Every year around the holidays I embark on a journey to find some 190 proof Everclear so that I can put together a batch of my families traditional Glug. Glug is a Scandinavian drink made by infusing spices into an alcohol, the type of alcohol varies as does the recipe. My version involves cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, almonds and allspice. I have been making Glug on my own for about 13 years now and over the years it has kind taken on a life of its own. I usually have a large Glug making party ever year and send everyone home with a bottle. This year was a little busier than usual so there was no party, but many of the people that I have taught to make Glug over the years are making Glug on there own and the family tradition lives on.
This might not seem that important to most but to me it is a great reminder of the influence and love of one man. That man is my Uncle Gregg. Gregg taught me how to make Glug and also swore me to secrecy and told me to never share the recipe. For many years I did just that and the family secret was kept. Then in June of 2005 Gregg was in a car accident and suffered a traumatic brain injury altering all of the lives Gregg touched. Shortly after Gregg's accident I was sent to Iraq for and extended period of time and that was when I decided that life was to fragile to keep good things to myself and that Glug should be shared with everybody. I started giving out the recipe and showing people how to make it, the only thing I have ever asked is that when you make Glug you should always make it with people you love.
Glug is very easy to drink and for many years I only drank it as a shot or sipped in a cordial glass. Then I added it to eggnog and then with hot apple cider and every thing changed. I started using it in my cooking, I made it into ice cream I have even used it in a marinade for venison. After all that I finally decided this year that it deserved to be made into a cocktail. Being a winter time drink I went with sort a winter time theme and came up with a Glug cocktail. I give you The Uncle Gregg.
The Uncle Gregg
2 oz. Glug
1 oz. Maple syrup
1 oz. apple juice
1 oz. heavy cream
a few dashes of Angostura Bitters
Add all the ingredients to a shaker glass and shake vigorously for about a minute. Then add a couple of ice cubes to the shaker and shake hard for about a minute. Pour into a tall martini glass and top with cinnamon. Enjoy immediately and think of the people you love.
(If you don't have Glug, a nice bourbon will work in a pinch)