Monday, December 20, 2010

Swedish Christmas Glögg (Sweet Christmas Wine)


Around the first Sunday of Advent, the glögg parties move into high gear in Sweden.  Everyone loves the idea of warming themselves with a glass of hot glögg.  It is my favorite warm drink after tea that is.  What is glögg? Glögg can we compared to the German Gluhwein.  But what makes glögg is its spices, cinnamon, cardamom and sugar, some also add gloves and orange peel.  Then raisins and almonds are always the standard accessories poured into the cup with the hot glögg itself. 

The tradition of drinking glögg at Christmas goes back more than hundred years.  It those days you added spices to conceal the bad wine.  In addition due to other diseases spices were added to help cure them. 

The actual name glögg some from an old method of making the drink: you “glowed” it. First you put a sugarloaf on a closed-mesh grille, over a cooking pot containing the mixed spices, and then over this you poured wine and spirits.  When the sugar was saturated you struck a flame, were upon the spirit caught fire and the sugar melted. 

Then there can be no glögg party without the Swedish Pepparkakor “ginger snaps,” the spices for which are very much the same as those in the glögg. Today you can find “ginger snapps” in almost all grocery stores. 


Swedish Christmas Glögg (Sweet Christmas Wine)

Yiels: 1 bottle of red wine | Prep: 15 minutes 

1 bottle of red wine
5-7 whole cardamoms, peeled
1-2 cinnamon sticks
1 small piece of fresh ginger (about the size of a quarter)
1/2 cup of sugar
Few orange peel pieces
Vodka or dark rum (optional) 

For Serving:
Chopped almonds 

Pour wine into sauce pan, on low to medium heat, do not bring to boil. Stir in sugar and whisk lightly until sugar is dissolved. Add spices and orange peel and bring almost to a boil. Pull off heat and let cool overnight. Best results if you let it sit for 3 days. 

Remove spices, and if desired, add vodka or dark rum to taste.  Reheat (do not boil!) and serve in cups with raisins and almonds. 


“Julbord” Christmas smörgåsbord Recipes: 

Cured Salmon “Gravlax” and Mustard Sauce “Hovmästarsås”
Swedish Meatballs “Köttbullar”
Saffron Buns “Lussekatter”

Red cabbage ”rödkål” and Swedish Christmas Traditions 

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30 Responses to “Swedish Christmas Glögg (Sweet Christmas Wine)”

  1. 1

    Tweets that mention Swedish Christmas Glögg (Sweet Christmas Wine) — Delishhh -- — December 20, 2010 @ 11:27 pm

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  2. 2

    Maddie — December 21, 2010 @ 8:06 pm

    Oh no…I must admit that my only brush with glögg came via a $2 bottle of the stuff, which I bought at Ikea. Eek. Please forgive me! I promise to make the real thing at home next time…

    • Delishhh replied: — December 26th, 2010 @ 9:27 pm

      Maddie – Ohh as long as you put extra “stuff” in the Ikea bottle to make sure all the sweetness go away you are ok. But otherwise the Ikea stuff is really sweet. Or at least i think so. But yeah once you get settle into the new place please do make it, it is really easy and relaxing too. I hope everything is ok and that your move will bring you what you are looking for. Are you ok?

  3. 3

    Conor @ Hold the Beef — December 22, 2010 @ 6:06 am

    This post makes me happy! And also sad. I need to get back to Sweden before too much longer 🙂

    Every Christmas I am filled with glögg longing… thanks for helping me pretend I’m enjoying some as I sit here sweltering and guzzling water!

    • Delishhh replied: — December 26th, 2010 @ 9:24 pm

      Conor, are you Swedish? I know you live in Australia but wasn’t sure about your nationality. Glogg just puts me in the holiday mode. Love it and i think i drink it all they way to January 🙂 Did you have a good Christmas?

