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Glogg – Scandinavian Mulled Wine

on December 10 | in Drinks, Entertaining, Food, From Ben, Holidays, Recipes | by | with 25 Comments

Every Christmas while I was growing up, my dad’s side of the family would get together and have a Norwegian family Christmas, complete with krumkake, rice pudding and listening to my grandma speak with her brothers and sisters in Norwegian. I may not be fluent in the language any time soon, but I do hope to continue celebrating my family’s Scandinavian heritage – and Christmas is the perfect time to do just that.

My sister has been making glogg (pronounced gloog) the last few years for the holiday season. Popular in Scandinavia, glogg is a hot mulled red wine. It’s often served on Christmas, but it’s the perfect drink to enjoy on any winter day by the fireplace with friends and family.

Different Scandinavian countries have their own tried and true versions and there are a myriad of glogg recipes available. The recipe below is an ode to my Norwegian roots – with a bit of my own American twist. Feel free to change it to fit your preferences by adjusting the sugar, spices, fruit or alcohol (red wine is a must, however). The only other things you need are a cold day, warm fire and great company!

How do you celebrate your family’s roots during the holidays?

Makes about 1/2 gallon

1 bottle (750 mL) red wine
1 bottle (750 mL) port
1-2 cups brandy
2 cinnamon sticks
6-8 cardamom pods
10 whole cloves
Peel of 2 medium oranges
1/2 cup of raisins
1/2 cup blanched almonds
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, quartered
1/2 cup turbinado (raw) sugar

1. Pour wine and port in a pot. Add cinnamon, the seeds from the cardamom pods, cloves, orange peel (reserving some for garnish), raisins, almonds and ginger. Warm gently over low heat, being sure not to boil.

2. Mix the sugar and the brandy in a separate pan. Warm over low heat, melting the sugar and allowing it to caramelize and become slightly syrupy.

3. Once the sugar has melted and caramelized, add the sugar/brandy mixture to pot with the wine and spices.

4. Cover the pot and let the mixture mull over very low heat for 1 to 2 hours.

5. Once the glogg has mulled, strain out the spice and fruit ingredients.

6. Pour the glogg into mugs, garnish with an orange peel and enjoy!

7. Glogg can also be re-bottled and aged for a couple months. To do this, simply pour mixture into wine bottles and seal very tightly.

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25 Responses to Glogg – Scandinavian Mulled Wine

  1. Claudia says:

    My sister-in-law married a Swede so we’ve had glogg for the past two Christmases – but we’d also been mulling wine before that, can’t wait to have some warm goodness during these chilly nights!

    • Sarah | Offbeat & Inspired says:

      I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed glogg the last few years! Do you have any other glogg variations you enjoy? I’m excited to experiment a bit more this year and see how other people make it.

  2. This sounds like a really interesting mixture, Sarah! Your photos totally make me want to go hunt out these ingredients to try them even though I’m not a wine drinker!

    Sadly, I haven’t carried on some of our family traditions where food and drink are concerned. However my sister still makes my grandma’s melt in your mouth ammonia peppermint cookies and willingly shares, thank goodness!

    I do whip up a big batch of pepper nut cookies, which is of our descent, however my family never made them… except for my sister. Thanks goodness for sisters…

    • Sarah | Offbeat & Inspired says:

      Glad you enjoyed the post and the photos! I love good cookie traditions. I think cookies are next on my winter cooking agenda!

  3. Christen says:

    This looks amazing. And, being of Norwegian descent, I feel I must do my part by creating and partaking of said amazing-ness! Thanks for the recipe!

    • Sarah | Offbeat & Inspired says:

      Drinking glogg is definitely a must if you’re Norwegian. I hope you enjoy it! It’s fun to experiment with different glogg recipes, too. If you make any delicious variations, I’d love to hear about it!

  4. Susanne says:

    Hi, I just found your blog and I’m Swedish :) . I didn’t know they had glögg in Norway as well!! Can’t wait to have some this weekend. Here there are tons of different sorts of glögg to buy, one more weird than the other, lol!

