Glögg - Mulled Red Wine

Glögg is a must for the upcoming Holiday Season in many homes in Iceland as in other Nordic countries. Every year, wherever I am in the world, I make lots of it to enjoy with my family and friends during the Advent and Christmas season but also to give as presents . . . often with my homemade saffron buns and gingerbread cookies.



Actually, while I’m writing this blog post, I can smell the slightly sweet & buttery saffron infused buns (here is a link to the recipe) that are baking in the oven and I'm not sure if I can wait until tomorrow to devour a few with my morning coffee . . . while reminiscing about the St. Lucia festivities, celebrated on December 13th, that I especially enjoyed while living in Sweden and Finland many years ago!


This mulled red wine recipe is also great as a sweet dessert sauce . . . especially with poached pears but you can also simmer some over low heat to reduce it and serve it with strong tasting cheese! In any case, Glögg is a real favorite of mine and I think most people who have tasted it can't get enough of it! For the non-alcoholic version check out the tips below.



Ingredients 1 cup dark brown sugar ½ -1 cup brandy, to taste 1 whole orange with peel - thinly sliced ½ tsp ground ginger ½ tsp ground cardamom 8 whole cloves, 2 cinnamon sticks ¼ - ½ cup Port, Sherry or Greek Mavrodaphne wine, to taste 2 - 3 bottles red wine, to taste


Preparation Method

In a large pot, over low heat, melt sugar in brandy. Add orange slices, ginger, cardamom, cloves and cinnamon sticks and bring to boil. Lower heat and add the Port, Sherry or Greek Mavrodaphne wine and 1 bottle of red wine. Mix carefully and let simmer for 2 - 3 minutes. Do not boil!

Remove pot from stove and keep the wine mixture overnight at room temperature.

The following day, add 1 - 2 bottles of red wine (to taste) and heat thoroughly . . . and again . . . make sure not to boil it!

Remove pot from stove, strain and pour warm mulled wine into mugs or glass tea cups or into a pot to hold warm. If not using immediately, pour into sterilized bottles, allow to cool and then seal with a cork or other cap. Store in a cool place, away from any sun.

Serve with raisins, whole almonds and saffron buns, gingerbread cookies or my granny's butter cookies.

Yield: Enough for 18 - 20 persons! Tips!

  • For a non-alcoholic version, make the recipe with Apple Juice instead of wine, omit the brandy and adjust the sugar and seasoning to your liking.

  • Always use good quality red wine . . . . it will make all the difference!

  • This year I added some fresh ginger to the mixture for an extra kick and those who have already tasted it, really liked it! So, play around with the seasoning and adjust to your liking.

  • Always store in a cool place.

  • Should you have any left overs . . . . . use it in sauces or for sweets . . . such as poached pears!

©KaritasM – November 2021

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