  4. 4

    Trix — December 22, 2010 @ 6:37 am

    I am very intrigued by the addition of chopped almonds; this is something I have never had in a drink of this type. And of course, I do not think that the vodka or rum is optional – definitely that’s a necessity!! ; )

    • Delishhh replied: — December 26th, 2010 @ 9:23 pm

      TastyTrix – Hope you had a great holiday. The glogg puts me right into the holiday season, i think i drink this almost to end of January 🙂 And yes the extra “juice” is needed 🙂 Hope to see you here soon again. Love your blog!

  5. 5

    redmenace — December 22, 2010 @ 10:27 am

    Oh my goodness. I could really use some of this right now! I guess I have to wait, however…. Looks absolutely wonderful! Thank you!

    • Delishhh replied: — December 26th, 2010 @ 9:21 pm

      Robin – Is it here yet? Hope you are doing well. I am sure you will need all the energy afterwards and can have some Glogg then. Also remember since you boil the wine all the alcohol is gone 🙂 Good luck!

  6. 6

    Eva — December 22, 2010 @ 10:50 am

    I love Glögg! But I haven’t had it in years, we’ve been making mulled wine…Now planning on making this for Christmas weekend! Yay!

    Merry Christmas!

    • Delishhh replied: — December 26th, 2010 @ 9:18 pm

      Eva – I love Glogg, puts me right into the holiday mode. I have never made mulled wine. One day i will try it out. How did your Glogg turn out. Happy New Year.

      P.S. love your name 🙂 (it’s mine too)

  7. 7

    IslandEAT — December 23, 2010 @ 7:20 pm

    Hi, Ewa. Thanks for the authentic recipe.

    I’ve not had glogg for years (decades, I believe…). So I guess it’s time to try it again.

    I hope you have a restful, fun holiday and a healthy, fulfilling new year.


    • Delishhh replied: — December 26th, 2010 @ 9:14 pm

      Dan, Glogg is so easy to make and tasty. The store bought is usually just very sweet and making it at home is very easy. Everyone always loves the glogg too. Puts me right into the holiday mode. Happy New Year!

  8. 8

    Megan — December 24, 2010 @ 7:14 am

    I always wondered what Glogg was. I see it at World Market at the holidays and I’m always tempted to buy it. I’d rather try this homemade version tho. Sounds like my cup of tea, err, I mean wine! 🙂 Merry Christmas!

    • Delishhh replied: — December 26th, 2010 @ 9:10 pm


      You can buy the stuff in World Market but it is really sweet. Or at least i think so. So you end up putting lots of extra alcohol in there just to make the sweetness to away. It is just much easier to make it yourself. Let me know when you make it yourself and what you think of it. Hope you had a great Christmas Holidays. Did you get the cookbook?

  9. 9

    Soft Gingerbread “Mjuk Pepparkaka” and Swedish Christmas Eve “Julafton” — Delishhh — December 24, 2010 @ 10:27 am

    […] Swedish Christmas Glögg (Sweet Christmas Wine) […]

  10. 10

    Stollen Wreath ”Christstollen” — Delishhh — December 28, 2010 @ 12:25 am

    […] Swedish Christmas Glögg (Sweet Christmas Wine) […]

  11. 11

    Amy — December 18, 2011 @ 8:54 pm

    Hi! Thanks for the article! I noticed you mention a couple times to “add some things” to store bought stuff to cut down the sweetness. I made my own homemade version for the first time this year & found my recipe to be FAR too sweet for my liking. I used a gallon of port, a 5th of bourbon, & 3/4 cup sugar (along with the requisite spices). What can you recommend I do to cut back on the sweetness? (Other than to half my sugar next year lol)

    • Delishhh replied: — December 18th, 2011 @ 9:07 pm

      Amy – the store brought is very sweet and usually adding wine and vodka will make it less sweet. But did you try my recipe? Port is sweet and by adding sugar will just making it more sweet. I would follow the recipe below and let me know what you think.

      • Amy replied: — December 18th, 2011 @ 9:22 pm

        Thanks dear! No I didn’t try your recipe; I had one handed down to me I gave a shot & now that I have a huge batch made, I was hoping to doctor it up a little more, instead of letting it go to waste. But I’ve definitely marked this page so I can give yours a shot next time & letcha know!! Thank you again!

