A traditional warmed wine beverage perfect for the festive season
To put it simply, glögg is the Scandinavian take on mulled wine. It’s spicy, it’s warming and it’s definitely strong! Glögg is seen as a very social drink, cooked on the stovetop and best enjoyed with friends and families.
There are slight variations in its name and ingredients across countries. In Denmark, the Faroe Islands and Norway it is called gløgg; the Finnish and Estonians glögi, whilst the Swedish and Icelandics refer to it as glögg – pronounced “glue-gh“
We will share with you here what we believe to be as close possible to the Swedish Glögg recipe, but there will, of course, be many variations to this recipe you can try. No doubt if any of you have lived in or visited Scandinavia you would have tasted some variations.
Can’t make it now? Save this to Pinterest for later
As Amazon affiliates, we earn from qualifying purchases.
Tools you will need for making glögg
- Strainer or cheesecloth
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Glasses of your choices – a tall handled glass looks attractive but a brandy glass looks great too.
- 750ml bottle red wine
- 750ml bottle of port
- 100ml brandy
- 1/2 cup of sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tablespoons orange zest
- 2 tablespoons of raisins
- 2 tablespoons freshly sliced ginger
- 1 tablespoon cloves
- 1 tablespoon cardamom pods, crushed
- 1 stick of cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons slivered/blanched almonds
- Garnish: optional slices of orange and extra raisins, cinnamon stick
- Heat the sugar and water in a saucepan first until the sugar is dissolved
- Add wine, port, brandy, orange zest, raisins, ginger, cloves, cardamom pods and cinnamon to the saucepan and heat on a low temperature for 30 minutes
- Set aside to steep for a further 30 minutes
- Strain and remove the fruits and spices
- Serve straight away or reheat the pot before serving
- Serve into wine glasses or your favourite glass mug, garnish with a sprinkle of almonds, raisins and a slice of orange or cinnamon stick
Variations to the Swedish glögg recipe
This is but one take on the Swedish recipe! Even amongst the Swedish cooks and food bloggers we studied, we found many variations.
Many suggest replacing the port with bourbon; only port should be used and NOT red wine; or even that a full measure of brandy should be used in equal parts with the wine & port! Indeed it might still taste nice but is a fairly potent blend. Most types of brandy and bourbon are around 40% ABV. Port is only around 20% ABV.
As the slivered almonds seem to be a common theme – why not also throw in a dash of amaretto? You need to experiment what works best, it’s a fun game of stovetop guesswork, just make sure there’s some left for your guests to try!
A good non-alcoholic version of glögg is to replace the wine and port with grape juice and apple juice. You will still get all the same wonderful spicy aromas but without the boozy component. Another alternative is blackcurrant juice with its deep clour and berry flavours. We make ours in pots side by side so the adults and kids can enjoy.
Make glögg ahead of time
Glögg is a fabulous batch party drink and a great make-ahead recipe if you have a busy cooking day ahead. Simply simmer, steep and strain, then all you need to do is reheat your glögg when ready to serve. It can keep up to 1 to 2 weeks after cooking in the fridge.
How to serve your glögg
This is completely up to you. We can find no evidence that there is one particularly traditionally way. Some like it served in a brandy balloon glass while others like the tall handled coffee-cup/hot toddy style glasses.
You can also garnish as you please. Make sure the almonds are blanched/slivered otherwise they can leave a bitter finish.
Drinking glögg cold
Whilst tradtionally seen as a winter drink, glögg can be served like a sangria chilled in the summer over ice.
More Christmas drinks ideas
As well as checking out our complete guide to Christmas cocktails, you may also be interested in our Christmas gift guides for drink-lovers. We cover everything from stylish glassware for your drinks cabinet through to our favourite gifts for lovers of mulled wine!
If you’re still seeking out that perfect gift idea or stocking stuffer, pop on over for some inspiration here >>
Let us know if you have given our glogg recipe a try in the comments below. Are there any quantities you’ve changed or secret ingredients you’ve added to improve the recipe to your taste?
Mama Loves A Drink advocates quality over quantity. Always drink responsibly!