This gløgg is one of my favorite cocktails to make for holiday parties and family dinners! It's cozy, warm, spiced, and great for serving a crowd. With bourbon, red wine, cardamom, dried fruit, and nuts, it's so easy and basically tastes like Christmas!
Place the cinnamon sticks, cardamom pods, cloves, ginger, and orange peel in a spice bag or the center of a square of cheesecloth. Tie up with kitchen twine, if necessary.*
In a large saucepan, mix the red wine, bourbon or vodka, sugar, and vanilla. Add the spice bag, nuts, and raisins or cranberries. Heat the mixture over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is steaming. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. (Do not let it come to a simmer or boil). Taste and add more sugar 2 Tablespoons at a time, if needed.
Remove from heat, cover the pot with a lid, and let it steep for at least 1 hour and up to 3-4 hours.
Gently reheat the gløgg on the stove right before serving. Keep warm on very low heat. Ladle the wine into mugs with little spoons for snacking on the nuts and fruit.
*A note on cheesecloth: If you do not have cheesecloth or a spice bag, you can just add the spices straight to the gløgg and strain them out with a fine-mesh strainer before serving.