No Christmas celebration in Sweden is complete without some Glögg (or Swedish Mulled Wine). If you haven’t tried it yet, no worries, there is no need to travel to Northern Europe to enjoy it. You can easily make it at home!
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What does glögg mean?
Glögg is a warm, spiced drink that is popular in the Nordics during Christmas. You will always see it in family gatherings, as well as office parties — where they serve it at the start of the main event, while everyone is ‘warming up.’ 🙂
The smell and the taste of glögg, it’s simply perfect for Christmas.
Be warned, though, when you prepare this at home; your entire kitchen would smell so good, you wouldn’t want to leave!
IF YOU WANT MORE TRADITIONAL CHRISTMAS DISHES FROM THE NORDICS, THEN YOU WILL LOVE THESE POSTS!
- Orange – some prefer to add orange slices instead of just the peels when making glögg. However, it gives it a bit of too much orange flavor for me, so I only use the peels.
- Spices – cinnamon, star anise, cardamom, and cloves.
- Red Wine – go for any young, dry red wine, not the bold or sweet kind (like Lambrusco).
Remember that you will add spices to it, so it will be more challenging to balance the flavor if they have deep, oaky taste.
- Sugar – regular, white sugar is all you need for this glögg recipe.
- Almonds and raisins – you need both for serving.
Start preparing your glögg by placing a medium-sized saucepan over low heat.
Pour both bottles of red wine into the saucepan (photo 1).
Add orange peel, cinnamon, star anise, cardamom, and cloves (photo 2).
Add sugar (photo 3).
Mix until sugar has dissolved (photo 4).
Cover with a lid and continue simmering for about twenty minutes, mixing occasionally. Do not let it BOIL!
Take the saucepan off the heat.
Transfer it into a jug or bottle and let everything soak for at least two hours (ideally up to twenty-four hours).
When ready to serve, strain the spices and heat the glögg — enjoy with some raisins and blanched almonds.
- Other liquor. Traditionally, cognac or brandy are added to glögg.
A lot of locals still do, just not my preference. But if you love those liquor, then go ahead and enjoy!
But traditionally, glögg is served warm (not boiling). The warmth, coupled with spices’ aroma and flavor, is part of what gives you that warm, fuzzy feeling when drinking it.
They refer to the same thing, except gluhwein is how they call it in Germany.
Oh! And it’s called ‘vin brulé‘ in Italy. 🙂
Boiling will definitely cause most of the alcohol to evaporate.
Nothing wrong with that if that’s what you prefer. I see quite a lot of no-alcohol glögg sold here in Stockholm as well. So, it’s not an anomaly at all.
If you keep it sealed in a container, it will stay fresh for about 3 to 5 days. Just keep it refrigerated, then warm it up when serving.
See how easy it is to make glögg at home? So, give it a go this weekend and let me know!
Glögg Recipe (Swedish Mulled Wine)
- 2 bottles red wine, (750 ml each)
- 1 medium orange peel
- 4 sticks cinnamon
- 3 pcs star anise
- 15 pcs cardamom pods
- 15 pcs cloves
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup raisins (for serving)
- 1/3 cup almonds, blanched (for serving)
Preparing Swedish mulled wine:
- Place a medium-sized to a large saucepan over low heat and pour the wine into it.
- Add the peels, cinnamon, star anise, cardamom, and cloves.
- Add the sugar and mix until completely dissolved.
- Continue simmering for 15 minutes — but do not let it boil.
- Take it off the heat, transfer the wine into a bottle or jug, and let everything soak for 2 to 24 hours.
Serving homemade glögg:
- Strain the spices and heat the wine (again, do not boil).
- Pour into serving glasses or mugs.
- Serve glögg with some almonds and raisins.
- Cook’s Tip #1: Make sure you do not boil the wine when making glögg. It causes most of the alcohol to evaporate.
- Cook’s Tip #2: Use young, dry red wine instead of sweet or robust variety.
- Cook’s Tip #3: If you prefer a more orangey flavor in your homemade mulled wine, use orange slices instead of orange peels.
- Cook’s Tip#4: Cognac or brandy are traditionally added in glögg, so feel free to do so if you like it.