We are approaching the holiday season, and I love exploring my Norweigan heritage. Today, we are sharing a delicious Glogg recipe that is like a delicious mulled wine, but this version has a Scandinavian twist.
Check out this beautiful recipe and if you want to share in some Scandinavian heritage or just want to shake up your Christmas Mulled Wine, give this a try.
🍷 What makes this recipe special?
Warm spiced and sometimes fortified wine. That really is the sum of it.
Throughout Scandinavian countries, you might find this referred to as Glogg, Glögg, or Gløgg. They are all pretty close to the same thing. I am using Glogg, as it is easier for my American keyboard to accommodate.
No matter how spelled, this Glogg recipe is delicious and a Scandinavian treat. You may find several other recipes, or your family may have slightly different Glogg recipe traditions, but they are all somewhat close. Take some wine, sweetener, spices, and warm it up. You have a beautiful wintertime and holiday drink.
If you are looking for other warming drinks, check out this homemade apple brandy recipe, the Total Yodel shot, or the best hot toddy recipe. No matter what you drink, make sure to treat yourself!
☕ What is Glogg?
We have already eluded to it as a variation of a mulled wine, but what separates Glogg from your average mulled wine? You could make the case that it is just a different name used for Mulled Wine for Scandinavian countries, but I think it is a bit more.
The two differences that make Glogg different than a traditional Mulled Wine are Aquavit and cardamom. Cardamom is a spice from the pods of various plants in the ginger family.
While likely originating in the southern hemisphere, it has become a spice common in traditional Scandinavian dishes. It is a distant cousin of ginger, has some great flavor that works wonderfully with mulled wine, and has become a defining aspect of Glogg.
The second differentiating ingredient is Aquavit. Aquavit is potato-based alcohol that is common in Scandinavian countries and Germany.
You might be thinking this sounds like vodka, but it is much different than vodka. Aquavit also tends to contain spices and is often barrelled. Whereas vodka mostly tries to have a neutral flavor, Aquavit is full of flavor.
There are a lot of ingredients you could use to make this your own, but I love this combination of ingredients to make our Glogg.
- Green cardamom pods… cracked
- Pinot noir
- Orange peel
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- ½ cup Aquavit
See the recipe card for quantities.
Fortify With Aquavit
If you don't use Aquavit, you could use a port, brandy, Sherry, or nothing to fortify your glogg recipe. We, however, want to keep this recipe traditional with a bit of Aquavit. We are specifically using the Linie brand, which has a fascinating story.
This brand has been around since 1805, and the recipe has been the same since very early on. Linie indicates that they ship every barrel of Aquavit from Norway (where it is produced) to Australia and back.
The humidity changes and the rocking back and forth add to the drink's flavor. They did this in the early 1800s and have continued this on through today.
There are other brands of Aquavit that you may find. Linie is a Norwegian brand and tends to be a bit more robust drink than aquavits from other Scandinavian countries.
At my local liquor store, I also noticed several distillers in my region make it. I do, however, live in the upper midwest… where many Norwegians immigrated. I recommend Line Aquavit, but use the brand you have or can find.
What kind of Wine to Use for Glogg Recipe?
Much like Mulled Wine and even Sangria, the red wine you use is not very important. In fact, some say that Glogg came about as a way to use up marginal wine, as we add a whole bunch of spices and sugar.
We used a cheap Woodridge Pinot Noir that was found on sale. Use your discretion, but don't spend much money on your red wine. The wine will add flavor to the mix, but remember that we are adding sweetener, spices, and Aquavit to the mix.
What kind of spices to use
Well, look at the recipe. That is what I recommend, but it doesn't mean you can't add flair to the Glogg recipe. Another option, which I leave out, would be star anise. If you use something in your Mulled Wine recipe that you think is missing, add it in!
Sugar vs. honey
I keep bees, so it feels right for me to use honey. Additionally, we are dealing with a drink that goes back hundreds of years. Back then, refined sugar was rarely available and meant for the rich.
It was a luxury, if available at all. Honey was a more common sweetener until relatively recently (after the 1600s to 1700s), so it feels right to me to use my honey in a drink that is using such a traditional spirit as Aquavit. If you are going to substitute in white sugar in this recipe, I would substitute about 1 ⅓ cups sugar for one cup of honey.
Add all of the ingredients to your slow cooker or crockpot, except the Aquavit. Put it on low and cook from 2 ½ hours to 6.
A half-hour before serving, add the Aquavit. Then, serve. This is a simple recipe.
Straining the herbs and options for glogg recipe
I do not strain anything in my recipe, but I did want to mention that you can. Both cloves and cardamom are not the best to bite down on.
Some other spices might not be everybody's cup of tea, such as orange peel, cinnamon, and ginger. Two possibilities would help you reduce the likelihood of getting these flavors.
First, you could strain the Glogg before serving. Mind you, you want to keep the almonds and raisins in the drink, so you will want to get those good little bits back into the drink.
