For all of my Scandinavian readers (yes there are a few), my Norse enthusiasts and general pagans it’s that time! Around the holidays is when I create my first batch of Glogg for friends and family. This year we aren’t having many guests but I will still make it. Now this drink isn’t for everyone, it has a lot of booze, but it is a traditional Scandinavian drink. Its origins are not precise but it goes back many, many years.
What is Glogg? Glogg is a hot spiced wine and liquor punch served in Scandinavian countries as a Christmas drink. It’s often served on St Lucia day 12/13 but has become most identified with the general “holiday season” So how do I make it? Below is a traditional Norwegian recipe that I have been using for years. I use Cognac, but you can use Vodka instead. Remember like any food or drink, the better quality of the ingredients the better the recipe turns out.
- 1 bottle of red wine
- 1 teaspoon cardamom or nutmeg
- 5 whole cloves
- 1 large sliced cinnamon stick
- 1 2-inch piece of ginger, chopped
- 1.5 cups white sugar
- ½ 750-ml bottle of Cognac
- ½ cup of raisins (ROUGHLY)
- ½ cup sliced almonds (ROUGHLY)
Heat the red wine slowly in a saucepot over medium-high heat. Put the cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and ginger in a spice bag (OPTIONAL, YOU CAN JUST PUT THEM IN) and add to the pot. Stir in the sugar until it dissolves. Let this get to a temperature of 175f. Then put in the Cognac, let it simmer for 5-10 min. This depends on the mixtures journey to 175, did it get very hot and you brought the temp down or did you bring the temp up slowly? When the Cognac was added how did the temp drop? This is really the only part of the recipe where you have to be mindful and pay attention to your creation.
After the simmer period (7 min approx.) remove from the heat, cover and let it steep for 1.5 hours. Strain the mixture of the non-liquid ingredients if you used a spice bag or cheese cloth remove it. Reheat slowly on a very low heat. This is a mulled wine it is supposed to be served warm or hot but not scolding/boiling. Warm enough to see slight wisps of steam rising from the glass.
You can garnish your cups with cinnamon sticks if you like, or powder the top with cinnamon. There are many recipes for Glogg out there, some vanilla based, orange, you can really be creative here.