Glogg; A Mulled Wine Fit For Your Next Holiday Party

Author: Emily Tidwell

You know, there are somethings that no matter where you are, if you eat them or drink them, you just feel…home? Malt O’ Meal with lumps and brown sugar, for one, takes me back to my first day of 2nd grade, fresh pencils and learning new subjects… which gives me all the warm fuzzies but, that’s a different meal, different feel, for a different day. No, today I wanna talk about Glogg, a drink my family always served for Thanksgiving. My mom would make a vat of it, and it would sit on our backyard stoop, teasing me, with how delicious I knew it’d be. I’d go crazy until family finally came over and we could put it back on the stove and let its aroma fill our house. Pretty good leading description, eh?

But, Glogg…Glogg? What the *bleep* is Glogg? It’s a mulled wine, to put it plainly. Delicious, sweet nectar of the Nordic Gods is the way I’d personally like to describe it.  You can pronounce it ( with a U like “nut”, with an OO like “foot”) spell it (gløg, glög, glogg) drink it( with aquavit, or brandy), and make it (almonds, raisins, brandy, oh my!) a million different ways so, don’t let someone tell you it’s one way or the other. It can be all the ways, if you choose.

But, matter of factly, Glogg is red wine stewed with citrus and spices and served warm like the feeling it gives you after your first sip. Traditionally served during Christmas, this Swedish drink is an easy crowd pleaser. Orange, cinnamon, star anise, and clove are your main players in this cocktail. Mix with red wine (Cabernet Sauvignon is recommended) and apple cider; simmer on your stove top for ten minutes and bam, you’ll have the perfect holiday warmer. Now you might be thinking *what little kid gets excited about mulled wine? That seems iffy..* And you’d be right. But, my little Swedish family didn’t drink so, we’d make ours with grape juice! Let me tell you, it still tastes just as amazing.

A few key notes about making the perfect Glogg:

  • Red wine. Grab something like a Cabernet Sauvignon. Smooth flavors won’t clash with your spices and a lighter wine, like a Noir, might not give enough depth and your cloves or star anise might be too forward.
  • Don’t grab a fancy bottle of wine! You’re heating it, you’re adding spices, don’t worry about your vintage. I grab the cheapest bottle of Cabernet I can find.
  • Use whole spices. Ground is not the way to go when you are infusing flavors.
  • Star Anise can be difficult to find ( we searched 3 grocery stores before we found any for this recipe) in a pinch, you can use anise seed and fennel for a similar profile, or add Angostura Bitters. (Always start by adding smaller increments when adding unfamiliar ingredients)
  • Flavors will blend over time. If you plan on keeping this on your stove for a whole evening, remove stewing spices if you want to keep the flavor consistent, or keep in for added depth and character.
  • Add Brandy or Aquavit! 1 1/2 cups is the recommended amount per bottle of wine. See what suits you. Always start smaller, then go big.
  • Make it kid friendly! You can use grape juice in replace of wine. It will be just as yum.

Today’s recipe is one of the simpler to make for Glogg. Coming from Ina Gartner, it’s as close to my family unwritten recipe as I could find. Enjoy its simplicity and don’t forget to make a double batch, it’s gonna go quick!

Link to original recipe is HERE.

Glogg (Mulled Wine) Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Apple Cider
  • 1 (750-ml) Red Wine, ex: Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 orange, zested and juiced
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 3 star anise
  • 4 oranges, peeled, for garnish

Directions:

Combine the cider, wine, honey, cinnamon sticks, zest, juice, cloves, and star anise in a large suacepan, bring to a boil and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Pour into mugs, add an orange peel to each and serve.