Christmas in a predominantly Muslim country is different. While everyone has pretty much bought into the spirit of Christmas – the exchanging of gifts, the food and the general all round good cheer, things like mulled wine does not really make the list. That probably also is partly due to the fact that in 30 odd degree weather – the last thing you want to do is a warm cup of spiced wine.
Aside from my mother teasing my father for the way he pronounced Gløgg (to be fair the ø is impossible). My early memories of Gløgg is when the Scandinavian Society held their Annual Children’s Christmas party – not that it was being served to children of course. I just remember how our kitchen and the venue was filled with the aroma of spices and wine, as my mother and a couple of other ladies made a ridiculous amount to satisfy some thirsty Scandinavians.
Since then I have only ever had it in Ireland at a Christmas market and at my grandfathers.
For our little Christmas get together with Dan’s friends, we kind of decided to make Gløgg at the last minute – ie we did not really have all the ingredients.
So we improvised and made our own quick version of it, which I think turned out quite well – if I say so myself.
1 bottle of red wine
50 ml Akvavit (you can use Vodka as a substitute)
50ml Dark Rum
75grams of caster sugar
3 Cinnamon Sticks
9 Cardamom pods
1 Star Anise
2 Handfuls of Raisins
100gm Sliced Almonds
1. Heat up wine, sugar and spices over low heat – do not bring to boil
2. Once the sugar dissolves add the Orange – usually they say use peels, but we sliced up the orange and put it in, which made for very tasty orange slices
3. Add the shot of Rum and Akvavit once wine is warm
4. Add raisins and sliced almonds
5. Let it sit for an hour, and warm up before serving
The thing about Gløgg is you can pretty much make it to your liking – for mine I dropped the amount of sugar used by half and even then I found it quite sweet. Though truth be told, ours really packed a punch so serve in little glasses and pre-warn whoever is drinking it!
Other things I would like to try would be adding some Orange Juice to it, soaking the raisins and spices in port the day before or even just soaking the raisins in blackcurrant rum or akvavit – which is what my grandfather does.
How do you make your mulled wine/Gløgg? If you try this recipe, do drop me a line and let me know what you think of it.