Swedish Spiced Wine (Glögg)
At the holidays, hot mulled wine is consumed across Europe. We’re particularly fond of the Scandinavian variety, glögg. It is made with red wine and sugar, plus a robust cast of warm winter spices. Often bolstered by brandy, rum or aquavit—a caraway-flavored spirit—the warm beverage can be tooth-achingly sweet. We wanted to capture the complexity of mulling spices while curbing glögg’s sweetness. Our solution was to create a concentrate made from heavily spiced syrup and brandy. The sugar and alcohol preserved it for weeks, meaning we could make a batch or two and enjoy it throughout the season. The concentrate also allowed us to make the drink by the glass and tailor the sweetness of each serving. We like to drop a few brandied raisins into each glass, but that’s optional. Leftover brandied raisins can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week (add more brandy to keep them longer). The concentrate recipe should yield about 2½ cups and can be doubled. To prepare an individual serving, use 3 tablespoons of concentrate for every ½ cup of wine.
01In a 2-cup liquid measuring cup, combine the brandy and raisins. Microwave until steaming but not bubbling, about 1½ minutes. Let sit for at least 1 hour. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the water, sugar, zest, cinnamon, ginger, figs, cardamom, cloves and peppercorns and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. Cover, remove from the heat and let sit 30 to 60 minutes.
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