This Swedish Christmas glogg is essentially mulled wine that makes a festive Yuletide punch. For dramatic effect, lower the lights and ignite the drink before ladling it into stemware. You’ll be rewarded with a round of appreciative ahhs and ohhs. Originally published December 1, 2001.–David Leite
Combine the wine and spirits in a 6-quart, non-reactive pot over medium heat. Add the almonds, raisins, and orange peel. Toss in the cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves or, if you happen to have some cheesecloth or a tea ball, you can drop the spices in there before tossing them in the pot, which makes for easy retrieval. Cover the pot and warm the wine and spices over medium heat. Be careful not to let the wine boil. You want the glögg to come to a gentle simmer. Then reduce the heat to low and let the wine and spices steep for at least 30 minutes.
Flaming the mulled wine is optional but dramatic. Using the pot lid as a shield, hold it upright against the rim of the pot and carefully hold a kitchen match near the rim, inching it closer to the surface of the wine until the fumes ignite. After a few seconds, smother the flame by closing the lid. Using a slotted spoon, remove and discard the spices. Ladle the glögg into teacups and serve with spoons so that guests can indulge in the deliciously boozy raisins and almonds.
To make the dried orange peel, quarter and peel an organic orange. Reserve the flesh for another use. Chop the peel into 2-inch pieces, place on a non-reactive baking pan, and bake at 200°F (90°C) for 2 to 3 hours until dried but not browned. Cool overnight and store in a sealed plastic bag at room temperature.