Danish Seamen’s Gløgg

Day One • 12 Sips of Brooklyn


dec6THE DANISH SEAMEN’S CHURCH (Den Danske Sømandskirke), housed in a lovely brownstone with a ship’s bell in the front yard on Willow Street in Brooklyn Heights, is a religious, social and cultural center for New York’s Danes. Brooklyn Artisan’s culinary team made its way there for the smørrebrød during the church’s Traditional Christmas Fair at the end of November. In the yard behind the church, in an immense pot, we discovered Gløgg, the mulled wine that fuels Danish Christmas. It’s wonderfully warming and tastes great with spiced cookies and æbleskiver, the Danish version of the doughnut hole.

Julie Sløk, the Church’s Sømandspræst (pastor—literally “sailor priest”) has shared the recipe—although I would have thought it a closely guarded state secret. Gløgg, according to Julie, “will take about a week to make—like any good recipe it is simple but needs time. So you have to begin a week before. This is the recipe for 10 to 15 persons depending on how much you like it. Voilà and god jul!

5 sticks cinnamon
2-inch piece of fresh ginger, cut in thin slices
20 whole cloves
25 cardamom pods
2 tsp dried coriander
30 peppercorns
2 cups water

1 1/2 lbs raisins
2 1/2 cups rum
1 bottle port

3 bottles red wine (no need to spend a fortune on it but it should be on the fuller side)
1 lemon
1 orange
1/2 to 1 lb of almond splinters
2 cups of brandy or cognac
Sugar to taste

One week before the party
Create an extract by combining the cinnamon, ginger, cloves, cardamom pods, coriander, peppercorns and water.

Bring to a boil, then let it cool down and sit covered for 4 to 5 days.

Mix the rum and port together in another container, add the raisins and soak for 5 days. (Note: Don’t use aluminum containers for storing these parts.)

Day of the party
Strain the extract through a sieve and put it in a large pot along with the peel of one orange and the peel of one lemon. Simmer for 2 minutes.

Pour in the three bottles of red wine and heat it without boiling.

Add the cognac, the raisins with liquid and the almonds. Add sugar to taste (not too sweet but not too sour). Serve hot with spice cookies.

Danish Seamen’s Church
102 Willow Street, Brooklyn Heights


Photograph by Basia Hellwig. Date stamp typographic design by Joy Makon Design. The font is Avant Garde, by Herb Lubalin and Tom Carnese, ITC, 1970.



Not Just Any Festive Ham

Day One  12 Tastes of Brooklyn
Brooklyn Cured's Mangalitsa ham sits around in brown sugar and bourbon for a week before being smoked. (Photo courtesy Brooklyn Cured)

Brooklyn Cured’s Mangalitsa ham sits around in brown sugar and bourbon for a week before
being smoked. (Photo courtesy Brooklyn Cured)

dec6CHRISTMAS STOCKINGS BY THE FIRE, SECRET GIFT GIVING IN THE NIGHT, candy canes, giving to those in greatest need—these are all customs that can be traced to dear St Nick. So what better day than St. Nicholas Day to begin planning Christmas dinner? We have our eye on a traditional ham for our table this year. We knew we could find an excellent hickory-smoked one ($3.69/lb for a 10- or 20-lb ham) at Eagle Provisions, a Polish market in Sunset Park that’s been around since 1935 and is now run by the Zawisny family.

But this year our heads have been turned by Brooklyn Cured’s Smoked Mangalitsa Ham. You may know Brooklyn Cured’s sausages and paté from various markets, restaurants and small grocers around town. Founder Scott Bridi grew up in an Italian-American family in Bensonhurst. He ran the charcuterie program at Gramercy Tavern for two years before going on to Marlow and Daughters butcher shop and then starting his own company. His boneless smoked ham starts out as a Mangalitsa pig, a rare woolly Hungarian breed that almost disappeared and is much prized by chefs. The ones Bridi uses are raised on Mosefund Farm in Branchville, NJ. “They have an unparalleled richness and red-meat qualities that are beyond crave-worthy!” he says. Bridi cures the ham for a full week in brown sugar and bourbon. Then it’s gently smoked with applewood, while being coated with a maple-bourbon glaze. (To reheat, take ham out of refrigerator for half an hour, then put in a 275º oven for 30 to 40 minutes.)

Hungry yet? The Mangalitsa hams are $14/lb; sizes range from 3 to 7 pounds. To order, stop by the markets Brooklyn Cured is at, or e-mail scott@brooklyncured.com. (Be sure to include your name, contact information, size of ham, and the market where you’d like to pick up).

The order deadline for Christmas is Dec. 16. Pickup is on Sundays at the Park Slope Community Market on 5th Ave and 4th Street from 10 am to 4 pm and New Amsterdam Market from 11 am to 4 pm. Give as much notice as you can; a week is preferable, although it is possible if you order on a Wednesday, there will be a ham ready for Sunday pick up.


Eagle Provisions, a great source for ham and kielbasa, may be even better known for its selection of beers—2,000+ including many Brooklyn, New York and international craft ales.

There even may be a few mighty Mangalitsas available on a first-come, first-serve basis on Dec. 23 at Park Slope and New Amsterdam Markets, but really, would you want to risk it?

Brooklyn Cured

Eagle Provisions
628 5th Avenue, Sunset Park

Photograph (right) by Basia Hellwig. Date stamp typographic design by Joy Makon Design. The font is Avant Garde, by Herb Lubalin and Tom Carnese, ITC, 1970.

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