Glöggfest 2010 got off to a Bang Bang Push Push here in El Barrio. With the help of Joe Cuba, Shuggie Otis, Hector Lavoe, Fela Kuti, Run DMC, and the jazzoliday vibes from A Charlie Brown Christmas, the Glögg warmed the Festers here at 106th Street.
Some people look forward to Christmas, some prefer New Year’s, but there’s one holiday that tops them all: Glöggfest. Every year we make a giant vat of Swedish mulled wine (aka Glögg) and invite our friends over to help us celebrate the holidays and get a little tipsy very quickly. Glögg is a tasty adult beverage packed with a ton of cheap wine and really good spices. Start with a couple jugs of Gallo Burgundy then throw in some cardamon, cinnamon sticks, cloves, orange peel, fresh ginger, and raisins. Then we let it sit for at least 24-48 hours and just before serving add some sugar, almonds, and half a bottle of aquavit. Aquavit is the real key to this recipe. It’s a special alcohol drunk all over Scandanavia, but ironically enough we really like the Krogstad brand out of Portland, Oregon. So to recap, Glögg is essentially spiked hot wine. There is nothing better on a cold winter night. One little glass of Glögg goes a long way. That’s why we serve it in tiny glass mugs. This slows people down a little bit. We’ve learned our lesson over the years to never serve it up in giant coffee mugs. And if you think this is some ancient Swedish recipe passed down from generation to generation, it’s not that complicated. A six month stay in Sweden and a quick glance at an old Time Life cookbook from 1968 inspired an annual holiday ritual. Fourteen years later from Portland to Seattle to now New York City, this boozy tradition continues. Long live Glöggfest!