I fell in love with hot drinks as a child. Their warm sweetness welcomed me after an afternoon of playing in the snow. A fixture in our house on the weekends was the old Betty Crocker Crock Pot filled with apple cider (nonalcoholic) and left to stew with spices and lemons. The smell wafted through the house. So deep is this memory the smell of apples and spice warms me from the inside.
One December I found myself in Sweden where friends convinced me to try the traditional glögg, a warm spiced wine, at the local Julmarknad in Skansen instead of my beloved spiced cider-which was also on offer. It was a wonderful grown up version of my childhood spiced cider that made it the perfect drink on that evening. A light snow was falling as we wandered the stalls in total darkness at 5 pm, munching on reindeer that had been cooked over an open fire while admiring all the handcrafted goods. The setting was the definition of Christmas, everyone should get to spend a bit of Christmas in a Nordic city.