I miss my mom, y’all.
Christmas is 100% my mom’s jam.
You can’t arrive at her house in December without being offered some of the frikadeller (Danish meatballs), aebleskiver (Danish doughnuts), or glögg (Danish mulled wine) she always has on hand for her ongoing holiday celebrations.
You practically need a machete to get through the decorations dangling around her home.
She lights countless tealights around her home, hangs dozens of sparkling gold candle holders from her macron tree, and simmers, bakes, and cooks a gazillion things that ARE the holidays for me.
My mom and her home are pure cheer, joy, wonder, and celebration. And damnitall I don’t think I can go home to be with her this Christmas.
To assuage my homesickness, today’s recipe celebrates my mom, our Danish heritage, and jul in a big way: it’s that wonderful mulled wine known as gløgg (sometimes called gluhwein).
Gløgg is a traditional spiced wine that makes a wonderful, warm holiday beverage.
Gløgg fixings can also conveniently be delivered as a hostess gift with the spices, clementines, raisins, and almonds in a bag alongside a bottle of basic red wine. The only prep you’ll need to do before packing and gifting is with the orange or clementines: you’ll want to poke them with cloves ahead of time.
NOTE: This is an alcoholic beverage. Like, for real. If you allow the raisins and almonds to sit in the gløgg for a time and you share them in the bottom of serving mugs for your guests enjoy, gløgg can QUICKLY become an intense holiday beverage. Warn imbibers, pay attention to their consumption, and, please, never let anyone drive or travel in winter weather while compromised.
Yule Gløgg, i.e. Danish Mulled Wine
Traditional Danish mulled wine for the holidays (aka gløgg) with red wine, cinnamon, clove, orange, raisins, and almonds.
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 cup honey
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- Approximately 30 cloves for spiking oranges/clementines
- 1 orange or 3 clementines
- 6 cups of basic red wine
- 5 oz raisins
- 2 oz blanched, chopped almonds
- 1/3 cup dark rum, port, or vodka--it doesn't need to be the good stuff!
- Step 1 Press approximately 30 cloves into the peel of your orange or clementines to pierce and “spike” them.
- Step 2 In a large pot, heat water over medium heat. Add honey when warm, but not boiling–stir to dissolve honey.
- Step 3 Add spiked oranges/clementines, cinnamon sticks, red wine, raisins, and almonds. Cover and heat over medium to low heat until hot and steaming–you don’t want it to boil. You can keep the pot on low heat to keep it warm, but do avoid boiling.
- Step 4 Just before serving, add 1/3 cup (or more, to taste) of dark rum, port wine, or vodka to the pot. (Mom and I use vodka.) Stir to combine.
- Step 5 Ladle hot gløgg into mugs for serving. You can add spoon some raisins and almonds from the pot to each cup, but be sure to warn imbibers they’re there! The raisins and almonds are both a choking hazard and an extra alcohol kick for the unprepared.