Last year, we fell in love with ‘Hygge’: the Danish concept of a cosy and comfortable moment in time. Now meet ‘Lagom’, Hygge’s Swedish cousin offering us all a more balanced, contented way to live. Here’s your Clos19 guide to embracing your inner Scandinavian, learning to appreciate the smaller things in life, sharing the simplest moments with your circle and being much, much happier for it.
Hearing about ‘Lagom’ for the first time is like being given permission just to stop, sit for a moment and have a nice cup surrounded with your closest friends. So perfect in its simplicity, the concept comes from the Swedish proverb ‘Lagom är bäst’, meaning ‘enough is as good as a feast’ or, more literally, ‘just the right amount’. Lagom is about everything in moderation from the sugar in your coffee to how late you stay at work, but this does not mean having to accept a dull life of mediocrity as we strive to be average; it’s about embracing a less complicated, less extreme life for one that’s more balanced and contented, focusing on community rather than the struggle by the individual to get to the top. Lagom says it’s ok not to be constantly striving for more: more money, more acclaim, a bigger this, a smaller that… Now, tell me you didn’t feel your shoulders physically drop with relief as you read this.
Scandinavian soul: Hygge vs Lagom
With the world feeling just that bit more overwhelming than it did before, more and more of us are looking to the (seemingly) effortlessly happy Scandinavian way of life. It started during the winter of 2016, when we reached for over-sized wool jumpers, slipper socks and hot mugs of cocoa by an open fire as we searched for the perfect ‘hygge’ moment; a concept brought to us by the Danish. The Swedish concept of Lagom however, is less about a moment, but more a series of moments spanning a lifetime where if we all just take exactly what we need, the world will be a better place.
Sipping Scandinavian style: hot hygge cocktails
Both Lagom and Hygge are about those little things in life that make it just that bit more cosy, so as the temperatures dip outside, let’s get started by by lighting candles, putting on those cashmere socks and sitting soft with a perfectly balanced, hot cocktail with just enough spirit to add flavour without going over the top:
Toddy with a twist
A single shot of whisky or cognac in hot water, such as Glemorangie The Original or Hennessy V.S. is a classic recipe that you can add a little more excitement to without adding more booze. Just throw in a few splashes of flavoured syrup along with the traditional squeeze of lemon.
Find the full recipe here:
In a pan, over low heat, mix together one bottle of malbec mixed with 15 cL Hennessy VS cognac, one cinnamon stalk, a few pinches of ground nutmeg, two teaspoons of clove, four teaspoons of honey and one orange, sliced. Stir slowly and serve in a cup.
Find the full recipe here:
Butterscotch Hot Chocolate
Put the ‘scotch’ into butterscotch with this deliciously balanced hot cocktail: mix a single shot of spicy, Glenmorangie whisky with a shot of butterscotch syrup, then pour most of it into your hot chocolate saving some to drizzle on the top. This flourish works best over a small squirt of cream.