Monday, October 8, 2012

Gløgg For All Hallows...

("Cauldron Capers", by Briar)
Each year around this time, many different people in many different countries start to whip out their traditional holiday recipes. Some have festive foods or drinks that they serve each year, whether their tradition be specific to their family, or traditional on a country wide scale.

In the Spirit of Halloween, I am sharing a holiday beverage recipe that is very traditional in Nordic countries (Iceland, Norway, Denmark, etc.) This warm, tasty, and rather potent libation is known as 'Gløgg'. Every culture seems to have their variation. The American equivalent would be 'mulled wine'.

Many of those familiar with Gløgg might tell you that it is more of a Yule tide drink, traditionally being served during the Christmas season. Some will say that it is a warm comforting brew enjoyed during cooler/colder months as a whole, which of course includes Halloween. I prefer the latter opinion. Mulled wine is said to be enjoyed during Halloween, and since Gløgg is a variation of mulled wine...need I say more?

I was introduced to Gløgg about 25 or so years ago when my mother worked at a danish furniture store in Atlanta, Georgia. It's really delicious stuff. Below is a good basic recipe. A component of the recipe is "Akvavit". If you are unfamiliar with what Akvavit is, it is a danish liquor. It really gives the concoction it's kick. If you can't find Akvavit at your local liqour store, you can leave it out completely. It will still be more than enjoyable. I haven't tried it with either of these, but I have been told that vodka or brandy are good substitutes for the Akvavit. As someone who loves a snifter of brandy from time to time, I would imagine that Gløgg would be really good with brandy in it.

As for the red wine, which makes up the bulk of the recipe, I would say that you can use just about any wine you want. I have often heard individuals on the food network say that, when using wine to cook with (if warming on the stove can be considered 'cooking'), you should use the same grade of wine that you would drink. The other camp I have heard chime in on this subject said that you can get away with cheaper wines when working with a recipe that has many different ingredients, and that is heated. That all being said, I have had some box and jug wines that were not only tasty, they were very reasonably priced. Once you factor in the port, spices, and sugar, I don't think it really matters how "shi-shi" the red wine is.

(Left to right: Cinnamon sticks; Cardamon; Cloves; Orange peel; Raisins; Slivered Almonds)
As for the raisins and almonds, once the Gløgg is ready to be consumed, be sure to put a few raisins and almonds in each glass. The raisins are especially yummy having been ruminating with all of the spices and such (be sure to throw them in the pot for the "flavor development" stage.

No comments:

Post a Comment