Gløgg, glüwein, mulled wine – the names and languages may be different, but not the brew. Hot and steamy, heady with spice, and boosted with spirits, warm spiced wine is the winter season’s response to the cold and darkness. This made-from-scratch recipe avoids the cloying sweetness often found with mixes and is remarkably easy to prepare – just be sure that the wine does not come to a boil, lest all of its fortification will evaporate.
If this doesn’t get you fired up for the holiday season, then we’re not sure what will.
Warm Spiced (and Spiked) Red Wine
Serves 8 to 10
For the garnish:
1 cup raisins
1/3 cup Cointreau or Gran Marnier
1/2 cup whole almonds (optional)
For the wine:
1 1/2 cups Port wine
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/2 cup Cointreau or Gran Marnier
1/3 cup light brown sugar
Zest of 2 untreated or organic oranges, shaved in strips with a vegetable peeler
2 cinnamon sticks
2 bottles full-bodied red wine
Fresh orange slices as garnish
Prepare the garnish:
Combine the raisins and Cointreau in a small bowl. Let stand at room temperature for at least 2 hours. (The raisins may be prepared up to one week in advance. Cover and refrigerate until use). Toast the almonds in a dry skillet on the stove. Remove from the heat and coarsely chop into large pieces.
Prepare the gløgg:
Combine all of the gløgg ingredients, except the 2 bottles of red wine, in a heavy large pot with a lid. Bring to a boil, the reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until the liquid reduces to about 2 cups, about 12 to 15 minutes. Add the red wine, cover the pot, and reduce the heat to low. Heat the gløgg without letting it come to a boil (lest the spirits will evaporate!)
To serve, add a spoonful each of raisins and almonds, if using, to a glass or mug. Strain the gløgg into the glass. Garnish with fresh orange slices and serve with a spoon for scooping up the raisins and almonds.
This article originally appeared in Marin Magazine’s print edition with the headline: “Flavor Recipe: Warm Spiced (and Spiked) Red Wine”.
Lynda Balslev is an award-winning food writer, editor and recipe developer based in the San Francisco Bay area. She authors the nationally syndicated column and blog TasteFood, and co-authored the cookbook Almonds: Recipes, History, Culture (2015 Silver Medal Winner Independent Publisher Awards). She is the 2011 recipient of the Chronicle Books Award (Recipe Writing) to the Symposium for Professional Food Writers, and a 2018 Fellowship Award recipient to the Symposium for Wine Writers at Meadowood, Napa Valley. Lynda’s writing and photography have been recognized by the New York Times Diners Journal, the Los Angeles Times, The Huffington Post and more.