There are many ways to regard Glögg in a traditional manner. As has been said, every family does it a little different from how Glögg is made to how it’s served or combined. Better put, there are as many ways to make and serve glogg as there are grandmothers in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, and Estonia. Here’s a few pointers with geographic perspective.
Swedes from the Islands of the Baltic and Stockholm heat the Glögg and add even more spices, typically will use white rum as the spirit. Further inland Swedes will use only red wine, and the further north “old red wine”…the older the better. You must float raisins, almonds, lingonberries,cinnamon sticks, and other hard spices when served. If you go further west, such as Norway, or have split relatives, Aquavit or caraway liquor as a final ingredient is a must, and often served over lumps of sugar. Finland, it’s called glögi, you are compelled to add cardamom in quantity, black currants, and Finnish blueberries. Finns are evenly divided on traditional red wine and vodka. Further south, Danes will start with white wine for serving and the making, and they start around October with their fall drinking habits. They switch to red wine later in the year. Estonians also call it glögi , but tend to use more spices like cardamom, cloves, and anise. Citrus is also more emphasized. Really sweet red wine is a must. In Iceland it’s called Jólaglögg. Leaner on the spices, often just cardamom, clove and cinnamon, any red wine, and often a peat whiskey. Vodka is used if necessary. And last but not least, to all our Swedish friends in Jamestown NY, make it anyway you want, but you must dilute it with EverClear (EC). They really believe that EC adds the gunpowder to Glogg that you will never forget. Feel free to look up EverClear and you will see what I mean.