Glögg Swedish eggnog recipe

Glögg your arteries: A recipe for Swedish eggnog, which contains no eggs

Swedish Christmas is about more than meatballs, herring and giving your relatives Ikea lamps. It’s also about nestling up with a warm glass of this Scandinavian Yuletide treat.

Back in the old country, my robust Viking ancestors would celebrate the season and its holiday (which then wasn’t Christmas but a daily affirmation to their pagan deity as thanks for not freezing to death) by consuming reindeer blood or by way of who knows what barbaric act. Over time, though, that sweet, sanguine tang was replaced with the even sweeter Yuletide (Jul being Christmas in Swedish) classic known as glögg. This Swedish alternative to eggnog is a delicious concoction that in laymen’s terms is really just mulled wine with floaty bits and more booze. Within the Lion clan, a particularly fragrant and fierce recipe for glögg has been passed down for multiple generations.

Swedish eggnog glogg
The author at work on his recipe for glögg

Despite my severely limited understanding of Swedish, I thought it might be nice to share with all of you the trick to making a hearty glögg that will envelop your house with the smell of Christmas, put some much needed pre-winter fur on your chest and give you a reason to love raisins. Remember, the creators of this Scandinavian brew not only had to survive long, dark winters a stone’s throw from the Arctic Circle, but they were also desperate to remove the pungent stench of surströmming from their huts.

Note: Ikea sells a pre-made glögg mix (just add alkie), but a) Ville St-Laurent Ikea never seems to carry it, and Boucherville Ikea is in Boucherville, and b) they changed the formula a few years back, and now it’s too damn sweet.

Additional note: very little of the preceding history lesson was factually correct.

A recipe for Glögg, or the Swedish alternative to eggnog


  • 7.5 grams of cardamom
  • 7.5 grams of cloves
  • 7.5 grams of whole ginger
  • 1.5 grams of orange rind
  • 30 grams of cinnamon stick
  • 300 grams of 62 per cent spirit (Any old vodka will do. Not exactly sure what my ancestors were using)

Cook it all in a cup of water for 15 minutes at low heat, then let it stand for at least two days.

The rest

Boil two cups of water with 1/2 cup of sugar, then take a bottle of red wine, 1.5 cups of vodka, a cup of the extract and a cup of the sugar water you just boiled, add it all together and warm at low heat until desired.

Serve warm, and drop a healthy amount peeled almonds and raisins into each cup. Then grab a spoon and periodically eat the glögg-soaked almonds and raisins as you’re drinking. The original recipe also suggests more vodka if/when necessary.

The extract supposedly lasts about eight months, a short winter by northern Sweden standards. It should also be noted that the town where this recipe originated has yet to be mapped out on Google Maps.

God Jul, everybody! 

This article was originally published on Dec. 21, 2012 and updated on Dec. 23, 2021.

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