04 Dec

Glögg: Traditional Swedish Mulled Wine

There’s nothing more delightful than a seasonal drink that can warm anyone’s cockles. Mulled wine is a classic, but if you’re thinking of exploring some different mulled drinks this year, then look to Scandinavia. The Swedes went and took mulled wine one step further with their national winter recipe – Glögg.

Mulled wine is synonymous with brisk countryside walks, bonfires, muddy boots, smoky log fires and dark evenings. While every country across Europe has its own version of mulled wine, we can’t help being rather fascinated by Glögg, the traditional Swedish drink.

The main difference is that there is a lot more alcohol in this boozy warmer than normal mulled wine recipes. It’s drunk throughout the holiday season and because your average Swede will usually have numerous Glögg parties to go to during Christmas, servings are usually in a smaller glass to stop things getting too ‘heavy’. Flushed cheeks and big smiles are guaranteed with Glögg.

Pronounced ‘gluug’, the Swedes traditionally add dried fruits and nuts which is eaten with a small spoon, and it’s normally accompanied with thin gingersnaps. Cardamom is also a distinguishing spice not usually found in other mulled wines. Finally, it’s commonly made the night before to let the flavours meld together.

There doesn’t seem to be one ultimate Glögg recipe, as different ingredients and methods are used across different regions – but if you want to make a truly authentic drink you should use Akevitt – a Scandinavian spirit that is usually flavoured with caraway or dill. It’s tricky to get hold of outside Nordic countries, so brandy or vodka will also work.  

YOU WILL NEED

  • Burgundy or Pinot Noir wine, 2 cups
  • Port, 2 cups
  • Akevitt (or use brandy or vodka), 1 cup
  • Water, 1 cup
  • Unrefined cane sugar, ½ cup
  • Cinnamon sticks, broken in half x2
  • Cloves, whole x6
  • Cardamom seeds, crushed x6
  • Orange peel, thinly shaved
  • Small piece of ginger, peeled and cut in half
  • Handful of blanched almonds
  • Raisins, ½ cup

METHOD

  1. Soak the raisins in Akevitt, brandy or vodka for 30 minutes.
  2. Put a large pot on the stove, over high heat. Add the water and sugar and stir with a wooden spoon until the sugar is completely dissolved.
  3. Lower the heat to medium and add the cinnamon, cloves, cardamom seeds, orange peel, and ginger. Stir and do not allow the mix to come to a boil from this point on.
  4. Add the Akevitt and raisins, along with the wine and port.
  5. Once heated through, remove the orange peel and then gently mull on a medium-low heat for at least 1-2 hours.
  6. Strain, garnish with raisins and slices of blanched almond, and serve hot off the stove in glasses that have previously been warmed with hot water.
  7. Note: The drink can be made a day ahead and kept covered, on the stove, at room temperature. Reheat before serving.

(Source – www.norwegianamerican.com)