  12. 12

    10 Best Hostess Gifts — Delishhh — December 19, 2011 @ 6:52 am

    […] Comments Amy on Swedish Christmas Glögg (Sweet Christmas Wine)Thanks dear! No I didn't try your recipe; I had one handed down to me I gave a shot &…Posted […]

  13. 13

    Anniversary and Giveaway! — Delishhh — January 17, 2012 @ 6:21 pm

    […] Swedish Christmas Glögg (Sweet Christmas Wine) […]

  14. 14

    Donna — December 4, 2012 @ 5:40 pm

    Perfect Glögg for this season…Would you happen to have an authentic recipe for Pepparkakor?…I always buy a tin of Anna’s at Ikea…but I would like to make homemade Swedish Pepparkakor for my half Swedish husband! My children’s “Farmor” makes one using Golden Syrup I believe?..Thank you for any enlightenment/advice as to where I could find the “True Version”!…

    BIG FAN of your exquisite blog…photography/plating/presentation and recipes!

    • Delishhh replied: — December 9th, 2012 @ 5:51 pm


      Sorry for the late reply. I am spending some time in the sun relaxing. I am so glad you like the blog. I love hearing from readers. I haven’t posted my recipe but here it is. Yes, Golden Syrup is the best if you can find it.

      Swedish Pepparkako
      5.2 oz (150 g) butter
      1 cup sugar
      1/2 dl Swedish light syrup but you can substitute light corn syrup or even better if you can find it golden syrup (like Lyle’s Golden Syrup)
      1/3 cups and 5 tsp water
      1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
      1 1/2 tsp ground clovers
      1 tbsp cinnamon
      1 tsp cardamom
      1/2 tbsp baking soda
      3 cups all purpose flour

      Mix butter, sugar and syrup smooth.
      Add the water, spices, baking soda, and flour.
      Refrigerate over night.
      Turn oven to 435F
      Roll out the dough and make any shapes you want. Bake in the over for 5 minutes.
      Let cool before moving to rack.

      Let me know how it goes.

  15. 15

    Donna — December 18, 2013 @ 4:39 am

    Long overdue TAK for this recipe!!!…Question…my “Farmor” said she always had cream as an ingredient…does this vary from region-to-region in Sweden? I think this one looks amazingly authentic…and I really liked its crisp factor and the ability to roll it out paper-thin…Wouldn’t cream render it more “soft” in the outcome?…I’ve noticed that with pepparkakor..there is usually eggs or cream involved…but never both!

    • Delishhh replied: — December 28th, 2013 @ 2:16 pm

      Donna, I am sure you are talking about Pepparkakor and yes, they do have heavy cream in them.

  16. 16

    Donna — December 29, 2013 @ 12:55 pm

    Thank you for the response! Question…I noticed that you did not include cream in the recipe above for Swedish Pepparkakor (only water)…is there a certain amount of cream I should add to the recipe (just above …in the December 9th comment to me) to make it “Real-Deal Swedish Pepparkakor”?..Sorry to be a nuisance during this busy holiday time!!

    • Delishhh replied: — December 30th, 2013 @ 9:02 pm


      I have looked around a little and all the recipes have either water or heavy cream. However, if i look in some of my older Swedish cookbooks they use heavy cream. I have used both and i am not sure i can tell a big difference. What i did find out though is that you can even add an egg into the dough for less stickiness. You will have to let me know which way you go and how things end up.

  17. 17

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  18. 18

    Denise — December 21, 2014 @ 6:47 pm

    My family has their own glogg recipe, being handed down, which seems fairly typical in scandanavian families.
    But I really don’t care for our family’s glogg, it’s too head walloping before enjoying an entire mug & way too sweet. They use Aquavit & brandy in addition to the wine(equal amounts) along with the typical spices (cardamon, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, orange peels, raisins, & almonds).
    My own recipe I eliminate the brandy, and use 1/2 of the Aquavit, organic wine, FAR less sugar & use maple syrup.
    The women in the family like my version best & most of the guys like the “old” way.
    Nice to see another swede who prefers taste over wallop.
    Will be giving your’s a try next week. Thanks!

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