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    Post #1 - November 30th, 2006, 8:44 pm
    Post #1 - November 30th, 2006, 8:44 pm Post #1 - November 30th, 2006, 8:44 pm
    I've always had a soft spot for glogg. I have fond memories of guys who thought they could drink anything coming to our family celebrations on Christmas Eve and downing a couple of mugs of hot glogg and ending up as blithering idiots.

    My sister and I made some once using Aquavit, whole cardamoms, almonds, ...etc. One of the steps is to light it on fire and when we did we had a 3 foot flame in my kitchen! It was pretty good.

    Lately though I have been using the non-alcoholic stuff from IKEA and mixing it with pure grain alcohol so it has a punch. It works out well.

    The other day I found 3 different brands of glogg with liquor in it, at the liquor store and selected the one called Han's Andersonville. We'll see how good it is.
  • Post #2 - November 30th, 2006, 11:22 pm
    Post #2 - November 30th, 2006, 11:22 pm Post #2 - November 30th, 2006, 11:22 pm
    imsscott wrote:Lately though I have been using the non-alcoholic stuff from IKEA and mixing it with pure grain alcohol so it has a punch. It works out well.

    This reminds me of a conversation I once overheard between two male med students:

    Student A: What kind of drinks did you take to the party?
    Student B: Yoohoo and grain alcohol.
    Student A: Were you trying to get her drunk or to light her on fire?

    Seriously, does anyone actually drink grain alcohol? If so, what does it taste like? I'm guessing rocket fuel.

    On the other hand, imsscott, I am a big fan of glogg, when made with red wine.
    Man : I can't understand how a poet like you can eat that stuff.
    T. S. Eliot: Ah, but you're not a poet.
  • Post #3 - December 1st, 2006, 11:41 pm
    Post #3 - December 1st, 2006, 11:41 pm Post #3 - December 1st, 2006, 11:41 pm
    Josephine wrote:Seriously, does anyone actually drink grain alcohol? If so, what does it taste like? I'm guessing rocket fuel.


    We used to drink lit shots. It's a little harsh going down. In glogg it doesn't add any taste, it just makes it high in alchohol content. You can also use it for blowing fireballs out of your mouth. :twisted:


    Josephine wrote:On the other hand, imsscott, I am a big fan of glogg, when made with red wine.


    Actually, real glogg is supposed to have both wine and Aquavit, a flavored vodka.
  • Post #4 - December 4th, 2006, 8:59 am
    Post #4 - December 4th, 2006, 8:59 am Post #4 - December 4th, 2006, 8:59 am
    Hmmm... As the site's self-proclaimed Swedish resident, I've just got to chime in here!

    Actually, real glogg is supposed to have both wine and Aquavit, a flavored vodka.


    This is the tricky thing with Glögg - it's been around for a long time and there are lots of recipes! However, I've got to take issue with the description of Aquavit as a "flavored vodka". Aquavit, aka "brännvin" in Swedish, is actually unflavored vodka. As to why it's not simply labelled "vodka", the only answer I can find is that it's usually less proof (between 35-37%) and doesn't have the same purity requirements as Swedish vodka. There are a number of "snaps" (snaps actually being the correct Swedish term for flavored brännvin) that have the word "aquavit" in their name ("Skåne aquavit", "Herrgårds aquavit") which perhaps only adds to the confusion...

    "Glögg" in itself is a strange name (even in Swedish!) and comes from the time red wine first started showing up in Sweden. The quality was often poor so people began mixing spices and sugar in it to make it a little easier to swallow. Someone then discovered that burning the sugar gave the finished product a tastier, caramelized flavor. "Glögg" comes from the old Swedish "glödgat", or "burnt". This led to an elaborate procedure of dipping sugarcubes in alcohol, lighting them on fire and letting them drip into bowls of spice wine. All good things, however, come to an end and these days most glögg is bought pre-sweetened and served non-flaming.

    Most glögg is made from red wine (white wine versions do exist), sugar and spices (dried Sevilla orange peel, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom and dried ginger) and then perhaps spiked with some sort of alcohol. Brännvin/vodka may certainly be used but cognac or rum is even better. Here, one can buy commercially made glögg in a variety of alcoholic strengths - from completely alcohol-free (for kids) to 2.2% (for drivers), 10% ("wine" glögg), 15% ("fortified-wine glögg") and 21% (spiked). Actually, the market has exploded over the past 5 years and there are now over 50 types of glögg available at the State-run liquor store. There's premium glögg spiked with cognac, vanilla glögg, even chocolate glögg.

