The sweet fragrance in the air wasn’t from the hundreds of spiced Pepperkakor biscuits we’d made or the golden saffron buns we’d baked for the party, but the glögg gently warming on the stove. Tiny bubbles just popping on the surface, bursting with the fragrance of cardamom, cinnamon, clove and orange. “That’s it, don’t let it boil, all the alcohol will evaporate.” Swedes like their mulled wine good and strong to go with all those aromatics. The final touch comes as a dash of aquavit is added and the warmed alcohol lit; a flaming stream of scented wine is poured into every cup.
The Glögg season starts at the beginning of December, each weekend there will be several invitations and unlike here where you might choose just one, in Sweden you go to several a day. This requires stamina and restraint. Your drinks will be strong, although in small glasses, each accompanied by Pepperkakor biscuits, saffron buns and other fika goodies, this is a feast of sweetness and spice.
- 1 750 mls Bottle of red wine, not the best but not the cheapest either
- 750 mls Port
- 375 mls Brandy or Aquavit
- The peel from half an orange, all the white pith removed
- 8 Cloves
- 8 cardamom seed pods, crack by placing the flat blade of a knife over the pod and press.
- 3 sticks of cinnamon, about 6 inches
- 70g blanched almonds
- 70g dark raisins
- 100g caster sugar
- Place everything into a large pan, not aluminium as it will taint the flavour.
- Stir until the sugar has dissolved.
- Cover and heat very low for 40 mins,then strain. (The raisins and almonds are very tasty) You can serve warm with a slither of orange peel in each glass.
- Alternatively bottle to use later. To reheat, pour the glögg into a pan and heat gently. You will get a little sediment in the bottom of each bottle, just pour gently and leave the last 2cm/ inch in the bottle.
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Here are some fun Christmas gift ideas, or just for you to enjoy.