Warming White Gløgg with elderflower liquor
A cozy, comforting Christmas concoction
Taste of Norway Editor
The Norwegian American
Mulled red wine (or Scandinavian gløgg) is a soul-warming treat during the colder months of the year. But have you ever tried mulled white wine? It is a delicious variation of its red wine cousin.
My recipe for White Gløgg is a cozy concoction of white wine, warm spices, and elderflower liqueur. This comforting elixir is just the thing to get a chilly evening off to a festive start.
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS
Cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom steep in dry white wine until it is spiced and fragrant.
Elderflower liqueur finishes off this cozy gløgg with its signature honey sweet-citrus flavor.
Perhaps the most important tip of all: don’t let the gløgg come to a boil! Boiling or even simmering the gløgg will cause the alcohol to evaporate. We don’t want that! Bring the gløgg up to the point of simmering and then turn off the heat.
Let the wine and the spices steep for several hours. The flavor of your gløgg will improve if you give the wine a chance to really take on the flavor of the warm spices.
Add the elderflower liqueur just before reheating and serving. Again, do not let the gløgg come to a boil. We want to preserve the potency of our mulled wine.
If you want to stick with Nordic tradition, serve with golden raisins and blanched slivered almonds. These “garnishes” will inevitably sink to the bottom of each cup of gløgg. Invite your guests to use a spoon to eat up the delicious almonds and raisins at the bottom of the glass once they have finished their beverage.
If you want to hold the gløgg at a warm temperature without risking it coming to a boil, pour it into a crockpot set to the warm setting once you’ve heated it on the stove.
What is elderflower liqueur?
Elderflower liqueur is a sweetened spirit made from white elderflowers harvested from elder trees in the spring. It has a honey-sweet, floral, citrus flavor that is intoxicatingly delicious. The most common elderflower liquor brand is St. Germain, made in France. Elderflowers grow throughout northern Europe, including Scandinavia, where they are often used to infuse cordials and syrups.
Can I make gløgg in advance?
Yes. It’s best to make the recipe to the point that you strain the mixture but have not yet added any additional alcohol. Store the spiced wine covered in the fridge for up to a week. When you are ready to serve, simply add the elderflower liqueur and reheat (but do not boil).
How do I store gløgg?
Store leftover gløgg tightly covered in the refrigerator. It will keep for about a week. Gently reheat to serve.
1 bottle dry white wine
1 cup water
10 cardamom pods crushed
10 whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks plus extra for serving if desired
1 tbsp. sugar or honey
1 cup elderflower liqueur
- Heat the white wine with the water, cloves, crushed cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks, and sugar or honey over medium low heat. Once the mixture begins to steam and bubble around the edges, remove from the heat and cover. Steep at room temperature for 2-8 hours (alternatively, let it sit at room temperature for at least a couple of hours and store in the refrigerator overnight or up to two days).
- When you are ready to serve, strain the mixture and return to a clean sauce pan. Add the elderflower liqueur. Heat until it begins to steam and bubble around the edges. Serve garnished with cinnamon sticks.
This article originally appeared in the December 2023 issue of The Norwegian American.