Scandinavians know a thing or two about keeping warm and staying in the holiday spirit. Their countries are what we think of when we picture a snowy Christmas scene (reindeer included), and their traditional holiday drink, glögg (pronounced “gloog” or sometimes “glug”), spreads holiday warmth and cheer—just heating the mix fills a home with an intoxicating scent. Shortened from glödgad vin which means “glowing-hot wine,” glögg is a steaming mulled-wine concoction with a high- alcohol content and a bite of spice.
The drink originated in Sweden and gained Christmastime popularity in the late-1800s. Today, though recipes vary, true glögg contains red wine, cloves, orange peel and cardamom. It’s dealer’s choice for additional liquors like brandy or vodka, but many purists add Aquavit, a Scandinavian potato-liquor. Port is another option that adds sweetness without being cloying. And almonds and raisins are common garnishes.
2 (750ml) bottles dry red wine 1/2 (750ml) bottle Port
8oz brandy or vodka
1/2 lb raisins
Peels and juice from 2 oranges 8oz sugar
7 cardamom pods
3 cinnamon sticks
(Optional: sliced figs, star anise pods)
Raisins and blanched almonds for garnish
Add ingredients to large saucepan over medium heat. Heat to a simmer, remove and let stand until cool. Strain and reheat then serve in mugs garnished with raisins and almonds. Add sugar to taste or brandy for “extra cheer.”