Ok, so what exactly is glogg? Well, one thing is for sure, glogg is much more than the sum of its many parts. This unique Swedish beverage most closely resembles a mulled wine. Yet, the permutations of glogg are too numerous to count. Discover the story of glogg here…
Glogg: A Short History
The first recorded evidence of glogg is in Sweden, circa 17th century. It has probably been around much longer than that. A very popular drink in Scandinavian countries like Sweden, Norway, and Denmark, glogg is a big hit around the traditional holiday season of December and early January.
The term itself originates from the German word “gluwein”, which loosely translated means spiced wine. It is unique to almost any other wine beverage in that it is typically served warm. Swedes, Danes, and Norwegians enjoy a cup during the cold winter months to this day.
Like most things European, glogg ultimately became popular in the United States as well, particularly within many Swedish communities in bigger cities like Chicago and Minneapolis. The popularity of the drink has never wavered and it is still a big part of holiday celebrations.
What Is In Glogg?
Although the main ingredient is red wine, you will find as many variations to the ingredients as you might with any standard recipe. The drink can be adapted to your personal taste, but for purposes of this discussion, let’s discuss the more or less standard ingredients.
Normally, they are red wine, cinnamon sticks, cracked cardamon pods, sugar, water, and ground cloves. Sometimes raisins and blanched almonds are added to the mixture and then strained out before serving. The raisins and almonds are then served on the side as a snack or discarded.
Other types of fruit is often added or substituted. It is not unusual to see recipes calling for prunes, apricots, orange rind, or juice from oranges. We can best compare the rotating ingredients to a chili recipe. Everyone has their favorites!
How Is Glogg Made?
The process of making a batch can extend from a few short hours to overnight, depending on the “chef” and the recipe. Bottled red wine is used, typically a standard red although sometimes a burgundy or port. Normally the spices are steeped in water in a large pot on the stove top.
After a period of mulling, usually an hour or two, the red wine is added. The mixture is heated to warm, but never to a boil. Various ingredients can be added or removed during this process, but the most common procedure is to strain out the bulk spices and fruit before serving.
Glogg is usually served warm in a glass mug or coffee mug. Traditionalists serve ginger snap or citrus cookies on the side, along with raisins and almonds from the batch. For the most part, it is an after dinner drink because it is sweet.
As mentioned, many variations on the traditional recipes exist. White wine versions are now seen, along with a combination of wines to impart a specific taste. Some prefer sweeter versions, while others prefer a slightly dry, fruity taste.
Finally, glogg is now branching out from its reputation as a cold weather drink. It is now seen served as a summer punch of sorts, much like a wine cooler. A summer version is usually seen served in tall glass over cracked ice, and garnished with a cinnamon stick and fruit.
Glogg is a traditional Swedish beverage that is experiencing a resurgence in popularity. It is relatively easy to prepare, with ample room to experiment toward specific palates. Normally a winter drink, it is now often seen served during the warm summer months as a wine cooler type beverage.