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It’s Glogg Time! Recipes May Vary But This Swedish Drink Always Brings Cheer


Photo Credit: getawayhostel.com

When most people are rushing around the night before Thanksgiving, trying to figure out if they have all the ingredients for the next day’s meal, the bartending staff at Simon’s Tavern is already ready for the one annual tradition it celebrates — and bar patrons shout for — every year:

“It’s Glogg time!”

That’s according to John Green, a daytime bartender at the 5210 N. Clark St. bar that’s been in licensed existence since 1934, after the 21st Amendment was ratified, the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce’s website said.

The garrulous barkeep serves “at least” 30 glasses of Glogg per day, in $6 increments, with a cookie to match.

What is Glogg? It’s an annual Andersonville tradition, and each restaurant or bar that serves it seems to have its own recipe. At Simon’s Tavern, Glogg is described as a blend of mainly port wine, orange peels, cardamon and brandy. “But I can’t tell you everything (that’s in it) or I’ll lose my job,” Green said, half-jokingly and with a beer can in his hand, at the end of his shift.

The long, narrow bar was a bar before it was legally a bar, around the time of Prohibition, when Andersonville had a more prominent and pronounced Swedish population of residents. Scott Martin has owned the bar since 1994, when he took over from the son of the original owner, Simon Lundberg, the Andersonville Chamber’s website said.

These days, though, many Swedes who once lived in the neighborhood but have moved on still return for a glass or two of the drink, which they can conveniently find this holiday season at some other Andersonville restaurants and bars, as well. Simon’s Tavern usually stops selling the alcoholic beverage around March but offers a slushie version in the summer months, according to Jessica Hammer, director of marketing at the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce.

Andies Restaurant, 5253 N. Clark St., serves its own version, which a waiter described as being a blend of mostly red wine, brandy, cinnamon, nutmeg and some other, unnamed spices. This Glogg is served warm, in a small wine glass.

Interested in learning how to make your own version of Glogg? Hammer told Edgeville Buzz about a Glogg workshop coming up this Sunday, from 3 to 7 p.m., during Julmarknad.

The event at Elixir Andersonville, 1509 W. Balmoral Ave., offers a choice of four workshops each hour for the duration of the event. Participants can sample several different styles of mulled wine and can create their own custom blend of mulling spices with guidance and sample recipes from Elixir’s staff, an eventbrite.com listing says.

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