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Make Your Own Glögg Posted by on Dec 25, 2013 in Culture

With Christmas Eve behind us and Christmas coming to an end, it’s time to relax. And what better way to relax than with some glögg? Glögg is a Swedish mulled wine that people traditionally drink in December. It goes great with delicious baked goods. Luckily, Katja posted a couple of recipes for some of those delicious baked goods a while back. If you’re feeling motivated, give them a try, Lussekatter, Lussebullar and Lusselängd.

If you’re feeling really motivated, you can bake AND make some glögg. Everyone makes glögg their own special way. No recipe will be the same. No tastes will be the same, so have some fun with it. That being said, there are a few things that nearly every recipe will include. And you’ll find those below. A quick reminder, the recipe below includes alcohol. If you don’t drink alcohol, or if you’re not of legal age to drink alcohol have no fear! You can still enjoy glögg minus the booze. Just substitute grape juice or some sort of berry juice for the wine. It’s really that easy.

What you’ll need:
Cheap red wine (or grape juice)
Oranges (for the zest)
Cinnamon sticks
Cardamom seeds
Cloves
Allspice
Sugar
Blanched whole almonds
Raisins

What you might need if you want a bit more kick:
Vodka
Whiskey
Tequila

What you might need if you want a bit more flavor:
Ginger
Anise

What you might need if you don’t want to strain your glögg:
Cheesecloth

What you do:
Dump the red wine in a big pot on the stove and put the stove on a very low setting. Do not boil! Doing so will boil off the alcohol. Of course if you’re using grape juice, don’t worry about boiling off any alcohol, although you probably want to avoid boiling. There’s just no need.
Add your spices: orange zest, cinnamon sticks, cardamom seeds, cloves, and maybe even a bit of allspice. This is where you might want to use the cheesecloth.
Let warm/simmer for about 20-30 minutes.
Add the sugar.
Stir.
Let warm/simmer for another 10 minutes or so.
Taste.
Add anything you think might be missing.
Taste.
Here’s where you add that extra kick if you want it. Some people start with a solid amount of vodka, followed by a decent splash of whiskey and a smaller splash of tequila. Again, and I can’t stress this enough, glögg is a lovely drink and it absolutely does not need alcohol. Feel free to cut it out.
Taste.
Once your glögg is warm and tasting it makes you warm, you’re good to go. Serve in small mugs with a few blanched almonds and a few raisins added in. It’s delicious.

You’ll notice I did not add amounts. Of anything. That’s because it is totally up to you. Don’t let anyone tell you differently. It’s your glögg and your kitchen. You do what you want. As always, enjoy, but be smart and safe.

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About the Author: Marcus Cederström

Marcus Cederström has been writing for the Transparent Swedish Blog since 2009. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Scandinavian Studies from the University of Oregon, a Master's Degree in Scandinavian Studies from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and a PhD in Scandinavian Studies and Folklore from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He has taught Swedish for several years and still spells things wrong. So, if you see something, say something.


Comments:

  1. EK:

    Seriously? Cheap red wine?! The wine is the key to a good glögg! Use a good fruity full-bodied red wine, from southern France or northern Italy. Crappy wine = crappy glögg

  2. Marcus Cederström:

    I, obviously, disagree. But to each her own!

  3. Laura:

    Thank you so much for this recipe! I’ve been looking all morning for Swedish recipes in my English terms!

    • Marcus Cederström:

      @Laura Glad to hear it!