This Glogg (pronounced “glue-gh”) recipe makes a perfectly spiced batch of traditional Scandinavian mulled wine. Warm, spiced, and spiked – this cozy red wine cocktail is the perfect holiday drink!
Traditional glögg (or mulled red wine) is a Christmas-time favorite all throughout Scandinavia. On a trip to Copenhagen, I fell in love with Scandinavian life and the festive Danish aesthetic. While we were there, I enjoyed a cup of glogg (mulled wine) with a heavy pour of amaretto as we walked through Tivoli Gardens. It was like a scene from a Hallmark Christmas special.
My love for German mulled wine began when a good friend made me a delicious mulled white wine. Ironically, her recipe originated in Stuttgart, Germany (where we lived). It has a dry riesling base and plenty of citruses -the perfect Halloween adult beverage.
I’m not a huge fan of red wine, so I assumed I wouldn’t like mulled red wine nearly as much as mulled white wine. Wrong. I grab a bottle of red to make glogg whenever I go to the German grocery store during the holidays. I can’t get enough of this warm drink rooted in Scandinavian heritage. Served warm, glogg is the perfect festive winter drink to enjoy with your friends and family this holiday season! Enjoy.
What is the Difference Between Glogg and Mulled Wine //
Glogg and mulled wine are very similar and have minor differences. Traditionally Glogg has a lot more liqueur than mulled wine. The liqueur used is Acquavit which is very popular in Sweden. Another difference is that glogg usually has nuts and dry fruits while mulled wine typically does not have.
When is the Best Time to Drink Glogg //
Although glogg is mainly served during Christmas, nothing prevents you from enjoying it all year round. I like having a cold glogg during the warmer months. It is somehow similar to having a Sangria but with a Northern European twist.
What Kind of Red Wine Should You Use to Make Glogg //
Just like when making mulled wine, what red wine you use is not very important. You do not need a very expensive, high-quality red wine. My only recommendation is to avoid using cabernet or pinot as both don’t have enough body to support the added flavors and spices.
To make a delightful batch of warm glogg, you’ll need the following ingredients.
- Sugar – Despite the sugar, glogg isn’t overly sweet.
- Orange Zest – The best tasting oranges are winter oranges which are perfect because this is a winter drink.
- Raisins – I do not like raisins but I feel like they must be included because every recipe that I found had them in it.
- Slivered Blanched Almonds – is key to making an authentic batch of delicious glogg.
- Whole Spices: Cardamon Pods (smashed), Fresh Ginger (sliced), Cinnamon Stick (broken), Cloves – the blend of warming spices varies from one mulled wine recipe to the next but this blend will give you traditional Scandinavian flavor.
- Red Wine – Dark, fruit, and full-bodied red wines like red zinfandel and merlot are great for glogg and mulled wine recipes. A bottle you enjoy in the $10 range is just fine. Avoid using cabs and pinot as they don’t have enough body to support the added flavors and spices.
- Orange (sliced)
- Slivered Blanched Almonds
- Cinnamon Sticks
Much like sangria, traditional glogg is served with an optional extra splash of liqueur. You can use:
- Aquavit: In most Scandinavian recipes, aquavit is used to fortify glogg. It’s a regional, neutral-tasting spirit (similar to vodka) infused with caraway, citrus peel, and aromatic spices.
How to Make // The Steps
Step 1: Mine has sliced fresh ginger, some sugar, cardamom pods (be sure to smash them to let the seeds out), orange peel, cinnamon stick, almonds, raisins (I do not like raisins feel like it must be included because every recipe that I found had them in it), cloves, and slivered almonds.
Step 2: Add sugar, orange zest, raisins, almonds, cardamom pods, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves to a medium saucepan. Pour in wine.
Step 3: Simmer until wine reaches 175°. Or until the sugar has dissolved completely. Remove from heat and let stand one hour.
Step 4: Pour through a sieve. Pour into a bottle for another time or ladle straight in cups.
Step 5: How pretty does this look? Even the cooked down spices and peels look gorgeous soaked in wine.
Step 6: Garnish with a few raisins, almonds, orange slices, and a cinnamon stick. Optional, but always a good idea, add a splash of amaretto, vodka, or bourbon.
Tips & Tricks
- The best wine for mulled wine is one that you enjoy sipping on. It doesn’t need to be anything that breaks the bank. A bottle in the $9 range is perfectly fine as long as you like it.
- I know it may be tempting to use ground spices if that’s what you already have on hand but using whole spices is key to achieving authentic Scandinavian glogg.
- Make sure you smash the cardamom pods to release the seeds.
- Temping the wine is important because your glogg really shouldn’t ever reach boiling. Keep it simmering at a lower temperature so the sugars do not get hot enough to caramelize and burn.
- If you really want to keep things traditional, Glogg pairs wonderfully with Scandinavian dishes like pickled fish, veggies, and crackers.
Why is Homemade Glogg So Good?
- Glogg is easy to make and even easier to drink!
- Warm, cozy, and comforting. This charming mulled wine is perfect for winter holidays and well, just because it’s winter.
- Customizable. Glogg can be fortified with the spirit of your preference.
- Great for gatherings. This recipe doubles/triples in a cinch and is an elegant, rustic addition to a holiday spread.
How to Make Mulled Wine in the Slow Cooker //
It’s just as quick and easy to throw everything into a slow cooker or Crockpot to make mulled wine.
To make mulled wine in the slow cooker, add all of the ingredients and warm on high heat for 30 minutes to an hour or until the wine reaches 175 degrees and the sugar has dissolved completely.
Let stand for an hour before straining out the whole spices. Return to slow cooker and keep warm on low heat until ready to serve. Use a ladle to spoon warm glogg into cheerful holiday mugs with festive garnishes.
Glogg Regional Variations //
This is a traditional glogg recipe, but the recipes vary regionally throughout Scandinavia.
- Swedish Glogg: is made with a combination of red wine, sweet white wine, Aquavit, raisins, and almonds.
- Danish Glogg: the key to perfecting Danish glogg is making it with red wine fortified with port wine or rum, almonds, and raisins.
- Norwegian Glogg: is all about adding that splash of Aquavit and plenty of earthy, sweet cardamom flavor.
How to Store //
Storing: Let mulled wine cool to room temperature before storing it in glass bottles in the fridge for up to 3 days. To reheat, gently heat over low heat until warmed through.
Make-Ahead and Freezer Options
Freezing: is not necessarily recommended but you can freeze mulled wine and reheat it over the stove OR let it thaw just enough so you can eat it like a wine slushy!