Glogg, For A Cold Winter Night

The definition of Glogg according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary is: “a hot spiced wine and liquor punch served in Scandinavian countries as a Christmas drink.” So where do I sign up for some of this Glogg? Seriously. It goes on to say “Glogg is a holiday favorite in many Scandinavian cultures, where it is commonly served on St. Lucia’s Day (December 13) and all around Christmas time. Not surprisingly, the word glogg itself (sometimes written as “glögg”) is of Scandinavian origin; it comes from Swedish and derives from the verb glödga, meaning “to burn” or “to mull.” 

Oh, and if you think it is pronounced like “clog”, well, it’s not. It’s actually pronounced with a “u” sound more like chug, so it would sound like “glug”. Ok, hope that wasn’t too confusing.

Not Your Average Holiday Drink

If you just glance at “mulled wine” and “glogg” then you may just assume they are the same thing, but they most definitely are not. They certainly share some similarities. They are both served hot or warm, they are both spiced, and they are both definitely alcoholic drinks. However, Glogg goes a step further than a mulled wine. 

The Scandinavian drink adds a bit more alcohol to the mix. It doesn’t just stop at wine, it goes hard and adds in liquor as well. So a glogg is going to be a bit heavy handed when it comes to the old ABV %, and since it is usually made for parties and such it can sometimes be hard to know exactly how much alcohol is in it. 

Another cool thing about it is that it incorporates a food element into it. Dried fruits and nuts are added to the drink for flavor, but also to eat as well. In traditional setting they serve the drink with a spoon so it is easier to enjoy these booze soaked snacks. 

A Brief History Of Glogg

Glogg is a spiced, usually alcoholic drink, served warm. The original form is a spiced liquor that was consumed by messengers and postmen who travelled on horseback or skis in cold weather in Scandinavia. Making the drink begins by boiling water and adding spices to it. After a few minutes of simmering, the mixture is then sieved and blackcurrant juice, wine or clear spirits are added. The most common spices are cloves, cardamom, orange peel, cinnamon, and ginger and may also contain raisins or almonds. 

In shops ready-made glogg is usually based on grape juice, black currant juice, mixed fruit juice, apple juice or wine. There are also stronger, rum-based types of styles. Ready-made Glogg from shops is warmed up before use, but if it is wine-based or high in alcohol content, it should not be heated to boiling point. A number of different types of glogg are produced. Among them are alcohol free, mild and strong variants. Non-alcoholic glogg was originally just a children’s drink, but it is now commonly enjoyed among adults.

Making Your Own Glogg

Not only is this drink fairly easy to make but it will become an instant favorite once you do make it. It’s the perfect drink for late fall or winter. It will be especially welcome as the temperature starts to fall and the nights become colder and colder. It’s kind of like Sweden’s own Sangria, except instead of being a summer drink, it’s totally for winter. 

Traditional Glogg

Ingredients:

  • 1 bottle of red wine (red blends tend to work best)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons orange zest
  • 2 tablespoons raisins
  • 2 tablespoons almonds (blanched and slivered)
  • 1 tablespoon cardamom
  • 2 tablespoons ginger (fresh root)
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 8 cloves
  • Optional: 1 1/2 cup of bourbon (or vodka)
  • Garnish: orange slice

Steps to Make It:

  • Gather your ingredients.
  • Combine wine, optional bourbon or vodka, sugar, orange peel, raisins, cardamom pods, a slice of ginger root, cinnamon, and cloves into a 2 to 3-quart pot. Heat to 175 F (77 C) and let simmer for 2 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and let stand for 1 hour.
  • Strain to remove spices.
  • Gently reheat and add 1 teaspoon of blanched, slivered almonds and 1 teaspoon of raisins before serving.
  • Feel free to garnish with a slice of orange on the side. 
  • Enjoy!

