Let’s Get Blitzen: Cocktail Advent Calendar – Day 5 – Gløgg. This is a traditional Nordic spiced mulled wine consumed throughout the winter months in Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, and Iceland.
Today’s post is sponsored by Chef’s Paradise who are giving me the privilege of hosting a GIVEAWAY for a $500 gift card to Ottawa’s premier kitchenware and wine/cocktail accessories store. The contest is open to residents of Canada over the age of 18. Enter by following the instructions in this Instagram post featuring this gløgg.
For those of you who have been reading the blog closely or already follow me on Instagram, you’ll know that I’m proud to be an instructor in the Chef’s Paradise Live virtual classes. I’ve taught two cocktail classes with Chef’s Paradise Live this fall and we’re planning an awesome tiki cocktail class for early February!
One of my favourite subjects to cover in my classes is cocktail history, which is why gløgg was a perfect fit for this sponsored post with Chef’s Paradise.
Gløgg has a rich history in Nordic cuisine. Hot wine has been a popular beverage from Sweden to Iceland since the 16th century. The original version of gløgg, a spiced liquor, was enjoyed by postmen and messengers who traveled on horseback or on skis in cold weather.
My key takeaway from this origin story is that this is why Nordic countries are so dominant at biathlon and cross-country skiing in the Olympics. If their ancestors mastered the art of drunkenly delivering mail on skis, it’s in their blood.
I’ve always been better at the après-skiing.
There are seemingly endless recipes for this winter warmer. I experimented with a number of different spice combinations and base spirits before landing on the version I’m presenting you with today.
Gløgg recipes typically start with a sweet wine base (or a wine that is sweetened with the addition of sugar, as I’ve done here) and made more boozy with the addition of cognac, aquavit, or other spirits.
The essential component of all gløgg recipes is the mix of spices that make it so flavourful. The most common spices in gløgg are cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, and ginger. It’s also common to add citrus peels, almonds, and/or raisins.
On the whole, the result is an immensely satisfying, heart-warming concoction – perfect for weekend sipping after a brisk ski!
- 1 bottle red wine
- 12 oz cognac
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 1 tsp whole black peppercorns
- 3 slices fresh ginger
- 5 whole cloves
- 3 whole cardamom pods
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 whole star anise pods
- 3 ½ oz raisins
- 3 ½ oz slivered blanched almonds
Heat the red wine slowly in a pot over medium-high heat.
Put the cardamom, cloves, star anise, cinnamon, peppercorns, and ginger in a spice bag (or cheesecloth satchel tied with kitchen twine) and add to the pot. Stir in the sugar until it dissolves.
Remove the pan from heat and let cool, approximately 2 hours.
Add the cognac to the pan and place over medium-high heat. Heat until just before mixture reaches a boil. Add raisins and almonds. Remove the spice bag and ladle into eight large glass cups with little spoons, scooping up raisins and almonds.