Traditional Swedish Glögg

December 21, 2010
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  • Makes 1 bottle of wine
Author Notes

Around the first Sunday of Advent, the glögg parties move into high gear in Sweden. Everyone loves the idea of warming themselves with a glass of hot glögg. It is my favorite warm drink after tea that is. What is glögg? Glögg can we compared to the German Gluhwein. But what makes glögg is its spices, cinnamon, cardamom and sugar, some also add gloves and orange peel. Then raisins and almonds are always the standard accessories poured into the cup with the hot glögg itself.

The tradition of drinking glögg at Christmas goes back more than hundred years. It those days you added spices to conceal the bad wine. In addition due to other diseases spices were added to help cure them.

The actual name glögg some from an old method of making the drink: you “glowed” it. First you put a sugarloaf on a closed-mesh grille, over a cooking pot containing the mixed spices, and then over this you poured wine and spirits. When the sugar was saturated you struck a flame, were upon the spirit caught fire and the sugar melted.

Then there can be no glögg party without the Swedish Pepparkakor “ginger snaps,” the spics for which are very much the same as those in the glögg. Today you can find “ginger snapps” in almost all grocery stores.


What You'll Need
  • 1 bottle of red wine
  • 5-7 whole cardamoms, peeled
  • 1-2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 small piece of fresh ginger (about the size of a quarter)
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • Few orange peel pieces
  • Vodka or dark rum (optional)
  • For Serving: Raisins and Almonds
  1. Pour wine into sauce pan, on low to medium heat, do not bring to boil.
  2. Stir in sugar and whisk lightly until sugar is dissolved.
  3. Add spices and orange peel and bring almost to a boil.
  4. Pull off heat and let cool overnight. Best results if you let it sit for 3 days.
  5. Remove spices, and if desired, add vodka or dark rum to taste.
  6. Reheat (do not boil!) and serve in cups with raisins and almonds.

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