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Spiced wine, the Scandinavian way.

Drinking wine with spices is an old tradition that has been around for over a thousand of years, now a common christmas tradition in many parts of Europe. Glögg is the northern European version of it, popular in the Nordic countries + Estonia. And if anyone wants a bit of Christmas feeling, northern European style, here is the recipe I use:

Day 1:
Add the spices to a jar. 5 pieces of cinnamon, broken into smaller pieces, 20 whole cloves, 1 teaspoon of lightly crushed cardamom seeds, a piece of dried ginger (2 cm or so) and a piece of dried bitter orange peel. Pour 100 ml of unflavoured alcohol over the spices. If you want to be authentic, use brännvin, but vodka will do fine. I don't think anyone will be able to tell the difference. Let the spices and alcohol rest at least overnight, but they will be fine for up to 2 weeks if you want to prepare it in advance.

Day 2.
In a saucepan, add one bottle of red wine (750 ml) and the alcohol (without the spices). Turn on the heat and and add 300 ml sugar while stirring to make sure it dissolves. As soon as the sugar has dissolved, heat the glögg to the prefered temperature and serve. Preferably with a couple of almonds and raisins in each mug.
If you want you can use a funnel and pour the glögg back in the wine bottle. Now you have ready made glögg for those times when you just want to pour a mug and put in the microwave.

It is commonly served as a pre-dinner drink, or after dinner drink or just for a christmas fika with some pepparkakor ("gingerbread") and lussekatter (saffron buns). Goes great with blue cheese as well. It can also be used as a cocktail ingredient. A classic is glögg royale, one part cold glögg and two parts sparkling wine. Or as a dessert ingredient. A popular christmas dessert is glögg poached pears. Peel a couple of pears, put in a saucepan with enough glögg to cover them. Let simmer until soft, serve with ice cream or whipped cream.

Posted by
86 posts

Thank you for this recipe! My parents lived in Sweden in the late 50's/early 60's due to my father's work, and my older brother was born there. My father used to make Glögg for us at Christmas. We now make it in his memory and toast him as we drink it. However, he made it using Aquavit as the alcohol, so that is what we've always used. Apologies if that is not the appropriate ingredient! Thanks again for spurring a fond memory.


Posted by
2731 posts

Thanks Badger for the authentic Glögg recipe.
One of my favorite desserts is poached pears that are simmered in wine. This sounds so flavorful & delicious. We are fortunate to have wonderful pears in WA. State.

Posted by
128 posts

Thank you for posting the Glögg recipe and additional suggestions Badger!

Posted by
4841 posts

Tack, Badger! We were going to make some last week, not as authentic, but didn’t have “ordinary,” everyday red wine, just a couple bottles of pricier wine, so we held off. Of course, if you want good results, use good ingredients, but we planned to save those bottles to have with meals. Maybe we should use one for your recipe. Skål !

Posted by
2085 posts

However, he made it using Aquavit as the alcohol, so that is what
we've always used. Apologies if that is not the appropriate

I've never heard that before. But to be honest as long you use some combination of spices, sugar and wine you are doing it right!

Maybe we should use one for your recipe.

I would not recommend it. The wine is overpowered by the spices so using expensive wine is probably a waste of money.

Posted by
2708 posts

Glögg is something that has carried down into the third generation of Swedish transplants in our extended family at Christmas...some with more liquor than others. Maybe one of us will go back to the source with this recipe for Christmas. Thanks, Badger.

Posted by
9717 posts

Gosh, I haven’t made glögg in decades! Used to serve it at an open house every year, but I never heard of the glögg royals. That will be on the menu when we can entertain next Christmas!

God jul everyone!

Posted by
161 posts

Thank you for the recipe. It sounds delicious and I’m thinking it would pair nicely with sparkling wine in a royale with a blue cheese appetizer on New Years Eve. Poached pears are always a good winter dessert. Skal!

Posted by
1234 posts

Tack så mycket Badger for the glögg recipe. I printed it and added to my recipe file for next year when we can have our annual Christmas party. God Jul!