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A Holiday Recipe for Glögg: Swedish Mulled Wine

Ashley Gateless on

from MiiR Contributor Anna Brones

In Sweden, like many other Northern European countries, mulled wine is an essential part of the winter season. Every Swedish family has their own rendition and will fight it out over whose way is the right way. Sometimes it will be made with grain alcohol and others will do it the old fashioned way, lighting flame to the alcohol before serving. Whichever way you make it, the essentials of a good glögg are spices, red wine and alcohol. This is warm, spicy wine with a kick. 

MiiR Tumbler

My preferred way to make it is to soak the alcohol and spices overnight, which makes for a long infusion, a trick I read about in a Marcus Samuelsson recipe. Glögg is notorious for getting better with age, which means it’s worth thinking about the preparation ahead of time. Beyond letting the spices sit and soak overnight, if you have the time and can let the final glögg sit yet again overnight once you have prepared it, it will be even better. So if you have the time, soak your spices and the next morning, prepare the glögg. Then remove it from the heat and let sit in a cool place until the following day when you can warm it back up to serve it. You can continue doing this throughout the holiday season, keeping a batch of glögg on hand at all times. It always comes in handy this time of year.

I make this recipe a lot during the holidays, and I rarely measure; a good rule of thumb when you know approximately how much dried fruit and spices you need for a batch, is to place them in a jar or food canister and pour in enough whiskey until they are covered.

In Sweden during the holidays, glögg is commonly served with an assortment of typical baked treats, like the spicy gingersnaps pepparkakor or the bright yellow saffron buns. But it will go great with any cold weather treat. Pack a howler full of glögg and a few sweet treats and you’ll be set for any winter adventure.

Swedish rolls

While in the U.S. we might be used to large doses of sickeningly sweet mulled wine in enormous coffee mugs, glögg is traditionally served in glöggmuggar, small espresso-sized cups intended specifically for glögg. An excellent outdoor alternative is a 6-ounce insulated tumbler.

Makes: about six servings 
About ¼ cup chopped dried figs
About ¼ cup raisins
Zest of one medium orange
2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
2 cinnamon sticks
2 teaspoons whole cloves
1 tablespoon green cardamom pods
¾ to 1 cup whiskey
1 bottle full-bodied red wine



Place the dried fruit and spices in a food canister, cover with the alcohol, seal with the lid and let sit overnight.

Pour the spices and alcohol into a large saucepan along with the red wine. Heat on medium/low heat until warm, but not simmering. Strain out the spices, then serve warm. Even better: strain out the spices, then pour back into the saucepan, cover and place it somewhere cool, preferably for at least a few hours. When you’re ready to serve the glögg, or ready to pack up your thermos, warm it back up.

If you are entirely short on time and in the need for “quick glögg,” add the dried fruit, spices and whiskey to a saucepan and place on medium heat until the alcohol warms up and you can really smell the spices. Add the wine. If you need to sweeten the glögg, stir in a little brown sugar or freshly squeezed orange juice.

*adapted from the recipe in Fika: The Art of the Swedish Coffee Break

 tiny tumbler set

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