Funnier when rhymed with clog, it's properly pronounced gloog. Going glogging
in winter is a long-standing tradition in Andersonville, Chicago's historically Swedish neighborhood; droves of Chicagoans still roam the bars off Clark and Foster to imbibe this mulled-wine variant - it's Sweden's version of wassailing!
In our neighborhood, we're as likely to celebrate Hanukkah, Solstice, Kwanzaa, Eid, or Diwali as good old Jul
, but we say - the more holidays the merrier! Glogg
is also akin to German Gluhwein. Here's our non-traditional easy version.
Regarding the type of wine to use, no need to buy anything fancy - delicate oenological nuances will be overpowered by the cooking and added spices and flavourings, anyway. Jug wine is fine, but I wouldn't recommend using artificially flavoured box wine, as it doesn't take well to heating.
- 1 gallon jug red table wine (or 3 - 1.5 liter bottles of reasonably-priced red wine)
- 1 cup packed brown sugar, or more, to taste (some like a sweeter Glogg, some a dryer version)
- 1 or 2 whole well-washed oranges, cut in half, squeezed gently, with light cuts in the rind
- 1 pt. Aquavit if desired
- 1 cup sweet vermouth, if desired
- 1/2 tsp. Angostura aromatic bitters (optional)
Use extreme caution around open flames with the Aquavit, and don't ever reheat liquor-laced Glogg over a gas stove, fireplace, etc. because the alcohol vapors often burst into flame unexpectedly. Traditional Glogg recipes call for setting aflame an Aquavit-soaked loaf of sugar; but, visual appeal of a burning sugarloaf aside, I'd avoid it unless your renter's insurance is all paid up.
Then, in a 6-inch square of cheesecloth, tie up:
- 1 tsp. powdered cinnamon
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 tsp. whole cloves, slightly crushed
- 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp. powdered ginger, or a 1-inch piece of whole dried ginger
- 2 to 4 bruised whole cardamom pods, or 1 tsp. seeds (optional)
- 2-inch piece of vanilla bean (optional)
Place about 3 cups of the wine in a large, covered enamel, glass or stainless steel (don't use cast iron or aluminum) pot along with the brown sugar and bagged spices. Cover and bring to a simmer for about 15-20 minutes. Let the cooked mixture stand for about 30 minutes. The reason we don't bring the entire quantity of wine to a simmer initially is to preserve its flavour and alcohol content. Afterwards, pour the remainder of the wine in the pot, bring to a low simmer and heat through. Adjust sweetness, and add aquavit if desired.
To serve randomly arriving guests, we don't recommend keeping the Glogg over continuous heat for the same reason - to preserve its flavour and punch. Allow it to cool to room temperature, and microwave individual mug portions as needed.