Hat tip to Bloody for the picture of his batch...

In my family, it isn’t Christmas without a Swedish mulled wine cocktail called glogg (closest pronunciation to how my Swedish grandmother said it: glugck.) We prepare it the day before any gathering and let the flavors go crazy so it is at full impact when we serve it. Combine this with the ham, meatballs, rice pudding, 4 types of herring and you have yourself a pretty loud and drunken smörgåsbord Christmas.

I figured we’re all friends, and though I won’t share the exact family recipe (because it’s in quantities meant to serve around 30 people) Here’s an approximate recipe:

First of all, put all of these spices in a big enough soft clean cloth like a piece of an old T-shirt. Tie a piece of string around the top to seal in all the pieces.

About 3 sticks of cinnamon (sp) Break them up.

20 or so whole cloves

1 heaping teaspoon of Cardamom seeds. Do not use the powder type. (Not the pods. Bruise them with a rolling pin or something hard)

Zest of a navel orange

A few thin slices of fresh ginger 10 or so

Put this bag of spices in about 1 quart of water and boil it for at least ½ hour. ( Covered)

Blanch about a cup of almonds (or find blanched ones and ignore the next step)

Boil the almonds for a minute, pour off the water and peal them.. Just squeeze them and they pop out. Set aside.

1 cup of golden raisins

2 cups sugar

When the spices are ready, turn off the heat. Pour this into a crock pot. Add the almonds, raisins and sugar.

Turn the crock pot on high. Add one 1.75 liter of inexpensive red wine. Add one bottle of Port wine. Add one bottle of inexpensive Vodka, Add one pint of inexpensive brandy.

Do not boil this because alcohol evaporates at 160 degrees. Set the crock pot on low. Let it sit a while to soften up the raisins. Please be careful and enjoy. Appoint designated drivers if you plan to drive.

Serve in glass cups with a few almonds and raisins

Some recipes will have you heat this slowly over a stove and then light it on fire (not kidding) to get a different flavor. Some like the anise flavor and will use aquavit that highlights that flavor in place of some of the vodka. If you don’t like the anise, add more orange/lemon rind to bring out the citrus. I tend to use 1L of cheap vodka and 750 mL of skåne aquavit when I make this recipe.

The key is, don’t plan on driving afterward, the stuff is sneaky strong thanks to it being served warm.