    Glögg is often (and perhaps best) made at home, too! It ages wonderfully in the event of a few bottles being left over until next year. My only misadventure was when something (cheap wine or the perhaps the raisins) got a second fermentation going together with the sugar after bottling. The bottles didn't explode but my mugs of warm, fizzy glögg just didn't seem to say "God Jul!" to my guests like I'd hoped...
  • Post #5 - December 4th, 2006, 10:43 am
    Post #5 - December 4th, 2006, 10:43 am Post #5 - December 4th, 2006, 10:43 am
    Hi Bridgestone, thanks for the interesting post and your Swedish perspective, and thanks too to imsscott for starting this thread. In my Swedish-American family we would make glögg at Christmas time, especially if we were having a party, but we never tried to save any for future use. Here is the recipe that my mom uses and that I’ve made myself a few times. It’s a simple one and does not involve flaming liquid, sorry.

    Glögg – 1 gallon

    1 ½ lbs seedless raisins
    1 ½ c sugar
    1 T broken cinnamon bark
    1 T whole cloves
    2 dozen cardamom seeds
    1 gallon red table wine
    1 fifth brandy

    Cover raisins with about 3 c of water; add sugar, cinnamon and cloves. Crack the cardamom seeds and drop in with shells. Simmer, covered, for 2 hours or until raisins swell. (Add more water if necessary.) Remove from heat, add wine, bring almost to the simmer and keep hot (about 160 degrees) for 2 hours. Cool; leave spices in overnight. Drain.* Pour into bottles. Reheat when ready to serve, adding brandy.**

    * My mom’s instructions say “Squeeze raisins to get out all the wine.” But I dislike the added sediment in the glögg that results from this, so I don’t.

    ** The brandy is optional; the glögg is also great without being spiked. If your guests have anything they need to do after the glögg party (like, say, drive a car) you might consider leaving the brandy out.
  • Post #6 - December 4th, 2006, 11:11 am
    Post #6 - December 4th, 2006, 11:11 am Post #6 - December 4th, 2006, 11:11 am
    I hadn't heard of glogg till this thread and yesterday, strangely (or not), as I was restocking* on some Abba herring I saw this:

    Image
    pardon the shake
    Non-alcoholic, so I passed it up :)

    Thanks Bridgestone for the info and Amata for the recipe - I'll try it.

    *Dept. of quasi-related info: Low on options in that area - we decided, why not let's have lunch at Ikea - meatballs, salmon were quite good as was the lingonbery cheesecake. The steamed veggies were insipid. Generally, I was pleasantly surprised, though I suppose they subsidize the food thinking I'll buy the furniture (That didn't happen. Again).
  • Post #7 - December 4th, 2006, 1:23 pm
    Post #7 - December 4th, 2006, 1:23 pm Post #7 - December 4th, 2006, 1:23 pm
    Amata, thanks for the recipe. My experience has been limited to the version available this time of year at Simon's Tavern, up in my neighborhood which, I gather, is fairly well-renowned. Your recipe sounds well worth the time to conjure up a batch: one needs something to accompany the relatively imminent opening on Chanukah presents, doesn't one?

    Amata wrote:1 T broken cinnamon bark


    One question: does a smashed cinnamon stick qualify as "bark"? Thanks!
    Gypsy Boy

    "I am not a glutton--I am an explorer of food." (Erma Bombeck)
  • Post #8 - December 4th, 2006, 1:41 pm
    Post #8 - December 4th, 2006, 1:41 pm Post #8 - December 4th, 2006, 1:41 pm
    Hi G.B.,

    I'm glad you (and sazerac) might try the recipe. Yes, a cinnamon stick, broken up, is what you want.

    By the way, (I'll risk stating the obvious here) this is a recipe where you want to use something generic for both the red wine and the brandy components. Anything nice will be wasted once combined with the spices, raisins, and sugar.

    Skål!
  • Post #9 - December 4th, 2006, 5:23 pm
    Post #9 - December 4th, 2006, 5:23 pm Post #9 - December 4th, 2006, 5:23 pm
    have you tried Glunz Family's Glogg? It's made locally... they sell it in bottles at various wine shops around the city. or you could go to the House of Glunz itself (at wells and Division)... it's the oldest wine shop in the city (maybe the country?) ... went to a really great tasting there once.

    http://www.houseofglunz.com

    it's also the Glogg they serve at the KrisKindel (sp?) market in Daley Plaza....

    haven't tried a lot of others so don't really know how well it stacks up! ...
  • Post #10 - December 4th, 2006, 5:32 pm
    Post #10 - December 4th, 2006, 5:32 pm Post #10 - December 4th, 2006, 5:32 pm
    Amata wrote:By the way, (I'll risk stating the obvious here) this is a recipe where you want to use something generic for both the red wine and the brandy components. Anything nice will be wasted once combined with the spices, raisins, and sugar.


    True, but you don't want some (very) cheap swill either. I've made spiced/mulled wine - generally with a syrah or cabernet - usually adding some lemon and/or orange zest, cinnamon, cloves and a little sugar and drunk warm. I never thought to fortify the wine though, or put raisins.

