This recipe was developed by Marcus Jernmark, chef at Aquavit in New York City, as part of the restaurant's traditional julbord spread for Christmas. "Glögg is one of those things where every family has their own recipe," says Jernmark. "And there are trends: one year it's white, one year it's red, one year there's dark rum, one year there's vodka." The version he serves at the restaurant is, to his mind, close to the Platonic ideal of spiced wine, with brown sugar, dried fruits, and aromatic spices — and Indonesian long pepper, not as unusual a Scandinavian ingredient as it might sound. "Long peppers were one of the first things that Sweden brought back" when the Dutch East India Company established trade in 1602. "It's been used in Scandinavian cuisine for a long time."
Since glögg mixes wine with many, many other ingredients, Jernmark advises against using a particularly nice bottle. "You're totally destroying the wine," he says. "Obviously you shouldn't use a defective wine, but a cheap red is fine." He prefers a Cabernet.
2 bottles dry red wine ½ bottle of Port wine 1 cup vodka ¼ lb dried figs, sliced ¼ lb raisins 2 oranges, peel ribbons and juice 8 ounces light brown sugar 2 star anise 4 Indonesian long peppers 5 cloves 7 cardomom pods 3 cinnamon sticks
Place all ingredients in a large pot and bring mixture to a simmer, stirring from time to time. Remove from heat and allow glögg to macerate for 2 hours. Strain when ready to use, reheat and serve with blanched almonds, raisins and pepparkakor or ginger snaps on the side.