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Tomte with Spiced Wine
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Tomte with Spiced Wine

Early Romans and Greeks enjoyed spiced (or "mulled") wine. A recipe from the 4th or 5th century AD appears in Apicius' "De Re Coquinaria". Extraordinary Spiced Wine ("Conditum Paradoxum") was made much as today, but with honey and a more limited set of spices. The drink was a winter favorite served hot, but was also enjoyed cold with meals.

The drink survived the Middle Ages and into modern times almost everywhere in Europe. It is known by many names.

Although the wide range of sweeteners, fruits, spices, and alcohols available today facilitate innovation, the major changes over the centuries have been the use of sugar instead of honey, and caramelization of sugar by torching with brandy (or other alcohol). Caramelization was first recorded (as "glödgat vin") in Sweden in 1609, but probably originated in Germany (as "Feuerzangenbowle").

During the Romantic Era in Sweden, spiced wine (Glögg) became very popular and was associated with Christmas. Tomtar were often featured on Glögg bottle labels.

Inside of card:

It's cold outside.
Wishing you holiday cheer!

*all cards sold with envelopes

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Tomte with Squirrels

Tomte with Squirrels

It is late afternoon on an autumn day. The sun hangs low near the horizon and bathes everything in an eerie orange glow that seems to come from everywhere. The trees have lost their blanket of snow, but a thin smooth sheet still clings to the ground.

Tomtar had a deep affection for all animals and often provided treats for animals around the farm. Here one sits among Scandinavian squirrels, who are greedily devouring the pine nuts he has provided.

The sentiment for the card echoes our own alarm at how quickly the season has arrived.

Itʼs almost Christmas already!
Wishing you the happiest holidays!”

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