From Too Many Chefs -

December 19, 2005

Glögg is a velvet hammer. Who would think that combining wine, port, and hard liquor together would make for a easy to drink but strong libation? OK, pretty much everybody who has ever paid attention in Health class, but it took me by surprise.

Mulled wine and hot wine drinks of all sorts are a staple of the holiday party circuit. Take some adequate wine, some spices, heat it up, and add a cold day and you've got a drink that takes the edge off while warming you from head to toe.

I started with this recipe from 1979 from Craig Goldwyn. I didn't want to make a gallon of glögg, so I halved many of the ingredients and added some extra spices to give it more kick.

Ideally you should use an inexpensive American port and a slightly harsh red wine. An inexpensive rioja or beaujolais is ideal. The key ingedient is the aquavit. Port and aquavit are similar in many ways. Both port and aquavit are aged and concentrated traditionally by setting them in casks on a ship that travels great distances.

Aquavit, like vodka, is a potato based spirit. It is found in standard and "line" versions. In the case of "line" aquavit, the ship must travel across the equator and back. This smooths the harshness of the caraway and herb-infused white liquor. You can find aquvit at most good liquor and wine stores, and it should set you back only about $20-25/bottle.

Of course you can experiment with herbs and spices in your glögg. Some people don't like the almonds and raisins in their drink and some will complain about the grit from any undissolved spices. You can filter the drink, but I find the extra bits and pieces very nice.

This recipe serves about 8-10 glasses, so adjust for the size of your party.

Glögg from a recipe by Craig Goldwyn

1 750ml (standard) bottle red wine, preferably young and harsh
1 750ml (standard) bottle port wine, nothing too expensive
1/2 750ml bottle of a "line" Aquavit (I use Linie brand)
3 cinnamon sticks
1 teaspoon ground cloves or 8 whole cloves (whole is preferred)
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
peel of one orange or two clementines, plus some for garnish
1 teaspoon cardamom seeds (not pods, not ground cardamom - seeds. Break the seeds out of the pods if necessary
1/2 cup raisins
1 cup blanched almonds - no skins
2 cups granulated suar
3 allspice berries, whole
1 star anise

First, be careful. You're working with flammable spirits near fire, which can be a very bad mix indeed.

Away from the stove, and nowhere near a flame, combine all the ingredients together in a big pot. Transfer the pot to the stove and turn the heat on medium-low. You want this drink hot, but you don't want to boil off the alcohol. Under NO circumstance should you let this mix boil. If it should start to bubble or roll, reduce the heat immediately.

Mull (that is, cook over the low heat) for 20-30 minutes before serving. Serve with a little of the rasins and almonds in each glass, and garnish with a little extra orange peel The longer you let it go, the more the spices will influence the flavor. You should taste a tart and sweet spice in each glass with just a hint of caraway from the aquavit in the afterbreath of each sip.

Posted by Barrett in Maryland at December 19, 2005 6:52 AM | TrackBack

Two questions:

1) WHY HAVE YOU NEVER MADE THIS FOR ME?? (sorry for the shouting...)

2) Why do you have to remove the cardamom seeds from the pods? I would have thought the liquid would get at the seeds through the shell and the size would keep you from accidentally crunching down on a whole seed.

This looks like it's going to be my Stay-Up-Late-Wrapping-Gifts-And-Watching-I-Remember-Mama-Christmas-Eve drink this year....

Posted by Meg in Paris on December 19, 2005 at 3:06 PM

Frankly Meg, you didn't deserve this glogg until now. :p Of course when we visit, (how's February?) I'll be glad to make up a batch.

You don't want cardamom pods because the pods themselves are kind of nasty and you might crunch down on one accidentally (Did I mention this is a highly alcoholic drink?). I'm also not sure what flavor the pod itself would add. The seeds themselves are pretty innocuous. In fact, I usually crunch down on one before I add them into a recipe. Love that flavor.

Why not ground seeds? Um, ask Mr. Goldwyn, on whose recipe I based mine. I don't actually see why it wouldn't work excpet tha tit might give you bit of grit in your glass.

Posted by barrett on December 19, 2005 at 3:13 PM

Delighted to see that you like my recipe! I have been making it for 34 years now and continue to revise and improve it. You have a link to the article at, but the most current update is at

I have asked them to update it but they have not done it, so I would appreciate it if you would like to my site instead.

The recipe is simpler and better! My site also has some good barbecue recipes...

Posted by Craig Goldwyn on December 29, 2007 at 4:45 PM