Second, you could add all of the spices you want to keep out of a glass into some cheesecloth. You will cook this in the crockpot, and all of the flavors will still seep into the drink, but save you the trouble of worrying about biting into the things.
Personally, I like having that rustic feel of having all of the ingredients in my glass.
The almonds you use in this recipe need to be blanched. The skin can add a bitter flavor to the drinks, so you must remove them. Of course, you can buy your almonds already blanched, but if you buy them in bulk, like us, it is pretty easy to remove the skins.
Add the almonds to boiling water for 60 seconds. Strain them immediately and run them under cold water to stop cooking. Once the almonds are cool, you should be able to pop them almonds right out of their skins.
Yes, you have to do them individually, but if you get the hang of it, it is a speedy process. Set them aside until you are ready to use them.
Serve with a spoon
Because of the raisins and almonds in this drink, serving this with a spoon is an excellent way to help your guests get the little bits out. Eat up the raisins and almonds while setting the cloves, ginger, and cardamom pods to the side. A spoon certainly is not needed, but a fun and practical addition to this traditional drink.
I used a crockpot
You can make this in a big pot or pan instead of a crockpot. I like the idea of being able to dump a bunch of ingredients and it being ready a few hours later without having to do much.
One thing to be aware of is that you never want to bring this mixture to a boil. Alcohol evaporates at 172° Fahrenheit. Water boils at 212°. You don't want the alcohol to evaporate out, and if you ever bring it to a boil, you run that risk. We want to heat the temp up, but ideally, keep it under that 172° mark.
How long In the crockpot?
I would say a minimum of 2.5 hours and a maximum of about 6 hours. In this recipe, we are calling for a total of three hours. The longer you allow the spices to marinate in the wine, the more flavors you will have.
🤷 Substitutions and variations
There are a few ways that this can be changed up.
- Spices - I make recommendations on what spices to use, but feel free to change it up!
- Aquavit - I use Aquavit, but you could omit this. You could also substitute brandy, cognac, or sherry.
- Crockpot - Don't want to use a crockpot? Try making this in a big pot on your stovetop. Just us low.
- Sweetener - I would substitute about 1 ⅓ cups sugar for one cup of honey.
Serve straight from your slow cooker and you can keep this for longer if it all is not drank. If you are going to store this, I recommend straining all of the stuff out of it and storing this drink in the fridge for up to a week.
🎓 History of glogg
Glogg is a neat drink and touches on some of the histories we have already explored with our History of Sangria article. It is neat that Mulled Wine, Glogg, Sangria, and many other versions of wine drinks all share a history. Glogg definitely is a direct descendant of mulled wine and following the various historical elements of Glogg will give a great picture of the history of the traditional drink.
Relation to mulled wine and hippocras
Much like Mulled Wine, Glogg has a history with Hippocras. It seems humans did what humans do and just started adding stuff to wine. Hippocras was born.
Hippocras was a spiced and sweetened wine that could have been served warm or cold. Any spice or flavorful stuff could have been added. It was filtered through a filter named "the sleeve of Hippocrates", hence the name.
The name of this drink comes from the bag that the drink was filtered through. Hippocras appears to be the grandfather of both Sangria and Mulled wine.
History of aquavit
Another aspect of Glogg that we already touched on was Aquavit. I had previously mentioned that I use the Linie brand, but Aquavit is much older than the 1805 Linie creation date. The first known mention of Aquavit was in 1531 in a letter to a Catholic Archbishop of Norway.
While I am tying this drink to Norwegian heritage, it is a spirit that is also popular and has roots in Finland, Sweden, Denmark, and Germany. It is tied to holiday celebrations, such as Christmas.
History of cardamom seeds
Cardamom seeds are an important part of this drink and have become an important part of Scandinavian cooking. According to this Ozy article, Norwegians consume 30 times more cardamom than the average person does. What is really interesting about this distant cousin of ginger is that it is far from being native to the northern regions but has origins in India.
While there are a few specific theories on how the spice found its way from India to its northern regions, they tend to revolve around trading routes (or conquering routes, I suppose) that brought the spice from either southern or south-eastern European routes, which makes sense.
You get the likes of Spain, which are just a short jump to Africa, and then countries like Turkey, which is right up against that Middle Eastern area. Either way, it would seem to show a natural spacial progression from India to the rest of Europe.
One of the earliest known recipe books, the Libellus De Arte Coquinaria, has recipes from Scandinavian and German regions. Cardamom is used in this very old Scandinavian recipe book that dates back to the early 13th century.
Glogg travels to Norway
To follow the evolution of Glogg is to follow the trail of Mulled Wine and the unique ingredients we have already mentioned. If you take Mulled wine and then locationally follow the timeline of both Aquavit and Cardamom's popularity in Scandinavia, it really starts to make sense of how the distinct regional tradition of Glogg came to be.
We know that cardamom was used in Scandinavia as far back as the 13th century and that Aquavit was drunk in the 1500s. Mulled wine has a history that goes back to the second century when apparently created in Rome.
