooper & Wolf is a bit of a hipster joint with a strong community feel.  The menu has a selection of Swedish favourites including the classic cinnamon buns and some excellent meatballs.

Orchard Blog | London's Best Scandinavian Cafes
24th May 2016