Old Fashioned Christmas Drink From Scandinavia...

What is Christmas without some good old-fashioned and traditional drinks?

Glögg is the Nordic version of Mulled wine usually made with claret and/or aquavit with spices, orange peel, raisins and sugar. I have worked this recipe using a more readily available spirit, but do try the original herby aquavit if available for a feel of the authentic experience. Serve home-made Glogg this Christmas and let your guests enjoy a merry time!

Interesting to know,

Glögg is a term used for mulled wine in the Nordic countries. It is known as Glögg in Norway, Denmark, Iceland and Sweden, and known as glögi in Finland and Estonia. This drink is associated with winter and the festive season, where it is often drunk at all Christmas events in the country. Glögg is generally served with raisins, blanched almonds and Ginger Snaps. In Sweden, gingerbread and lussebullar (also called lussekatter) a type of sweet bun with saffron and raisins, are typically served with this drink. In Denmark, glögg pairings typically include aebleskiver (which are the typical Spherical Danish pancakes) sprinkled with powdered sugar and accompanied with strawberry marmalade. In Norway, glögg is paired with rice pudding  where typically, the glögg is drunk before eating the rice pudding.

The main ingredients of the alcoholic glögg are red wine, sugar, spices (like cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, cloves), and bitter orange. The recipes vary widely and include variations with white wine or sweet wine such as Port or Madeira. The inclusion of strong spirits (like vodka, akvavit, whiskey or brandy) along with the wine, is common yet optional. The drink can also be prepared without alcohol, using fruit or berry juices instead of wine often using blackcurrants. Otherwise the wine is left to boil which evaporates the alcohol and leaving a non-alcoholic version instead. Throughout Scandinavia, both versions, the non-alcoholic and alcoholic glögg as well as ready-mixed spices and spice extracts can be purchased in the grocery stores.

To prepare glögg, spices and/or spice extracts are mixed into the wine, which is then heated to 60-70 °C. When preparing homemade glögg using spices, the hot mixture is allowed to infuse for at least an hour, often longer, and then reheated before serving. Ready-made wine glögg, as well as non-alcoholic varieties of the drink are sold in Sweden and Finland, ready to heat and serve. Glögg is similar in taste to modern Wassail or mulled cider.


Serves: 8
  • 1 750ml bottle dry red wine
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ½ cup vodka or gin
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • Large stick of cinnamon,
  • 2 cardamom pods, cracked
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 2 whole allspice pods
  • 2 tbsp dried bitter orange peel
  • ¼ cup blanched whole almonds


In a large saucepan, stir together wine, raisins, vodka and sugar.

Make a small bouquet garni (using a small double-thick 100% cotton cloth) place orange peel, cinnamon stick, whole cloves, allspice pods, cardamom pods in the centre of the spice bag. Fold and tie it closed with a string.

Add the spice bag to the wine mixture.

Heat the mixture to a simmer but do not boil.

Simmer gently, uncovered for 10 minutes.

Remove the spice bag and discard.

Just before serving, stir in the blanched almonds.

Serve warm.


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