It spread throughout Europe and was mentioned in one of England's oldest cookbooks in the 14th century. The act of heating wine was likely a way to warm oneself on cool days, but also a way to use less-than-ideal wines. Adding spices and sweeteners to wine is not a new practice.
In Germany, they have something very similar to Glogg (arguably the same) called Gluwhein, which means glowing wine. Not surprisingly, Aquavit also has a fan base in Germany, so it would seem like a natural progression into Norway and Sweden.
It is said that Gluwhein (glowing wine) became Glogg in name as it traveled north. Merriam-Webster Dictionary gives the etymology as:
Swedish glögg, from glödga to burn, mull, from glöd glowing coal, from Old Norse glōth; akin to Old English glēd glowing coal.
No matter where it comes from, it is good. The three elements of cardamom, Aquavit, and mulled wine met together in Scandinavia to become the holiday classic, Glogg.
One of the beauties of Glogg is that it is very forgiving. We use Pinot Noir, but most red wines work really well.
It is a traditional Scandinavian warm drink that is very similar to mulled wine but contains cardamom, almonds, and Aquavit.
Yes, it has wine in it and is often fortified with Aquavit or other drinks.
Mulled wine has many spices and variations. Glogg contains cardamom and often contains the Norwegian spirit, Aquavit.
📝 Tips and tricks
- OPTIONALLY, put all non-edible spices (cloves, cinnamon, ginger, orange, cardamom) in a cheesecloth container before adding to the crockpot.
- Optionally, strain out cloves, cinnamon, ginger, orange, and cardamom before serving.
- If you are not going to drink all of it, I would recommend straining out the bits before putting in the refrigerator.
🛠 Products used in this recipe
😋 Did you make this recipe?
That is awesome, and thank you so much for giving this Glogg recipe a try. If you could leave a rating in the comment area below, it would be greatly appreciated. This lets me know how I am doing and also helps others decide if they want to make this recipe. Most of all, thanks for visiting Ramshackle Pantry.
Glogg Recipe - A Traditional Scandinavian Holiday Drink
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 3 hours
- Total Time: 3 hours 10 minutes
- Yield: 12 servings 1x
- Category: Holiday Drinks
- Method: Slow Cooker
- Cuisine: Norwegian
Mulled wine with a Scandinavian twist. This warm traditional wine recipe is meant to warm your spirit and comfort your tastebuds. Get out your crockpot and make this great recipe for your guests this holiday season or sip it by your fireplace.
- 10 cloves
- 20 green cardamom pods… cracked
- 2 bottles Pinot noir (2x750 ml)
- 4 inches ginger
- ½ cup raisins
- ½ cup blanched almonds
- 1 orange peel
- 1 cup honey
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- ½ cup Aquavit
- Add all ingredients minus the aquavit to a crockpot and heat on low for at least 2.5 hours and up to 6. Make sure this never reaches a boil, but is warm enough to heat the mixture.
- Add ½ cup of Aquavit 30 minutes prior to serving.
- Serve in coffee mug with spoon so your guest can eat the almonds, raisins
- OPTIONALLY, put all non-edible spices (cloves, cinnamon, ginger, orange, cardamom) in a cheesecloth container before adding to crockpot.
- Optionally, strain out cloves, cinnamon, ginger, orange, and cardamom before serving.
- If you are not going to drink all of it, I would recommend straining out the bits before putting in refridgerator.
- Serving Size: 1 mug
- Calories: 416
- Sugar: 42 g
- Sodium: 18 mg
- Fat: 5 g
- Saturated Fat: 0 g
- Unsaturated Fat: 5 g
- Carbohydrates: 51 g
- Fiber: 2 g
- Protein: 3 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
Keywords: glogg recipe
This glogg is just perfect for the holidays! I love the flavor the cardamom added. I'll definitely sip on this all winter long.
Thanks for giving it a try, Amanda. I love some holiday drinks!
Five minutes ago I did not even know what a clogg was and now I am so intrigued and excited about this drink. I also have a couple of Norwegian friends and will are having a zoom holiday party next weekend. Guess what, I am planning to show off with your fab recipe! Thanks so much!
Many thanks for sharing this recipe. Sounds like a perfect drink for the Christmas season. We will enjoy it in the evening when the kids are in bed.
What a festive recipe to try for holidays. Definetly trying this out. Thanks for sharing
Oh I love mulled wine so I'm already a big fan of this. The fresh cardamom is a marvelous idea...this must smell wonderful simmering away too...loving all the warm flavors. Definitely will be trying this season 😀
This tastes so good! I've tried mulled wine before but never had one with cardamom in it. It really brings it to a whole new level! I'll definitely be making this over and over again for the next few weeks.
I can't wait to give it a try! Definitely the perfect recipe for this time of the year and a great way to broaden the drink choice over the holidays!
I love mulled wine at Christmas and New Year. It's traditional here in Italy too and I've also had it in Germany, Switzerland and the Czech Republic! But I've never tried a Scandinavian version. I like the addition of the cardamom! On my to make list!