From the beginning of December on through the New Year, glögg is served in Swedish homes on every festive occasion or when visitors drop by. A plate of St. Lucia Buns is typically offered with the hot spice wine. Many families also like to serve Glögg after the evening meal, when everyone is sitting around the fire—a plate of Ginger Citrus Cookies makes a great accompaniment.–Marcus Samuelsson

LC Bonus Vanilla Sugar Note

This recipe carries with it a bonus: that scraped-out vanilla pod can be upcycled. Here’s the lowdown from Marcus, the author of this recipe: “When you are using only the vanilla seeds in a recipe, save the pod for vanilla sugar. One or two are enough to flavor a pound of sugar; freeze extra pods to use later if you like. Simply bury the pod (or pods) in a canister of granulated sugar and let stand for a few days before using. Replenish the sugar as you use it – buried in sugar, the vanilla pod will remain aromatic for a few months or longer. Use the sugar in desserts and sweets, or stir it into hot coffee or chocolate.”

A glass mug of glogg aquavit on a white saucer with a pile of almonds on a red placemat.


5 / 2 votes
A festive Swedish mulled wine, glögg boasts the addition of ruby port, vodka, raisins, almonds, and warming spices. Perfect for serving with ginger cookies, too.
David Leite
Servings12 servings
Calories164 kcal
Prep Time1 day
Cook Time25 minutes
Total Time1 day 25 minutes


  • 2 cinnamon sticks, broken into pieces
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom pods
  • 1 small piece ginger, peeled
  • Grated zest of 1/2 orange
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 1/2 cup vodka
  • 1 750-ml bottle dry red wine
  • 1 cup ruby port or Madeira
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla sugar, (see Note)
  • 1/2 cup blanched whole almonds
  • 1/2 cup dark raisins


  • Crush the cinnamon and cardamom using a mortar and pestle (or put them on a cutting board and crush them with the bottom of a heavy pot). Put them in a small glass jar and add the ginger, orange zest, cloves, and vodka. Let stand for 24 hours.
  • Strain the vodka through a fine sieve into a large saucepan; discard the spices. Add the red wine, port or Madeira, sugar, vanilla sugar, almonds, and raisins, and heat over medium heat just until bubbles start to form around the edges.
  • Serve the glögg hot in mugs, with a few almonds and raisins in each one; keep any remaining glögg warm over very low heat until ready to serve (do not let boil).
Aquavit by Marcus Samuelsson

Adapted From


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Serving: 12 servingsCalories: 164 kcalCarbohydrates: 25 gProtein: 2 gFat: 3 gSaturated Fat: 1 gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1 gMonounsaturated Fat: 2 gTrans Fat: 1 gSodium: 5 mgPotassium: 120 mgFiber: 2 gSugar: 18 gVitamin A: 3 IUVitamin C: 1 mgCalcium: 29 mgIron: 1 mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2003 Marcus Samuelsson. Photo © 2003 Shimon | Tammar. All rights reserved.

About David Leite

David Leite has received three James Beard Awards for his writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    This is an excellent recipe although I made it without the vodka. The ruby red port is a nice touch and gives the drink a deep almost earthy kind of feel. Glögg is great served warm, which is of course the traditional way of doing it. We are experimenting with a few recipes to serve glögg chilled over cracked ice for the warmer months. The interesting thing about glogg is that there is no “one” recipe. Experimentation rules the day. I even had a batch made with Zinfandel and was pleasantly surprised!

  2. 5 stars
    This warm drink is fantastic! HOWEVER, strap a pillow to your tail as you’ll probably fall on it! 🙂 We used to keep this in those large coffee pots like you see at Church. Just go up, tap a glass and begin your journey.