Friday, December 30, 2016

Holiday Glogg - hot mulled wine

Brrrrrr, baby it's cold outside! Well, it is winter, the festive holiday season, and temperatures have dropped. Snow is predicted over the weekend and skiers are ecstatic. But who needs an excuse to enjoy mug after mug of Glogg (hot mulled wine)? It can be served hot or cold, though the warm version is traditional, a celebratory beverage to warm both body and soul. Glogg smells divine and tastes even better; a potent, comforting drink that can deliver a kick... or more likely make me sleepy after several mugfuls. 

Whether you call it Nordic Glogg, German Gluhwein, Canadian Caribou, UK Wassail, or hot wine in a variety of languages, you will find recipes for mulled wine vary greatly, even within cultures. Typically the main ingredients include red wine, sugar, spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, ginger and cloves plus citrus and occasionally brandy. Potent, indeed.

Photo: Batch 1 Glogg ingredients

Photo: Batch 2 Glogg ingredients

No time to create your own mixture? Retailers can supply premixed mulling spice blends, Glogg concentrate or even bottles of already prepared Glogg. Myself, I'll go with easy-to-prepare homemade Holiday Glogg  and serve it in honor of the New Year, and to salute the memory of a wonderful holiday visit in snowy Central Oregon earlier this week. 

Try this tasty beverage, perhaps play around with the spice mix ingredients to create your own flavor blend. Here's the recipe from my latest batch of Holiday Glogg. Enjoy, and Happy New Year!

Holiday Glogg

1 bottle red wine (or hard apple cider)
10 green cardamom pods, crushed (not ground)
1/2 cup raisins 
2 dried apricots 
5 blanched almonds
2 star anise
5 whole cloves (not ground)
5 pieces crystallized ginger (not ground)
1 whole nutmeg, grated or cracked
10 whole peppercorns
1 long cinnamon stick (not ground)
1 small bay leaf
zest and fruit of an orange, cut in rounds

4-8 sugar cubes
Garnish: 1 additional orange and 4 cinnamon sticks
(use 1 cinnamon stick and a citrus twist or wedge per serving)
  1. Simmer all ingredients except sugar cubes and garnish, covered, in a nonreactive saucepan for 30 minutes. Be careful not to boil the mix.
  2. Strain to remove the solids. (You might want to keep the nuts and fruit to use in baked goods.) Cool and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
  3. To serve, reheat the mixture over low heat (do not boil!). Serve Glogg in a warmed glass over a sugar cube or two. Garnish with a cinnamon stick and an orange slice or twist. 
Options to consider:
* Add 1/4 cup rum, brandy and/or port to the heated mixture after straining.
* Make a double batch to enjoy some immediately and bottle the rest to serve later in the season. It mellows and blends the flavors, improving with age. Refrigerate to hold.


  1. A "Glogg Kit" of ingredients makes a thoughtful hostess gift, especially welcome during cold weather.

  2. Brrr, it's a 'chilly' 60 F. here in San Diego today, so this mulled wine would certainly warm me up!

    1. Fran, I'm grinning at the 'chilly' SoCal temp, but think some Glogg would definitely be warming. Happy New Year!


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