Glögg is an essential part of the lead up to Christmas in Sweden with glögg parties are held throughout Advent. Indeed many Swedes attend two or three glögg parties every weekend in December!
Glögg is the Swedish version of mulled wine, but it is not quite the same as mulled wine in other countries as different spices are used and almonds and raisins are always placed in the bottom of the glass before the glögg is added.
The spices were originally added to wine in Sweden to mask the taste as it was of rather dubious quality. The quality of the wine is no longer an issue, but glögg is so firmly established as an essential part of Swedish culture that the spices are now added to perfectly good wine!
Glögg is usually served in quite small glasses in Sweden, partly because many Swedes are often staggering from one glögg party to another! Outside of Sweden glögg parties are less common, so invite your neighbours and make the portions more generous! John Duxbury
• Try to make glögg a week or more in advance to give the flavours time to mature.
• For a less alcoholic version, omit the vodka and add the spices to the wine in step 2.
• If you are short of time but would still like your glögg to have a nice kick, add a splash of vodka or brandy to the bottom of the cups along with the raisins and almonds just before you pour in the glögg.
• Serve with pepparkakor (gingersnaps) or lussekatter (saffron buns).
If you want to make an alcohol free version, omit step 1 and add the spices to either an alcohol free red wine or blackcurrant cordial (syrup), diluted according to the manufacturer's instructions.
|75 ml||(5 tbsp)||vodka|
|2-3||pieces of dried ginger (see photo above)|
|1 tsp||cardamom pods|
|3-4||pieces of dried Seville orange (bitter orange) peel|
|½ tbsp||raisins (optional)|
|1||bottle of red wine, any will do|
|110 g||(½ cup)||caster (superfine) sugar|
|1 tsp||vanilla sugar|
|10-20||almonds, blanched and peeled|
1. Pour the vodka into a small jar. Add the cinnamon, cloves, ginger, orange peel, cardamom and raisins (optional). Cover and leave to infuse for at least a day, preferably a week.
2. Pour the vodka and spices into a saucepan and add the wine and sugars. Stir and heat until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is hot but not boiling, about 80ºC (175ºF).
3. Leave to cool and then sieve, to remove the spices, and pour into sterilised bottles* and keep until required.
4. Heat gently before serving, but don’t let it boil.
5. Place 2 or 3 raisins and 2 or 3 almonds in the bottom of each glass and top up with glögg.
*Sterilise by washing and then placing it in an oven at 120°C (240°F, gas 1, fan 120°C) for 10 minutes.
Glögg will keep for several weeks in sterilised bottles.
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