If you enjoy a nice warm beverage than here are a few other recipes that might hit the spot for you and keep you warm when the weather is cold. It may be an adjustment if you’ve never had a warm alcoholic beverage but you’ll want to do yourself a favor and give Glogg and some of these others a try. You won’t regret it. 

Mulled White Wine with Mint and Ginger

Ingredients

  • 1 lemon
  • 2 bottles dry white wine
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 8 allspice berries (or substitute 8 cloves)
  • 3 whole star anise
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 6 cardamom pods, smashed
  • 1 2-inch piece fresh ginger, cut into 6 slices
  • ½ cup brandy
  • 1 cup St-Germain liqueur, or to taste
  • Whole nutmeg, grated (for garnish)
  • Mint stalks and blueberries (for garnish)

Directions

  • Scrub lemon well. Using vegetable peeler, carve large ribbons of lemon peel, then juice remaining fruit.
  • Add lemon peel, juice, 1 cup wine, sugar, allspice, star anise, coriander, cardamom and ginger to 3-quart stockpot or Dutch oven. Over high heat, bring to boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Add remaining wine, brandy and St-Germain. Heat until just below 170°F. Use a candy thermometer to measure temperature. Grate nutmeg over top. Garnish with mint stalks and blueberries.

Mulled Rosé with Ginger and Grapefruit

Ingredients

  • 1 ruby grapefruit
  • 2 bottles dry rosé wine
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 12 allspice berries (can substitute 12 cloves)
  • 3 whole star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick, 3–4 inches long
  • 2 teaspoons pink peppercorns
  • 1 2-inch piece fresh ginger, cut into 6 slices
  • ½ cup triple sec, like Cointreau
  • Whole nutmeg, grated (for garnish)
  • Grapefruit slices and cranberries (for garnish)

Directions

  • Scrub grapefruit well. Using vegetable peeler, carve large ribbons of peel from grapefruit, and juice remaining fruit.
  • Add peel, juice, 1 cup wine, sugar, allspice, star anise, cinnamon, pink peppercorns and ginger to 3-quart stockpot or Dutch oven. Over high heat, bring to boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Add remaining wine and triple sec. Heat until just below 170°F. Use a candy thermometer to measure temperature. Grate nutmeg over top. Garnish with blood orange slices and cranberries.

Mulled Ruby Port with Rosemary and Bay Leaves

Ingredients

  • 2 lemons
  • 2 bottles ruby Port
  • 2 cinnamon sticks, 3-4 inches long
  • 12 allspice berries (can substitute 12 cloves)
  • 4 whole star anise
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 6 dried bay leaves
  • ¼ cup brandy
  • Whole nutmeg, grated (for garnish)
  • Rosemary stalks (for garnish)

Directions

  • Scrub lemons well. Using vegetable peeler, carve large ribbons of peel, then juice remaining fruit.
  • Add peel, juice, 1 cup Port, 1 cup water, cinnamon, allspice, star anise, peppercorns and bay leaves to 3-quart stockpot or Dutch oven. Over high heat, bring to boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Add remaining Port and brandy. Heat until just below 170°F. Use a candy thermometer to measure temperature. Grate nutmeg over top. Garnish with rosemary stalks.

All Things Glogg

If this drink sounds like it’s right up your alley then here are some things you may want to consider adding to your home bar or kitchen. If you’re not a very good mixologist, try this. It takes all the thought out of making a Glogg. If you are quite the bartender then add a dash of class with these organic cinnamon sticks. If you want to give the gift of Glogg, this gift set is the perfect deal. If you do make your own Glogg, then put it in these cool glasses.

Cheers!

Here at hmmwhat2drink.com, we strive for a commitment to excellence. We enjoy our beers, spirits, and specialty drinks as much as the next, but we urge you to drink responsibly. These articles and recipes are intended for adults and as such, should be used in the proper context. So have fun, relax, but do it responsibly in your home or with a designated driver. If you have any suggestions please email us at hmmwhat2drink@gmail.com.

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