Glögg (Basic Swedish Recipe)

  • Base Spirit Wine
  • Preparation Punch
  • Flavor Holiday Flavors
  • Served Hot

Glögg is a traditional Nordic riff on mulled wine popular during Christmas time. Legend has it that King Gustav I Vasa favored a drink called glödgad vin which translates as “glowing-hot wine.” According to materials from Stockholm’s Wine & Spirits Museum, ol’ Gustav was drinking a heated punch of wine, sugar, honey, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and cloves by 1609. By the mid-19th century, the drink was commonly truncated to glögg with the OED citing 1870 as the first written references.

In contemporary times, glögg consisting of heated red wine mixed with cinnamon, cloves, and some sweeter hard liquor, is still ubiquitous across Scandinavia. For a better understanding, we turned to our favorite Swede: Leo Lahti of the critically acclaimed Stranger in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Lahti also noted that libation’s popularity is inseparable from fika which is something like the Swedish answer to high tea. Said cultural institution normally involves taking a coffee & sweets break with family, friends, or colleagues. “ Fika is such a big part of everyday life here, so we’re always looking for an excuse to drink something warm and eat something sweet,” he joked.

What about those sweets? According to the Swede, glögg goes hand in hand with gingerbread of Lussekatter, a vaguely cat shaped, saffron flavored bun with raisins. In addition to the pastries, glögg gere is classically served together with blanched almonds and raisins. Drinkers add these accoutrements to their mugs to soak up some flavor.

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Lahti supplied this basic, Swedish style recipe.

Print Recipe
Glögg (Basic Swedish Recipe)
  1. Mix Rum, Cognac, Port, and Raisins together. Let the batch sit and infuse for 24 hours.
  2. Add to a pot together with red wine, cinnamon and cloves.
  3. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and continue to simmer for 30 minutes.
  4. Strain and serve while hot!

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