My mother’s family immigrated from Sweden and settled in a large Swedish-American community in central Massachusetts. Swedish food has always been a big part of our holiday celebrations. Swedish meatballs, potatoes, red cabbage, cheeses, pickled herring, breads, and wonderful sweets make up a traditional smorgasbord. My mother always made Glögg to add to the holiday festivities. Glögg is a spiced drink similar to mulled wine but with more of a kick. There are many variations on this warm winter beverage. My Mom’s was always quite potent. I fondly remember the shock of inhaling the fumes as a child. Here in Virginia, my husband and I enjoy making Glögg for our VSO friends and family. It is best served on a cold winter day in front of a crackling fire. Skol!
1/2 cup toasted almonds Chopped peel from 1/2 an orange 1 1/2 cups raisins
15-20 cardomom pods
2 cinnamon sticks
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 gallon port wine
1 quart 100 proof vodka
1 pint 151 proof rum
Put the first 6 ingredients in a saucepan along with 1 cup vodka and add water to cover spices about 1 inch over. Slowly bring to a boil and slightly mash all ingredients to get the flavor out of them (I use a potato masher). Boil about 30 seconds and shut off. In a large pot, combine contents of saucepan and add the sugar, port wine, vodka and rum. Bring entire pot to a boil and shut off (if you boil too long you will lose all your alcohol). Drink Warm. Serve in short coffee (espresso-type) mugs. Bottle and save. Reheat individual cups in the microwave.