Hello there. My name is Victor, and I’m essentially guest writing at the wonderful Scofflaw’s Den for reasons I’ll let someone else explain.
Generally, I’ll be posting about one of my all-time favorite beverages: Beer. (I drink it, and I make my own.)
However, today, I’m deviating slightly (before I’ve even begun), because, well, it’s that time of year. Today, I’ve made some Glogg! Glögg is the Nordic term for “heated,” and is essentially mulled wine, which is wine heated with various spices, depending on the recipe. (And, yes, there are lots of other names for it. Check out the mulled wine page on Wikipedia.)
The Glogg I made today is a slight variation of a clove and nutmeg recipe, and it’s pretty good. At least that’s what my wife tells me. The thing about Glogg to remember is that taste is subjective, and this type of drink tends to have a lot of different spices added to it, plus a good amount of sugar. Thus, the term “to taste” is an appropriate recipe direction when adding spices. Although the final drink will be thicker and spicier than while preparing it, be sure to taste as it heats and try to balance out the spices.
Here’s how I made it:
Take three 750ml bottles of Cabernet Sauvignon, about a cup of orange juice, about a teaspoon of nutmeg, a teaspoon of cinnamon, two tablespoons of whole cloves, one tablespoon of honey, two big tablespoons of maple syrup, two tablespoons or so of sugar (brown is good). Combine in a large saucepan over low heat, warming while stirring. Do not allow to boil. I let it get to about 160 degrees Fahrenheit, and was stirring frequently. For me, the total heating plus simmering time was about 20 minutes. Be sure not to heat too much, or the alcohol will evaporate. Serve warm (or even hot), with a cinnamon stick.
(Note that mine’s a bit on the extra-spicy side, and you might want to start off with about half the relative amounts of spice, and then spice up as you go, as needed. It’s cheaper and more efficient than having to add more wine to compensate. I like it spicy.)
Since I made so much, I put the concoction back into the wine bottles, with one for serving now, and the other two for later.
Don’t be surprised if you’re turned off by the smell. It’s not rancid or anything, but, instead, a bit overwhelming. The taste, however, is the kind that gives your whole mouth a spicy tingle, with lots of pleasant spice to accompany the mild wine. And it almost immediately warms your tummy (and keeps it warm!). Even if you’re not a wine drinker, give this a try. Obviously you can reduce the ingredients to make significantly less, if you want to experiment with just a single bottle.
An anecdote. While shopping for the ingredients, I found a great deal on Cabernet Sauvignon, and within seconds, had my handbasket filled with bottles of wine. Then some elderly woman accosted me, and I said, “Oh, am I allowed to do this?” And I searched the signs for some indication that I was limited to a certain number of bottles. No indication! But the lady didn’t work there, and she had an accent of some sort. She asked me what I was doing with all the bottles, and I said I was going to make mulled wine. She asked me what that was. I described it, and then a smile emerged from her face as she said, “Ah, Glogg! That reminds me of the old days in Paris.” She said “Paris” like the French would. We talked for a few minutes about the kinds of ingredients that would be good in such a drink, and she told me that her adult children didn’t allow her to drink wine, but she loved it so much that she drank it in secret and hid it. It was truly a spirit-lifting chat, and I felt it was an omen for my future success at Gloggmaking.
About the Author
From time to time, we here at The Den invite friends to write a guest article about the boozy subject of their choosing. Victor, in addition to being a very good friend of the Den and a co-worker of mine, was instrumental, along with his wonderful wife, in setting up the Scofflaw’s Den into the gorgeous site you see today. Victor is an avid home brewer and we have invited him to write about his adventures in homebrew and the tasty beers he most enjoys. Also, if you get a chance, check out the link under DC Sites to the right titled “Victor Williamson Photography.” Victor is a fantastic photographer and you can see his work there.