Christmas. The time of the year when drinks get spiked with spices, time (should) slows down to just embrace the simple pleasure of being together. It is time for love, for comforting cookies and eggnog, and it’s time for mulled wine.
Mulled wine is huge in Norway and Sweden during the Christmas Holidays. They serve it at every Christmas market and the stores fill up with the ready-made bottles. They are fine, but it will be even more festive to make your own.
And I think that’s what Christmas is about. To slow down, enjoy your time in the kitchen and just relax. The stores are packed with people rushing to get things done as quickly as humanly possible. That’s when I just take a time out and return to my own pace and my own kitchen. (My secret? I rushed in November in order to relax in December)
Scandinavian Mulled Wine
Gløgg is a spiked wine with spices such as cinnamon, ginger, allspice, star anis and the like. I don’t think there is one correct answer to what’s included in a mulled wine, it’s more about your own preferences. My mulled wine is extra spiked with spices, of course. You can adjust with adding more water or more wine to your own liking.
I’m not much of a drinker, really, so my gløgg is usually non-alcoholic. I made this for the drinker and the non-drinker, and it’s easily combined. I make a large batch of non-alcoholic gløgg, and then heat up red wine next to it and add it to the drinkers’ glasses. The wine itself won’t be as strong a spice flavor as in other recipes, but that’s also why my mulled mix is strong.
I think you will like it, with or without wine.
When I was researching ingredients in English, I also found that I am not happy with the translation of the Norwegian word ‘saft‘, I think some use the word squash (drink) , some use concentrate and some use cordial. Hope you’ll understand what I mean by this! I use blackcurrant saft/squash/concentrate/cordial, because it really elevated the spices and gives it more of a body than using just water. I really don’t think that will be as good, and you would at least need to add more sugar in it.
Find a saucepan of 3 liter or more, and add in all the ingredients. Add in all the spices; star anis, allspice berries, peppercorns, cinnamon sticks, sliced ginger, saft/concentrate + water, apple juice, sliced orange and lemon, juice of half a lemon, zest of half an orange and the brown sugar. Really, just dump it all in, apart from the red wine. You can add it at this point if everyone want alcohol. But remember that you only want the wine to heat up, not boil.
Whenever you see smoke starting to evolve, just remove from the heat and let it rest for around 20-30 minutes. This will let all the spices blend with the liquids. But before resting time, I like to remove the orange and lemon slices to avoid getting too bitter gløgg.
You may want to reheat it just a little when it is done steeping. That’s also when you’ll heat your red wine if you’re separating the two. Remove the whole spices from the mix and it’s ready! Garnish each glass with an orange or clementine slice, cinnamon stick and star anis. But remember that the garnishes may give it an even stronger flavor.
Enjoy with some Norwegian Christmas Men or gingerbread.
I hope you all have a wonderful Advent!
Gløgg is wonderful paired with all sorts of small cookies and buns, such as:
And if mulled wine isn’t for everyone in the family, I will highly recommend tossing together a really rich and creamy hot chocolate for them!
Please let me know what you thought, either in the comment section below or tag me @thegingerwithspice on Instagram. And don’t forget to Pin it for later!
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