Magnus does Glögg (mulled wine) based on an old recipe – Vallerstadglögg

Detta inlägg finns tillgängligt på Svenska på min vinblogg Aqua Vitae. It was originally published at Testimony of the spade,  it’s been slightly modified.

As christmas is closing in I’d thought i start this new venture off with a post on mulled wine 🙂

It is once again time to begin with the Christmas chores, step one is to boil mulled wine. Last year I tried this recipe and it was so good that I’ll make this year too. The recipe comes from the book Östgötamat (2008) (Food from Östergötland county) and called Vallerstadsglögg. It is undated is probably from the late 1800s.

Glögg or Mulled wine, Chaud wine, glühwein etc. is a beverage, based on the wine (usually red) and or hard liquor, to which spices are added and served hot. The word Glögg came into the Swedish language during the 19th century and comes from the Swedish word glödga (= to heat over red heat) and during that century this drink got to be connected to the Christmas traditions in Sweden. The tradition to spice and heat wine is much older and known to have been done already in ancient Greece and Rome. This mulled wine is in other words a relic from Christmases past.

Take two bottles of porter and a bottle of beer (Pils) and boil with 2 pieces of cinnamon, 2 figs, 2 pommerans shell, 12 cloves, 12 whole cardamom seeds, 2 hg scalded almonds, 2 hg raisins, 3 hg sugar for about 15 minutes. I use ½-liter bottles and based on last year’s experiments I’ve chosen to increase the dose of cloves and cardamom (whole cardamom seeds) slightly to 20 each.

Allow the mulled wine to cool off and add a bottle of clear (unspiced) snaps, aquavit (75cl). I have chosen to use Brännvin special.

If you wish, you can heat a few hundred grams of sugar and pour this into the mixture. I would and will do so! At last pour a bottle of home-brewed wine of madeira- or sherrytype. I have no homemade -so I’ll use a bottle of Leacock’s Saint John Madeira.

Let the mulled wine stand well covered for a 24 hours, then remove the spices, raisins and almonds. The raisins and almonds are stored and served into the drink when it’s heated.

This mulled wine does not taste as our modern “traditional mulled wine” but more mature, darker, a bit malty with hints of dark brown sugar (though this is not included) and above all very Christmassy. It is almost as sweet as the modern mulled wine, but lacks the juice/lemonade- structure that is present in most modern mulled wines. This makes it a welcome break from all the Christmas candy and the juiciness of the modern mulled wines.

The recipe was originally recorded by Ruth Wallensteen-Jaeger (1903-1995) and published in Östgötamat by Inga Wallenquist.

If you are not inclined to make one quite as advanced you can try a simpler ditto: Julglögg (Christmas mulled wine) from Regna, that dates to the mid-1800s.

Calculate ½ teaspoon whole cardamom seeds to 2 dl clear (unspiced) aquavit or snaps. Tie the spices in a linen patch and heat up the booze with spice patch in. Remove the spices and add 1 ½ tablespoons syrup. Serve warm.

Magnus Reuterdahl



  1. Never really enjoyed mulled wine; always seemed a bit of a waste of a bottle of red! I’m guessing it is down to the poor quality mulled wine sachets of spices one can get over here.

    Never seen the addition of almonds to it though.

    • I’ve come across several types of mulled wines, what we in Sweden call glögg today is most often an inbetween a poor red wine spiced with with cinnamon and cardamom, and a lot of sugar – not all that fun. We normally add raisins and almonds. This old one that is more based on hops, madeira och hard liquer tastes quite diffrently – and quite good 🙂

  2. I have several bottles of homemade Glogg. Does it get old? How would you know if it was spoiled? What ingredients would you add as the Glogg was heated up?

    • I all depends on how much alcohol is in it and how you store it (I store it like wine – ca 14 degrees Celsius) – the version I made in this post has survived several years with little or no change (and the change has been for the better).

      The only thing I normally add after heating it – is almonds and raisins

      If its bad it will taste off or have a foul smell.

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