Saturday, December 8, 2007

Swedish Glögg - a drink that delights and then . . .

My buddy Joel sought to celebrate his Swedish heritage and the first big snow in the Twin Cities by having folks over for a Glögg party. Glögg (or glugg as it was pronounced by our host) is a traditional Swedish mulled wine loaded with spices, dried fruit, nuts, and if you are naughty enough, a healthy splash of vodka. We hear the test batch had a massive portion of vodka, per the recipe Joel had secured from his family (on a newspaper clipping). The guests, were served a safer reduced-vodka version along with a buffet of crackers, cheeses, sliced sausage and Swedish cookies.

The Glögg tasted like a dark old-world winter evening. Served hot - it's deep and rich with port and brandy, loaded with chopped almonds and raisins and heavy with the flavor of prunes. One sip, and any chill from the single digit weather outside immediately faded from my body. While I can't find a copy of the recipe online that mirrors what we were served (there are tons of options), my cup was full of plump raisins and I swear there were prunes in the recipe somewhere. In fact, this old-world drink (good as it was at the time) can get medieval on your ass after the fact, so I'll pass on adding it to my repertoire for a future holiday menu.

Luckily, the Glögg spell passed in time for us to enjoy the Nortec Collective at the Walker Art Center. A mixture of Norteño and techno (more progressive trance than ambient from what I could tell), their music was great stuff but hard to fully enjoy in a theater setting (several folks in the front row created a dance pit to better enjoy the performance). I was just glad my dancing at my seat was due to the music and not the Glögg.

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