Glogg: Explore The Origin Of This Comforting Festive Drink

Whether it is a weekend dinner party with family or a cocktail evening with friends, glogg is among those classic drinks that appear at every social gathering. Made with mulled wine or any other spirit, it is very popular in Sweden and Scandinavian countries. It has a deep taste with a citrusy hint and is best served in little mugs with a handle. 

Infused with the flavours of warm spices like cardamom pods, ginger root, cinnamon and cloves, some recipes also feature orange zest, raisins and almonds. But did you know, the roots of glogg can be traced back to the Middle Ages when the method of spicing and heating wine to make a mulled concoction was widely practiced across Europe.  

The term glogg is derived from the Old Norse word ‘glodga’ which means “to heat” or “to burn.” As per a theory during the 16th century, glogg was a popular drink among messengers who would ski or travel on horseback during the chilly season. However, over time, this warm beverage became popular in Sweden and intertwined with Scandinavian winter celebrations. It was at this time when spices like cloves and cardamom were added to the original recipe. 

Over time, glögg transformed from a practical drink to a social one. By the 19th century, it had become a staple for winter gatherings including Christmas, enjoyed alongside sweet treats like waffles. From humble beginnings to till date, glogg continues to be among the most popular comforting drinks. So, the next time you raise a mug of glögg, take a moment to appreciate the rich history that brings this comforting drink to your table. 

Glogg Recipe 


  • 2 cinnamon sticks, broken into pieces 
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom pods 
  • 1 ginger, peeled 
  • Zest of ½ orange 
  • 6 whole cloves 
  • ½ cup vodka 
  • 750 ml bottle dry red wine 
  • 1 cup fortified wine 
  • 1 cup granulated sugar 
  • 1 tbsp vanilla sugar 
  • ½ blanched whole almonds 
  • ½ cup dark raisins


  • Crush cinnamon and cardamom in a mortar and pestle. Transfer to a small glass jar and add ginger, orange zest, cloves, and vodka. Allow it to sit for one day. 
  • Strain vodka through a fine-mesh sieve into a saucepan and discard spices. Add both wines, granulated sugar, vanilla sugar, almonds and raisins and heat just until bubbles start to form around the edges. 
  • Ladle glogg into mugs, with a few almonds and raisins in each one and enjoy.