Monday, December 6, 2010

Swedish holiday classic: Glögg

Glögg is Sweden's version of mulled wine. It uses similar spices to traditional mulling spices but is kicked up a notch due to the inclusion of brandy and in some cases vodka (for those chilly Swedish winters, of course!

Even when I was little and didn't drink glögg, I loved when my mom made it because the whole house would smell like oranges, cinnamon and cloves. In Sweden during the holidays, people have glögg parties and serve the traditional wine drink paired with Swedish Christmas cookies. Below is a recipe that I've already made two batches of in one week. This is definitely a case where cheaper wine and brandy work great - there are so many spices and flavors that it would be a shame to use the good stuff. I promise - the end result will be delish. Enjoy, and skål!

Swedish Glögg
  • 2 bottles (1.5 liters) of red wine (Black Box Cabernet works great - I also use Vendage Merlot)
  • 1 liter inexpensive brandy
  • 15 cardamom pods
  • 8 whole cloves 
  • 2 cinnamon sticks ,broken into smaller pieces
  • 1 orange
  • 2 cups sugar 
  •  1/2 cup raisins, 1/2 cup almonds, 5 dried figs
Heat all ingredients in a stainless steel or ceramic pot.Be careful not to boil the mixture; just let it simmer for about an hour. Strain through a metal sieve or cheese cloth to remove spices and orange peel. Serve in small glasses (it's strong!) with raisins and blanched almonds.  Makes approximately one gallon.


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