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.”
- 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).
Originally published December 03, 2009