Here’s a Christmas Gløgg recipe that’s good for sharing, hot or cold


By Sam Bygrave
Presented by Vashti Hardie of Neighbourhood Bondi
Photography by Steve Brown

Okay, so the temperature isn’t so cold as to have you breaking out the woodfires and hot poker, but here’s a drink that’s good for sharing whatever the weather, served either hot or cold.

Gløgg is a traditional Danish Christmas drink of mulled wine. I first came across it in the cold winter of Wisconsin. I was studying at the university there and staying with a bunch of international students and got to know the Scandinavians quite well.

The Gløgg recipe here is one that was given to me by a good friend, Mathias — a great Dane if ever there were one, he’s well taller than six foot and has a loud booming voice the kind you think the Vikings might have had. And if there’s one thing that brings down cultural barriers and weakens the traditional Scandinavian reserve, it’s alcohol. Hot, strong, alcohol.


Gløgg is evidence of the ties that bind us across cultures: a mix of wine and spices in Germany is known as Gluhwein; in the British Isles as mulled wine; south to Spain, Sangria is little different, replacing the spices with fruit and heat with ice.

So even though this drink is served warm, often straight from the stove, we reckon it makes a pretty flavoursome cooler when its chilled down with ice — and great around the BBQ.

Gløgg recipe


  1. 1.5 litres of red wine 
  2. 150g molasses
  3. 20g cinnamon sticks
  4. 20g whole allspice
  5. Small knob of ginger sliced
  6. 20 grams of whole cloves
  7. 10g whole cardamom
  8. 500ml dark rum 
  9. 200ml taffel akvavit
  10. Zest of 1 orange
  11. 4 cups of raisins 
  12. 100 grams almonds 
  13. 500ml tawny port  

The day before, steep the raisins in the port in a large jar and leave overnight.
In a saucepan, add 500ml of the red wine and ingredients 2 – 7. Heat until just before boiling, then allow to steep til the mixture returns to room temperature.
Add the wine mixture to a large pot, then add the remaining wine, rum, akvavit, orange zest, and orange juice. Warm to approximately 80 degrees Celsius, being careful not to boil to avoid burning off the alcohol.
Add the port and raisins, and almonds, stirring through the warm mixture.
Serve warm (or chill down with ice).
Adapted from a recipe from a real-life actual Danish person.

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