    Some years ago I sampled the spiced wine at one wineries at either Cedarburg (WI) or Galena. It was interesting, bit heavy on the spices and prompted me to make my own - that way I controlled the wine quality...
  • Post #11 - December 7th, 2006, 12:52 am
    Post #11 - December 7th, 2006, 12:52 am Post #11 - December 7th, 2006, 12:52 am
    Hans Gotling: 1928 - 2006
    Bar owner won friends with glogg

    December 6, 2006

    This Christmas, one of the things people are sure to miss most about Hans Gotling is his famous glogg, the warm traditional Swedish drink he made of port wine, cinnamon, cloves and other ingredients.

    Mr. Gotling, 77, died Monday, Dec. 4, at Resurrection Medical Center in Chicago, said his wife, Carol Gotling.
    ...

    Mr. Gotling, a bar owner of 30 years and a fixture in the Andersonville community, created his own brand of the drink, Mr. Hans' Andersonville Glogg. Friends and family say that among his happiest times were selling his bottled glogg to customers, some who drove from as far as Minnesota for his homemade recipe.

    ...

    Mr. Gotling opened his bar, Clark Fosters Liquor, in the mid-1950s and kept it open for more than 30 years, drawing neighborhood crowds and various elements of the Chicago political machine, according to family and friends.

    "Hans knew everybody in the neighborhood," said Mike Roper, who bought the establishment from Mr. Gotling in the early '90s and renamed it Hopleaf Bar. "His bar was a big deal. It was from an era when all the tavern owners lived above their stores, and bars had multi-generation family owners."

    ...

    "It was the way neighborhood bars used to be," she said. "Never any trouble, just one big, happy family," she said.

    Mr. Gotling arrived in the United States as a teenager from Sweden in 1946, landing in New York en route to Chicago, where an aunt and uncle lived.

    "He originally came here thinking he would only come for a year, but he loved America, he loved the U.S., and he loved the opportunities that were afforded people here," Carol Gotling said. He loved it so much, in fact, it was about "six years until he made it back to his native Sweden," she said.

    Those who knew him remember his humorous stories, positive attitude and persistence. Family members recalled his stories about his first two weeks in the U.S.

    "He ate nothing but eggs and ham the whole time he was in New York, because those were the only words he knew how to say in English," said his son Glenn.

    ...

    His tavern also catered to the local Swedish population, serving its beloved holiday drink. For a long time, Mr. Gotling made his Christmas concoction in his apartment and sold it in his bar, Roper said.

    His wife remembers when he decided to sell it commercially. "It was so popular, and so many people came there for it, he eventually decided to go commercial with it."

    Mr. Gotling linked up with a Midwest distributor. Eventually, he sold the brand and recipe to a company in Minnesota, his wife said.

    "The thing is that his boys and I always talk about is that there are people who simply live life and those who experience it--he definitely experienced it," Carol Gotling said.

    ...


    I know I probably quoted more than I should have. However it is an obituary to be proud of.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #12 - December 8th, 2006, 12:40 pm
    Post #12 - December 8th, 2006, 12:40 pm Post #12 - December 8th, 2006, 12:40 pm
    The Sun Times published Hans Gotling's glogg recipe last year. I made a batch and thoroughly enjoyed it.

    http://www.suntimes.com/recipes/beverages/30726,glogg121405.article

    If this link doesn't work, you can find it by goes to the archives section of the SunTimes website and searching for glogg.
  • Post #13 - December 11th, 2006, 10:27 am
    Post #13 - December 11th, 2006, 10:27 am Post #13 - December 11th, 2006, 10:27 am
    Bridgestone wrote:Hmmm... As the site's self-proclaimed Swedish resident, I've just got to chime in here!

    Actually, real glogg is supposed to have both wine and Aquavit, a flavored vodka.


    Aquavit, aka "brännvin" in Swedish, is actually unflavored vodka. As to why it's not simply labelled "vodka", the only answer I can find is that it's usually less proof (between 35-37%) and doesn't have the same purity requirements as Swedish vodka. There are a number of "snaps" (snaps actually being the correct Swedish term for flavored brännvin) that have the word "aquavit" in their name ("Skåne aquavit", "Herrgårds aquavit") which perhaps only adds to the confusion...

    "..


    Interesting. I am not familiar with the Swedish aquavit, having never found any when I was making glögg. We just used either the Danish or Norwegian aquavit which is flavored and approximately 80 proof.

    Since all the seasonings and wine overpower the flavor in the aquavit, it is kind of a waste to use it. It's even a waste to use good vodka, since it doesn't provide any flavor and is just used for the alcohol. That's why we have gone to grain alcohol, since it provides punch without the taste, and not much is needed, which is especially important when adding to the non-alcoholic glögg mixes, so that it doesn't get watered down. Brandy does sound like a good idea though to add flavor and kick.

