Fall is officially here, and that means hygge season! All things cozy, snuggly, and extra comfy are here to stay. (that is until Spring, I suppose). Hygge has become uber trendy in the states over the past year or two, but has been a Nordic staple for much longer.
It’s so ingrained into the Denmark culture, in fact, that it’s difficult for Danes to even explain hygge without using the word hygge. Hygge is happiness or contentment, and the country proves it by being named #1 happiest country several years in a row.
So, what is hygge?
Hygge loosely translates to cozy. It’s much less a what and more of a feeling or ambiance. Think chilly night inside with a homemade blanket, warm drink, dimly lit room next to a wood fireplace surrounded by friends. Add some candles, and you have a hyggelig good time.
Fall and Winter are perfect for have a hygge gathering or enjoying some time to yourself even. Create a space that is relaxed and inviting, and hygge shall ensue. According to The Little Book of Hygge, Danish Secrets to Happy Living, by Meik Wiking, the hygge manifesto includes:
Atmosphere — Set the mood with dim lighting and candles. Here are some of my favorite clean-burning candles.
Presence — Be present. Turn off phones, televisions, and other distractions.
Pleasure — Find a sweet treat to enjoy. I recommend chocolate of any kind.
Equality — Share the time with others.
Gratitude — Be grateful for what is immediately in front of you.
Harmony — Keep conversation light and friendly.
Comfort — Relax. Enjoy the moment.
Truce — Ditch the drama.
Togetherness — Reminisce with loved ones.
Shelter — Find a place of peach and tranquility. An area that is familiar.
To enjoy the ultimate hyggelig evening, invite some friends over on a chilly evening, light the fireplace and some candles, make a decadent chocolate dessert, snuggle under a knitted blanket with your comfy pants and sweaters on, and chat about the good ol days with thee ultimate comforting drink; mulled wine.
Here is my favorite recipe to warm your belly and heart. You are sure to have a hygge-good evening with this in hand.
- 2 small oranges, juiced and peel cut into strips
- 1 lemon, peel cut into strips
- 1 lime, peel cut into strips
- 1 tbsp raw honey
- 2-3 cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1-2 bay leaves
- 1/2 tsp grated nutmet
- 1 vanilla pod, halved and seeded
- 1 bottle of natural red wine
- 2 star anise
- Place the cut peel for all fruits in a large pot and add honey, cloves, cinnamon stick, bay leaves and nutmeg.
- Add vanilla pod and orange juice. Pour in just enough wine to cover all ingredients.
- Bring to a simmer and dissolve honey. Increase heat and boil for 5 minutes or until a syrup-like consistency has been reached.
- Add the star anise, followed by remaining wine. Warm through.
- Serve in glass or mug of choice and garnish with extra cinnamon stick, bay leaf, fruit strip, and star anise.
- Natural red wine can be found at most liquor stores. It should contain no added sulfites. It's not necessary to use an overly expensive wine.