(courtesy of Michael C. Moberly, national brand ambassador and distillery general manager, Ferino Distillery in Reno. Serves 8)
Mulled wine comes in so many varieties during the cold season. Most people just toss some cinnamon into some boxed red and call it good. However, the Norwegians have spiced wine down better than most. Gløgg is a perfect holiday treat that uses one of my favorite ingredients, aquavit, a spirit commonly flavored with savory herbs such as dill, fennel, or coriander. The best part of making gløgg is getting to keep aquavit in the house for that perfect après-ski sip.
1 bottle red wine
1 teaspoon cardamom
5 whole cloves
1 large cinnamon stick, sliced
1, 2-inch piece of ginger, chopped
1 vanilla bean, sliced down the middle
8 ounces white sugar
½ 750-milliliter bottle of aquavit (or substitute vodka or Cognac)
3½ ounces raisins
3½ ounces sliced almonds
Heat red wine slowly in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Combine cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, vanilla, and ginger in a spice bag and add to the pot. Stir in sugar until it dissolves.
Remove pan from heat and let cool, about 2 hours. Add aquavit to pan and place over medium-high heat. Heat until just before the mixture reaches a boil. Add raisins and almonds. Transfer mixture to a punch bowl, remove spice bag, ladle into large glass cups, and serve with little spoons for scooping up raisins and almonds.