    The non-alcohol version is an easy way to go and it lets children and non-drinkers enjoy it too.
  • Post #14 - December 12th, 2006, 11:21 am
    Post #14 - December 12th, 2006, 11:21 am Post #14 - December 12th, 2006, 11:21 am
    imsscott wrote:Actually, real glogg is supposed to have both wine and Aquavit, a flavored vodka.


    In light of Mr. Gotling's recipe and Amata's, I rise with a point of clarification: I have often seen recipes calling for port in lieu of red wine. Are these, you should pardon the expression, blasphemous? A misguided effort at a deeper, more nuanced, flavor? Or, perhaps, right? Just wondering now whether I should use red wine or port....

    Thanks all for their posts on this most interesting thread.
    Gypsy Boy

    "I am not a glutton--I am an explorer of food." (Erma Bombeck)
  • Post #15 - December 13th, 2006, 4:47 am
    Post #15 - December 13th, 2006, 4:47 am Post #15 - December 13th, 2006, 4:47 am
    Go for the port, Gypsy Boy, if you can find it for a good price. But, cut down on the sugar and/or additional alcohol you may be adding otherwise. The end product should be full of spice, (warm), a little sweet and with a little kick. How you get to that combination is perhaps of lesser importance. Everyone over here (that actually bothers to make their own these days) has their own recipe so you'd probably find hundreds of combinations of wine, port and/or spirits around. But I think that port is a great idea!

    By the way, one of Stockholm's local papers printed an "old family recipe" for glögg which gives a hint to glögg from generations past. Roughly:

    1 1/2 cups water
    3/4 cup sugar
    4 cardamon pods
    4 cloves
    1 1/2 cinnamon sticks
    1 bit of dried Seville orange peel
    1 1/2 pieces of dried ginger

    ca 1 cup red wine
    1 1/2 cups brännvin or vodka

    Bring the water, sugar and spices to a boil. Remove from heat and let stand overnight. Add wine and vodka, warm and serve with raisins and peeled almonds.

    I haven't tried this recipe but I think it's safe to say that it should pack a decent punch.

    (There's a footnote that says that the original recipe called for one quart of vodka to only 1/2 cup red wine but that this version has been adjusted for today's tastes! They sure knew how to party back in the day...)
  • Post #16 - December 7th, 2007, 1:49 pm
    Post #16 - December 7th, 2007, 1:49 pm Post #16 - December 7th, 2007, 1:49 pm
    Christmas is sneaking up on me at least but I finally got this year's batch of glögg made.

    (Please see this post as what it is: a basic description of how one can make glögg and not a tried and true recipe. To me, this is the nature of homemade glögg - it's a little different every year. In fact, this is what sets this apart from the large variety of store-bought glögg available in Sweden. Let your wallet and your personal tastes steer which - if any - spirits, fortified wines, even spices to add.)

    I started with 6 bottles of decent but certainly not extravagant red, some cognac, some vodka, a bottle of Belgium strong ale and some spices:

    Image

    The beer is perhaps a little unorthodox but I wanted a little extra maltiness in the glögg.

    This year's flavors in N'ice Chouffe were thyme and Curacao.

    Image

    The spices:

    Image

    That's cinnamon, cardamom pods, dried seville orange peel, vanilla pods, cloves, mace, dried ginger and black peppar.

    Start by adding the beer to the spices and bring to a boil.

    Image
    I boiled as I really wanted to reduce the amount of yeast in the glögg. Once the glögg is sweetened and bottled, residual yeast can cause it to ferment and, as romantic as bubbly glögg may initially seem, it doesn't really strike most glögg drinkers as appropriate...

    Anyway, boil the beer with the spices for awhile and mix with the wine, a cup or two of cognac (just let your wallet regulate the amounts), and a half bottle of vodka. Let the entire mixture steep for a week or so.

    Before bottling, I made a simple sugar mixture from equal amounts of brown and refined sugar and as little water as possible. Carefully sweeten the glögg. Glögg should be pretty sweet as you need a fair amount of sugar to cut through the booze and the spices. However, too much sugar makes for a very cloying tipple. I used about one quart of sugar for my 7-ish bottles of booze.

    Finally, bottle and rope the kids into helping you make some labels:

    Image

    ("Tomte" means Santa in Swedish - something perhaps not too terribly obvious from the illustrations...)

    While I have yet to receive any peer reviews, I think that this year's batch turned out quite well. It's got a hearty kick but the malt of the beer is somewhere in there. Spice-wise, I like a the fact that this has a little extra cinnamon and the gentle heat of a little black peppar.

    God Jul!

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