Swedish Glögg (Mulled Wine)
Mulled wine, also known as spiced wine, is usually made with red wine along with various mulling spices and sometimes raisins. Many European countries have their own version of mulled wine. Served hot or warm, there are also non-alcoholic versions*. Mulled wine is a traditional part of Christmas celebrations in Europe and is always served at Christmas markets.
Glögg, gløgg, glögi and similar words are the terms used for mulled wine in Scandinavia. It is spelled gløgg in Norwegian and Danish, glögg in Swedish and Icelandic and glögi in Finnish and Estonian. The German version of mulled wine is called glühwein.
Glögg usually includes a generous splash of bourbon or vodka and the added aromatics of cardamom pods. Similar to glühwein, Swedish glögg traditionally strains out the spices prior to serving. A few blanched, slivered almonds and raisins are added to the mug before pouring in the mulled wine.
Yield: 4-6 servings
1 bottle red wine (cheap wine works well)*
Optional: 1 1/2 cup of bourbon (or vodka)
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons orange zest
2 tablespoons raisins (plus 1 teaspoon for serving)
1 tablespoon cardamom pods
2 tablespoons ginger (fresh root slice)
1 stick cinnamon
2 tablespoons almonds (blanched and slivered)
Garnish: orange slice
Combine the wine, bourbon or vodka (if using), sugar, orange zest, raisins, cardamom pods, a slice of ginger root, cinnamon stick, and cloves into a 2- to 3-quart pot. Heat to 175 F and let simmer for 2 minutes.
Remove from heat and let stand for 1 hour.
Strain to remove the fruit and spices and gently reheat.
Add a few almonds and raisins to each serving glass and garnish with a slice of orange.
The mulled wine can be made ahead of time, cooled and stored in the fridge until needed, then warmed up to serve.
*For a non-alcoholic version, replace the wine and bourbon with 2 cups each of grape juice and apple juice.