Friday, December 20, 2002

"Real gløgg"
One of the things I have not had the time to enjoy so far this year: Gløgg
This recipe can't be Norwegian or even really Scandinavian. They are burning the brandy!
In this recipe they boil the wine. What is this, a conspiracy for a sober Christmas?
A Professor's gløgg; this version isn't too bad, but what a waste of good aquavite.
Here they claim that it's a Danish drink.
Whoever wrote this recipe know a few things about Norwegians...

It's quite interesting to see all the different versions of "real gløgg". But if you want to make gløgg in Norway, you need to remember a few things.

1) Norwegians never waste alchohol. Cooking wine, burning brandy or anything else which may lead to a loss of alchohol from the brew is banned. Good gløgg is strong gløgg, and the quicker people get drunk the better the party is. Give Norwegians free drinks, and they turn into happy barbarians.

2) Norwegians don't care about complex tastes - be heavy on the spice, pour the syrups liberally, after all with sharp spices less of the taste of the home-made spirits - so delicately termed "moonshine" in American - will be discernible.

3) Norwegians like novel ways of getting drunk, so soak those raisins well before they are dropped in the pot. Nothing like snacking your way into the holiday mood.

4) As long as it is red, sweet, alchoholic and can be drunk, it can be poured into a pot of gløgg - don't worry about "appropriate".

Gløgg is not a complicated drink for elegant parties, it's a simple, warming winter drink for people who live in climates where you need to be warm inside and out before you dare loosen up enough to smile, to laugh, to flirt - or even to unbutton your jacket. It's as if the layers of clothing are wrapped around your mind as well as your body, and the cold of the winter nights has frozen your smile off with your fingertips and toes. The purpose of the drink isn't to placate spoiled palates, but to warm frozen souls and hearts quickly and efficiently, lower barricades built into the culture and bring out the warmth and generousity of a reserved, shy and socially insecure people. For that purpose you need three things: a potent brew, enough of it, and enough people gathered around the pot that they come close to each other by necessity.

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