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Authentic Swedish Glögg Recipe


swedish glogg
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4.21 from 68 votes
This glögg recipe is a warm mulled wine drink for a cold day or any time you want to remember the holidays.

Course:
Beverage
Cuisine:
American
,
Scandinavian
,
swedish

Makes:

Servings: 16

Takes:

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1.5 liter inexpensive dry red wine
  • 1.5 liter inexpensive American port
  • 750 ml inexpensive brandy
  • 10 inches cinnamon sticks (10 inches total)
  • 15 cardamom seed pods or 1 teaspoon whole cardamom seeds
  • 24 whole cloves
  • 1 washed orange peel
  • ½ cup dark raisins
  • 1 cup slivered almonds
  • 2 cups sugar
  • Garnish with the peel of another orange when serving
Notes:
About the wine, port, and brandy. There is no need to invest in expensive wine, port, or brandy because the spices are going to pre-empt any innate complexity of a fine wine, but don't use anything cheap. Remember, the sum will be no better than its parts. If you want to play, instead of brandy try using Swedish aquavit, a caraway flavored vodka popular in Scandinavia.
About the raisins. Golden raisins will work, but I always use dark.
About the cardamom. Cardamom comes in three forms: Pods, seeds, and powder. The pods look like orange seeds. Cardamom seed pods may be hard to find, so you may need to order them from a spice specialist like Penzeys.com, but don't leave out the cardamom. Cardamom is the secret ingredient. The seeds within the pods are either black or tan, about 1/3 the size of peppercorns. If you can't find pods and can only find seeds, use about 1 teaspoon of them. Do not use powder.
About the almonds. If you can't find slivered almonds (look in the baking aisle) it is important to use naked cream-colored almonds that have had the shells and brown skins removed. The skins are bitter and full of brown coloring that can give the glögg a dusty texture. Do not use salted or smoked almonds. If you can only find almonds with skins, you can remove them by blanching them. Here's how: Boil a pot of water, dump in the almonds, wait for the water to boil again, let them boil for about a minute, pour off the water, and rinse with cold water, and drain. The skins will slip right off if you pinch them.
About the cloves. Do not use powdered cloves.
Warning. I had a reader once complain that the recipe was way too sweet. This is a sweet drink to begin with, but upon further investigation I learned that he let is steep in a slow cooker for 12 hours. Water and alcohol can evaporate from a slow cooker (notice the grooves under the lid). This is to help keep the top of the meat cool during braising, a subject for another discussion.
Metric conversion:

These recipes were created in US Customary measurements and the conversion to metric is being done by calculations. They should be accurate, but it is possible there could be an error. If you find one, please let us know in the comments at the bottom of the page

Method

  • Prep. If you have whole cardamom seed pods, crack them open by placing a pod on the counter and laying a butter knife on top of it. With the palm of your hand, press on the knife. It will crack it open so the flavors of the seeds can escape. You can leave the seeds in the pods once they are cracked.
  • Rinse the cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, orange peel, raisins, and almonds in a strainer to remove particles and dust. Add them to the pot, cover, and simmer. Try to get the orange peels skin down.
  • Pour the red wine and port into a stainless-steel or porcelain kettle. Do not use an aluminum or copper pot since these metals interact with the wine and brandy to impart a metallic taste.
  • Caramelize the sugar. Put the sugar in a pan and soak it with half the brandy. Warm over a medium-low flame and stir occasionally until it becomes a clear, golden syrup and all the sugar is dissolved. Let it simmer until it turns amber in color and hits 216°F/102.2°C. This starts caramelizing the sugar and adds a layer of flavor.
    caramelizing sugar
  • Simmer the glögg. Add the sugar syrup to the spiced wine mix. Cover and let it simmer over a low heat for 1 hour.
  • If you wish, add more sugar or brandy. If you do, go easy, 1/4 cup/50.2 grams at the most. As my barber says, "I can always cut more off but I can't put it back on". You can always add more brandy, but if you go over the top, you can't get back under.
  • Strain. Strain to remove the spices, almonds, and raisins and then run the glögg through a coffee filter. This reduces the amount of sediment it throws and smooths the taste.
  • Keep some solids. Do not discard the raisins and almonds when you are done. They are impregnated with flavor! I put the raisins in a jar in the refrigerator, and my wife bakes them into Panettone, King Cake, Challah, or Raisin Bread (after I snack down a few handfuls). I roast the almonds in a 225°F/107.2°C oven for about 90 minutes and munch them as snacks.
  • Bottle it. You can serve your glögg immediately or bottle it in clean used wine or whiskey bottles. We bottle it with the label shown here and if you are someone special to us, you might find a bottle under your tree. Fill the bottles as high as possible and seal them tight.
    Glogg really improves with age. It smooths out the rough edges and gives sediment time to drop to the bottom. A month or two of aging enhances the flavors and marries them beautifully. A year is even better. A good glögg will throw a thick purple sediment as it ages, but that doesn't become a problem for months. It's just normal settling of particulate matter held in suspension as well as compounds in the wine coming out of solution as they combine with oxygen in the aging process. Just pour gently and don't shake the bottle, and discard the sediment when you get to the bottom of the bottle. Tastes like mud.
    You don't have to lie them down to age. If you stop them up with used corks, they might leak where the corkscrew entered if you lie them down.
    glogg label
  • Serve warm. To serve glögg, warm it gently in a saucepan over a low flame or in a microwave. For a crowd, warm it in a slow cooker. Serve it in a mug and, don't skip this: Garnish it with a strip of fresh orange peel, twisted over the mug to release the oils. Drink while seated and give your car keys to a friend.

Nutrition

Serving: 230ml | Calories: 435kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 1g | Sodium: 13mg | Potassium: 207mg | Sugar: 33g | Vitamin A: 2IU | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 1mg