One of the most interesting hot mulled wines is Swedish glogg (pronounced glook),a heady combination of red wine, sauternes and aquavit, enriched with raisins and almonds. Glogg is traditionally served in mugs with tiny spoons for eating the nuts and fruit.
The recipe relies on a process called mulling. The term has the same root as our word mill (as in milling or grinding) and herein lies one of the secrets of holiday bartending. Whole spices, like cinnamon sticks, allspice berries, cardamom pods, blades of mace and whole nutmegs, have more flavor than pre-ground spices. Bruise seed spices, like cloves or cardamom, in a mortar and pestle or beneath a heavy skillet. Whole nutmegs should be freshly grated. Fresh ginger is so widely available, there is little excuse to use powdered.