It Definitely Makes It Harder To Say Christmas

It was a cold, crisp December afternoon.  I had just gotten out of school and I was walking  home – which was a rare thing.  Even though I lived so close to the school, I was rarely allowed to walk home on my own; mainly because my mother could be considered a “worrier” and, in her defense, I could be considered “mentally ill-equipped to successfully complete simple tasks.”  However, this day was one of those days.  The snow was up to my shins as I trudged home, the wind bit its way through my layers of winter attire, and my breath came out in puffs of white.  Christmas break was quickly approaching and it couldn’t get here soon enough.  The wonders of the holidays were all that were on my mind.  That and a strange odor which began wafting up my nose about half a block from my home.  Foreign…not entirely repulsive but far from pleasant.

As I crossed the street I saw that our front door was open…way too cold for that, so I was confused and starting to get concerned.  I became more alarmed when I realized the strange odor was originating from my home.  I walked in and made my presence known and my father greeted me from the kitchen.  My eyes and nose were burning from this incredibly strong smell – it was like Kool-Aid and rubbing alcohol.  I made my way through the house until I stood, bleary-eyed and coughing, in the epicenter of my father’s mad laboratory.  When I asked what he was doing, he simply answered:

“Making glögg.”

Fast forward umpteen years and now I get the honor and privilege of gassing my own kids in the comfort of our own home.  It has become an annual tradition of concocting my own variations of this Swedish brew.  There are a million ways to vary the final product but the basic base to this yuletide face-melter is simple and extremely healthy!

You start with the spice packet, wrapped in a cheesecloth, which has cinnamon (good for you), raisins (good for you), orange peels (covered something good for you), cloves (good for you), almonds (super food!), and cardamom (I don’t know what the hell these are).  Then you add a crap ton of Port Wine (more fruit – good for you).  Go to the liquor store and ask for a crap ton – these only come in two kinds of bottles: butt load and crap ton.  Don’t get the wrong one.

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Finally, you need Everclear…

Screen Shot 2017-12-09 at 9.07.53 PMNow the amount of Everclear is up for debate.  It is, no joke, the strongest liquor you can get…it’s about 95% pure alcohol whereas rubbing alcohol is almost 100% pure.  Which means Everclear, which is made from corn (vegetable) can almost clean wounds as well as rubbing alcohol, ergo, doubly good for you.

Glögg is basically a health food.

However, since Everclear is so strong (like insanely strong…), the more you have to live for = the less of this you should add.

Throw these three components together and boil them until the neighbors complain.  Then it’s playtime!  Add sugar, or apples, or more Everclear, or lemons, or more Everclear, or watch it dissolve a handful of pennies, or add more Everclear.

Then wait for it to cool (or don’t – it will destroy your innards either way) and enjoy.  Serve warm or cold or room temperature – the first one should be the way you like it – the second won’t matter too much – and subsequent ones will probably be consumed straight from the jug, out of a shoe, or lapped off the floor where you dropped the jug (watch out for the glass shards).  The next morning will be kind of interesting – not “headache and nausea” interesting, but more like “regret most of your life choices” interesting.  But that’s just your body releasing the toxins from all of the produce you consumed.  You’ll be fine.

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“You’ve been drinking.”
“It’s cold outside.  A man’s got to do something to keep warm.” ~ Miracle on 34th Street