The Swedish Man That He Is!
Since I met him many years ago, my husband has been a glögg fanatic! Each year when the weather starts to chill, we start the Glögg-making process. As a man of Swedish decent, this warm winter beverage has been a staple in his holiday life. While I’m not a sweet alcohol person OR a warm drink person, I have been known to drink a small glass of this stuff each year. Good for him, because he LOVES it and so do his family and friends.
This is the recipe that he has used, since I met him. In his words…
1.5 liters of Port Wine
1.5 liters of Merlot
750 milliliters of Brandy
750 milliliters of Vodka
10 or so dried apricots
10-15 whole cinnamon sticks
1/4 (or less) cup of clove
1/4 (or less) cup of cardamom pods
10-15 blanched almonds (skin removed)
1/3 cup of dark raisins
Fresh orange peel from 1 full-sized orange
2 cups of sugar
Pour all 1.5 liters of Port wine and Merlot into a large saucepan. Add all the spices to a strainer or colander, cover and insert into the saucepan containing the Port Wine/Merlot mixture (make sure to break open cardamom pods before adding). Turn heat to medium or medium-low to get a nice slow simmer going.
Pour 2 cups of sugar in a medium sauce pan and cover with half the bottle of brandy. Turn on to medium to medium-high heat. Bring to light boil, then turn down to simmer. Stir occasionally. Once all the sugar is dissolved, let simmer for about 10 minutes to caramelize.
After the Brandy has had time to caramelize, add to the simmering Port Wine/Merlot/spice mixture. This will add flavor and sweetness to the mixture. At this point, also add the remaining bottled Brandy to the mixture. Allow the Brandy/Port Wine/Merlot/spice mixture to simmer for about 30 minutes.
After the 30 minute simmering, add Vodka to preferred taste. I generally add half the bottle of Vodka, then let everything simmer for another 30 minutes. After the 30 final minutes of simmering, I add the remaining Vodka, stir it up, and bottle immediately.
Don’t forget to warm it up to serve it. Garnish with a cinnamon stick.
- You can strain it if you’d like, because there will be some spices that settle at the bottom of each bottle. I’ve never strained my batches and have always left the spices, as I have found them to be minimal.
- This whole process usually makes about 3 liters total (maybe a little more). I’ve always just reused the 1.5 liter bottle of Port Wine and the 750 ml bottles of Brandy and Vodka to store. If I hand any out, I transfer to 250-500 ml mason jars.
- Its always best to keep the bottles refrigerated so it stays fresh, and, when serving, heat to hot coffee type levels.
- The leftover spices make a great fruit-cake.