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Björling Family Glögg

Updated: Nov 15, 2022

Cinnamon, cardamom and sweet citrus are a combination of aromas that immediately evoke warm memories of holiday celebrations for Susie (Björling) Heim, the daughter of Janet and Anders Björling, Swedish Kontur's founders.

Growing up in Minnesota and frequently spending time with her extended Swedish family, Susie was raised on the tastes and traditions of the holidays in Sweden. One of her seasonal favorites is her family’s recipe for glögg, a Scandinavian mulled wine that Swedes enjoy all winter long, especially during the holidays.

Two individuals standing together wearing Sankta Lucia apparel.
Susie (Björling) Heim and Anders Björling (2019).

“I remember how the smells would fill the kitchen of our house in St Peter when the glögg ingredients simmered on the stove,“ Susie says. “Now when those aromas fill our home, they evoke family memories, including those dicey moments of lighting the glögg on fire.”

Yes, you read that right. The Björling family’s recipe calls for lighting the mulled spirits with a match before pouring them over sugar to melt and combine. “There have been more than a few times when we’ve determined it’s best to just add the sugar and let it melt and simmer in the pot,” Susie chuckles.

So, in honor of the holiday season and a much-awaited return to safe family and friend gatherings, Susie want to share her family’s recipe for glögg as it has been passed from family to family.

“We hope that you and yours are able to create touching memories of your time together this year,” Susie says, “And may the smells and spirits of the season go with you all year long.”


Recipe: Björling Family Glögg

Time: 20-40 minutes


  • 1 750ml bottle of aquavit or vodka

  • 1 750ml bottle or claret or other red wine

  • 10 whole cardamom pods

  • 5 whole cloves

  • 3 orange peels

  • 4 figs

  • 1 cup blanched almonds

  • 1 cup raisins

  • 1 half inch cinnamon stick

  • ½ lb. lump sugar

  • For non-alcoholic glögg, substitute the wine and spirits with a dark fruit juice (like black currant or pomegranate) and add sugar in small increments to taste.


Pour spirits into kettle. Add remaining ingredients, except sugar, and heat slowly to boiling point.

Remove from heat. Put sugar in a metal strainer. Carefully light glögg with a long match and pour over sugar until sugar melts.

(Note from Susie: If you don’t trust yourself with flaming glögg, sometimes I don’t, or if you’re making non-alcoholic, instead reduce heat after it reaches boiling point, add sugar and simmer for 25-30 minutes.)

Serve hot in small glasses of cups and spoon in a few almonds and raisins.


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