A warm glass of Norwegian glogg is the perfect partner for Christmas cookies (and holiday baking). This mulled wine beverage is traditionally made with a dry red wine that’s cooked with an orange peel and spices such as cardamom, cinnamon, anise, whole cloves, and ginger. Some recipes also include brandy, vodka, or aquavit.
For a non-alcoholic version, you can swap the wine for apple cider or other robust juices, such as pure grape juice, pomegranate juice, or cranberry juice. I serve the drink warm, garnished with brandy-soaked (or water-soaked) raisins and slivers of toasted almonds. Both versions will fill your kitchen with the warm fragrance of the holidays.
Serves 4 to 6
For the Garnish (Optional)
- 3/4 cup dark raisins
- 1 cup brandy or aquavit, or boiling water for a non-alcoholic version
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
For the Wine
- 1 cup white sugar
- 2 cups water
- 1 bottle light, dry red wine (pinot noir, merlot, Beaujolais, malbec), or 3 1/2 cups of apple cider, pure grape juice, cranberry juice, or pomegranate juice for a non-alcoholic version
- Peel of one orange
- 2 cinnamon sticks, snapped in half
- 6 whole cloves
- 6 whole cardamom seeds, crushed
- 4 anise pods, optional
- 1 small piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut in half
- 3/4 cup brandy, aquavit, or vodka (optional)
Soak the raisins in the brandy/aquavit or boiling water for at least 30 minutes before serving. Cover and store at room temperature for up to one day, or in the refrigerator for up to one month.
In a large stockpot over medium-high heat, combine the sugar and water, stirring until the sugar has completely dissolved.
Add the remaining ingredients, reduce heat to medium, and bring mixture to a gentle boil. Remove from heat, cover, and let steep for at least an hour, or even overnight for better results. Strain and reheat before serving. Serve hot, garnished with a sprinkling of soaked raisins and toasted almond slivers.
A light, dry red wine is best for this drink, so avoid sweet wines such as white zinfandel, or more robust wines such as cabernet sauvignon or zinfandel.
When peeling the orange, be careful to avoid the white pith, which can have a bitter aftertaste.
Making glogg is not an exact science, and you can adjust the spices, wine/juice, and garnishes to suit your taste.