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Updated on December 12, 2016
Got Glogg?
Got Glogg?
Simon's Tavern Chicago - Andersonville
Simon's Tavern Chicago - Andersonville

Glogg: The Traditional Holiday Beverage

So ... What exactly is glogg?

Glad you asked!

Glogg is a traditional holiday beverage that has been around for centuries. The term "glogg" is derived from the German term "gluhwein" which basically means "spiced wine".

And that's what glogg is ... a delicious spiced wine beverage.

But it's more than just a spiced wine. There are literally dozens of glogg recipes. Some contain hard spirits while others consist simply of wine and spices.

We'll touch upon how to make glogg in a few minutes, but first, a little history ...

The History Of Glogg

Glogg is a centuries old tradition most closely associated with Scandanavian countries like Sweden, Norway, and Denmark. The beverage is aligned most with Sweden and is still served in many Swedish communities in the United States.

Glogg has traditionally been served around the Christmas and New Years holidays, and into January. In Sweden especially, it is a time honored holiday libation that warms the bones and also warms the heart.

Because it's a spiced wine, it will keep for several months when stored in a cool and dark place.

This unique beverage is making a bit of a resurgence here in the United States. Certain traditional Swedish enclaves, like Chicago's Andersonville neighborhood, are the best places to enjoy a mug or two. One place in particular where you can find glogg in December and January is Simon's Tavern, an historic Chicago bar/tavern that has been around since 1934. It's located just north of the intersection of Clark Street and Foster Avenue on Chicago's north side, in the heart of the Andersonville neighborhood.

Enjoy A Glass Of Glogg Year Around!

What Are The Ingredients In Glogg?

Depending on one's heritage and personal tastes, glogg recipes can be quite different. However, it's safe to say there are some common ingredients ...

Since glogg is a wine based beverage, almost all recipes call for some sort of sweet red wine. Most glogg recipes use a sweet red table wine, like a burgundy, but again it all depends on personal preference.

Some of the other common ingredients in a batch of glogg might include ...

  • Brandy or port wine
  • Cinnamon Sticks
  • Cardamom Pods
  • Fruit, like oranges or prunes
  • Cloves
  • Raisins
  • Almonds
  • Hard Spirits (like vodka)

We'll share one of our favorite glogg recipes in a moment. Now available, our new ebook, "Make Glogg, Not War: The 25 Greatest Glogg Recipes", download at our glogg resource website, .  Perfect for the holidays!

Glogg Recipe

Of course, there are literally hundreds of glogg recipes. The combination of ingredients is limited only by your imagination!

In certain areas, you'll see hard spirits added to glogg that are unique to the area or local culture. In the southern United States for example, it's not uncommon to see glogg recipes with a cup of rum in the mix.

Similarly, we've seen recipes with bourbon, grain alcohol, and vodka. While our own recipe is a little more traditionalist, here's a recipe for glogg that we're sure you'll like ...

Glogg Recipe

Ingredients: 1 gallon of burgundy wine (the jug style is just fine), 1 pint of brandy, 750 ml bottle of vodka (a fifth).

4 cinnamon sticks, 5 whole cloves, 1 quartered orange, 1/2 cup of raisins, 1 cup of pitted prunes, 1 cup of fine white sugar, 6 whole cardamom pods, 20 blanched (skinless) almonds, and one quart of water.

What To Do: First of all, get a big stove top pot, like a dutch oven, something that will easily hold all of the liquid. Then, invite some good friends over, because making glogg should be a party!

1. Heat the burgundy wine, brandy, and vodka to a temperature below boiling. You do not want to burn off the alcohol! Just heat it until it's plenty warm.

2. In a seperate pot, heat all the other ingredients. Again, not to a boil, but to a warm heat.

3. Add the mixture together in the pot containing the alcoholic ingredients. Simmer on low heat for an hour.

4. Reserve (take out) the fruit, cinammon sticks, raisins, and almonds.

5. With a ladle, serve into coffee mugs or glasses with the raisins and almonds on the side. Garnish with a fresh cinnamon stick.

Bottling: You can bottle whatever is left over in screw top wine bottles that have been rinsed. You can store glogg for several months in a cool, dark place. Not only will it remain fresh, but it will pick up some added spicy characteristics over time.

We recommend drinking your bottled glogg within a year at most. It'll be time to make the next batch anyway!

Tell Us Your Glogg Experiences! Thanks For Stopping By!

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    • Jim and Laura profile image

      Jim and Laura 5 years ago from Chicago area

      No ... the orange does not need to be peeled. We just quarter it and throw it into the pot; in fact, the orange rind helps give the glogg a more interesting flavor!

    • profile image

      Christina Carlton 6 years ago

      When it comes to the orange, does it need to be peeled?