Thirsty Thursday: Glögg

I am so excited for this post. Why? Because it’s so awesome! A culmination of several of my favorite things – my Swedish heritage, Christmas traditions, and alcohol, natch – and it’s a family recipe to boot. I just love sharing personal tidbits about my life on the blog and it makes it even better when there’s a chance of intoxication involved.

So for those of you, I’m assuming most, who don’t know what Glögg is (pronounced “glug”), it’s basically the Swedish version of mulled wine. It looks like cider but don’t be fooled – cider this is not. The below recipe is my father’s. Apparently it was passed to him from some other Swede up in New York and he made adjustment accordingly, as did I. A lot of it was estimation as his original recipe is pretty vague. But I was extraordinary happy with the end result and an extra bonus: it makes the house smell flippin’ amazing.

Many Glögg recipes call for port or some heavy red wine. Not my recipe – no sir. For my recipe, I bust out the big guns: Crystal Clear Alcohol

This stuff is meant to warm you through, and trust me, after one sip it does. I was actually quite turned off by the recipe at first. That seems like a significant amount of alcohol. After talking with  my dad – apparently a small amount should be sipped at a time – kind of like brandy. It should be noted that at the end of the process, you actually light this stuff on fire for a few seconds. That should give you an idea of it’s potency.

So be wary, it’s very strong – but not overpoweringly so. It’s a nice spiced drink that is meant to be served warm and enjoyed slowly. So sip along with family and loved ones and bring a little of my  Christmas tradition into your home.


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Yields: About 5 cups

Difficulty: Easy and worth the smell


  • 3 quarts water
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 6 oranges, halved and juiced (you just want the peels)
  • 6 ounces whole cardamom pods, crushed or broken open. The pods look  like this: Pods(these may be difficult to find but I know they sell them at specialty stores like World Market and in bulk at Earth Fare) Do not use ground cardamom.
  • 12 cinnamon sticks
  • 8 ounces seedless raisins
  • 1 pint grain alcohol (190 proof)


In a stout pot with a heavy lid (I used a dutch oven) combine water, sugar, juiced orange halves, opened cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks, and raisins over medium heat. Pot of Glogg

Stir until sugar is dissolved and bring to a boil.

Boil the liquid down to about half. This should take around an hour to an hour and half. Pot of Glogg 2

Once the liquid has reduced, remove the the heat and add the alcohol.

Stir until combined then strain the liquid through a sieve, squishing down the fruit until all the liquid is out. Squish the Glogg

Place the liquid back in the pot and using a long match or grill lighter, ignite the liquid in the pot. Burn Baby Burn

Let it burn for a few seconds (about 5 or 10) then smother the flames by placing the lid on top of the pot and holding down.

Serve warm with a cinnamon stick garnish.

I used an old twist top wine bottle to store mine. Perfect!


5 thoughts on “Thirsty Thursday: Glögg

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