    • Sarah | Offbeat & Inspired says:

      I hope you enjoy it! Do you have any variations of the recipe that you like? I’d love to hear how others make it!

    • Susanne says:

      Not really, I usually buy it, but there is glögg made from every kind of fruit possible :) . This year I’ll make it simple and drink the Irish type, which is not glögg but hot port, which is red port wine mixed with hot water, and with a piece of lemon with cloves in it. Then add some brown sugar. Yummy and it works fine with Power’s whiskey instead of port, then it’s hot whiskey.

  5. Tiffany | Offbeat & Inspired says:

    I can’t wait to try this!! It sounds amazing! I’m not sure we have any “roots” traditions, but when we gather at my aunt’s house on Christmas Eve it’s an Italian buffet! The reason could be that my aunt lives in northeastern NJ, and most of northeastern NJ is Italian.. but I’ll take it! :D

  6. Oh my goodness Sarah!! This looks so delicious. I have never heard for Glogg, but now I definitely have a new holiday drink to add to my line-up! Thank you for sharing the recipe.


    • Sarah | Offbeat & Inspired says:

      Thanks! I hope you enjoy it, and it’s a great recipe to change and up and play around with. There are so many yummy variations!

  7. Barb says:

    lost in translation ….sugary / brandy mixture. how much brandy please.

  8. Felicia says:

    Glogg is one of my favorite holiday drinks. I only discovered it at World Market. It is a mix, and add red wine and heat. I can ‘t wait to try your homemade version. I love the smell almost as much as the drink so letting it mull must smell so delicious! Thanks for the recipe.

    • Sarah | Offbeat & Inspired says:

      I hope you enjoy the homemade version! And when it mulls it definitely makes the whole house smell delicious!

  9. Vanessa says:

    Sarah this sounds (and looks!) amazing!!! I’m totally going to try making this for Christmas this year if for no other reason than that I really like the word “Glogg”. ;-) Truly, though, it is so neat that you are able to incorporate some of your heritage into the festivities and it has me thinking of ways that I can do that in my own home. Thanks so much for sharing this with us!

    • Sarah | Offbeat & Inspired says:

      Thanks! I hope you like it! It’s been fun growing up with a few Scandinavian traditions and I’m trying to keep up those traditions as an adult. Let me know what you think of the recipe when you make it!

  10. Shay says:

    Being of both Swedish and Norwegian decent I have enjoyed Glogg and other delicious recipes (mostly dessert) from my beat-up Swedish recipe book. You might try making your Glogg in a slow cooker. It stays nice and hot and your guests can ladle out a mug’s worth as the night goes on.

    • Sarah | Offbeat & Inspired says:

      Using a slow cooker is a a great idea. That definitely makes it easy for serving and allows it to heat gently. I’m going to do that next time – thanks for the advice! Do you have any fun variations of glogg that you enjoy?

  11. Kristen says:

    I made this last week, I used the slow cooker to heat it also and it was fabulous. My boyfriend, who insists he doesn’t like hit drinks or any type of mulled wine, keeps saying how great it was. He also keeps asking for another batch, do you think using the raisins and almonds from the first batch would work? I kept them because I have always been hesitant to throw out things like that and seriously the almonds were great after soaking in all the wine. I had been thinking cookies but if they’d work for another spin through the glogg than I’ll do that. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Sarah | Offbeat & Inspired says:

      I’m so glad you liked it! I think you can definitely reuse the almonds and raisins, but you may not get as much flavor out of them the second time around. Maybe reuse them from the first batch and throw a few fresh ones in for good measure. I have heard about people using them in cookies or muffins afterwards, which would be delicious! I’ve never done that yet, but I’m planning on doing that the next time I make glogg!

  12. [...] so deeply that they cannot imagine a holiday without them–dinner tables overflowing with heirloom family recipes, delicate vintage glass ornaments carefully hung on evergreen branches, or maybe a quirky derby hat [...]

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