It’s official: Halloween is behind us. Time to put your face paint, go-go boots and wings back into storage. To make the seasonal transition that much easier, sip on something warm and spicy. And I ain’t talking spicy tom yum soup. While I do appreciate a big bowl of soup on a cool day, I think this concoction will do you just a bit better.
Gløgg (or Glögg in Swedish) is a Scandinavian beverage for a reason. As one who spent four frigid, rainy, muddy, gray months in Copenhagen, I will let you know that Scandinavia would not make it through their eight month winters without Gløgg. While I cannot speak for all of the Scandinavian countries, I can faithfully confirm that Danes drink a lot. A real lot. It was not uncommon for my professors to enjoy a nice Carlsberg with us students between lectures. Then there are the bars on each of the five campuses of the University of Copenhagen, all of which likely serve more beers per hour than the Bear’s Den has since it opened. I even once saw a group of middle-aged men all passed out at lunch on a Sunday afternoon. Drinking is simply a way of life in Denmark. One can blame the weather, but the fact remains that Copenhagen is ranked the happiest city in the world.
Arguably the happiest (and definitely the most celebrated) time of year in Copenhagen happens to be during the time of worst weather. Naturally, extreme volumes of alcohol are consumed by all. I arrived after this time known as Jul (Christmas in Danish), but I did witness the aftermath of some of the parties. I still regret not having arrived a few weeks earlier. The best part of Jul is Julefrokost, which is traditionally an elaborate Christmas lunch during which Danes eat a lot and wash it all down with frequent shots of snaps, plenty of Carlsberg and a large vat of Gløgg. While I did not experience an actual Julefrokost, I can guarantee that I would have made sure my seat was positioned close to the Gløgg.
With November upon us, it is about time we all start numbing the onset of the cold weather with a big jug of Gløgg in hand. If you want to fully embrace your inner Dane, drink your Gløgg while cycling, wearing all black and being a blonde supermodel.
2 bottles Cabernet Sauvignon
Add everything except sugar cubes and Brandy to a big pot and heat until hot, but not boiling. Place a wire screen over the pot. Place sugar cubes on screen and soak with Brandy. Light the Brandy on fire to melt the sugar and extinguish with the lid of the pot. Serve Gløgg warm in mugs.