Skål! StoneWater debuts Cleveland Glögg, a Swedish holiday favorite libation

The winter holidays have arrived, as have the chill of Cleveland winters. The StoneWater Rustic Grill in Highland Heights has debuted a classic holiday drink to warm the body and soul this season with Cleveland Glögg—the Swedish version of a spiced mulled tawny port with orange peel, cloves, and cardamom and served warm with golden raisins and cinnamon sticks.

Cleveland GlöggGlögg wines have many forms, including gluhwein (German) and wassail (English), but Rustic Grill chef Alex Lenk, who is of Lithuanian and Italian descent but born and raised in Northeast Ohio, used a family recipe—the Swedish version—for his concoction.

“We were looking for some ideas for different drink specials, and there’s nothing like some warm glögg with golden raisins while sitting by the fire,” recalls Lenk. “I smell it, I taste it, and I think of Christmas.”

In additional to selling it by the glass at the Rustic Grill this season, StoneWater debuted the drink earlier this month at its holiday market to huge success. “We sold over 100 bottles at the market,” says general manager Whitney Neidus. “People were really exited about it and wanted to make glögg a holiday tradition.”

Lenk says many people may not know glögg, but they quickly fall in love with the warming drink (one glass contains 16% alcohol). “It has all the Christmas spices to it for a European Christmas [experience],” he says. “It’s a very approachable drink.”

The Rustic Grill will have glögg on its menu through New Year’s and sells it by the bottle or case. One 750ml bottle is $29, or customers can purchase a case for a 10% discount, or $156. The drink, and the bottles, are for sale at Rustic Grill. Customers can email or call ahead, at (440) 461-4653, to order and receive curbside pickup.

Read more articles by Karin Connelly Rice.

Karin Connelly Rice enjoys telling people's stories, whether it's a promising startup or a life's passion. Over the past 20 years she has reported on the local business community for publications such as Inside Business and Cleveland Magazine. She was editor of the Rocky River/Lakewood edition of In the Neighborhood and was a reporter and photographer for the Amherst News-Times. At Fresh Water she enjoys telling the stories of Clevelanders who are shaping and embracing the business and research climate in Cleveland.