14 December 2008

Glögg: Liquid Fruitcake?

Have you ever had glögg? It's a Scandinavian drink, similar to a mulled wine but a bit thicker and sweeter. It contains all kinds of booze, sugar, fruit (normally raisins), almonds, spices. It's like liquid fruitcake. And perhaps (sigh) this is why a lot of people don't like it. I mean, I can understand that--a lot of people don't really drink warm alcoholic drinks, and it is mighty strong and sweet--a lot different, say, than a Miller Lite. But it is a really wonderful thing on a cold night. Cures what ails you.

A lot of people just haven't tried it. In Chicago, you can find it at Simon's in Andersonville. A couple of recipes here and here are similar to the glögg I've had--my ex-father-in-law made it with a similar recipe, and it was delicious. Skål!!


bb said...

2 bottles of wine and 1 3/4 liters of vodka? Wow! The only thing I don't understand is why you'd want to flame it. That would take out the alcohol, which sounds like the best part!

Anonymous said...


Gløgg is Scandinavia's variant of mulled wine and basically consists of hot red wine with spices and a dash of some kind of spirit, e.g. brandy, rum, vodka or aquavit

The word comes from German via Swedish and in Norway traditionally also called bisp.

The initial preparations for gløgg may be made the day before to allow the spices to develop.

The day before

1. Boil up 2-3 dl (about 1/2 pint) water with 100 g sugar and the following spices:
5-7 peeled pods of cardamom seeds
4 whole cloves
1-2 sticks whole cinnamon
Thinly shaved peel of 1 Seville orange
1 small piece of ginger, peeled and cut in two

Cover and leave to infuse overnight.

2. Pour enough of your chosen spirit to just cover 100 g raisins . Cover with a lid and leave overnight.

Before serving

Strain the boiled and cooled spice mixture into a large glass bowl
Add 2 bottles red wine (claret for preference)
Add the soaked raisins (and any remaining spirit)

Warm up to boiling point but do not boil. Add more sugar and/or spirit to taste.

To serve, put a teaspoon into cups or glasses, pour in the hot gløgg with a few of the raisins and some blanched and halved almonds.

Skål and Happy Christmas!