Rising from the basement prep kitchen of the Weary Traveler, 1201 Williamson St., is an aroma akin to potpourri and nutmeg. That’s the scent of the bar’s seasonal grog, a drink closely resembling the Swedish glögg, German glühwein and English mulled wine. Its origins stretch back to Greek and Roman antiquity, when wine was first mulled with spices.
The Weary Traveler’s owner closely guards the secret recipe even from the bartenders (who prep already mixed and simmered ingredients). The grog includes the same basic elements of its Scandinavian and European brethren: rum, wine, tea, sugar and spices. The beverage is mulled for hours, reheated before serving and topped with a slice of orange.
The Swedish name, glögg, translates roughly to “glow,” which is the feeling the drink can induce after a cup or two. It even comes with a warning on the cocktail menu: “Please enjoy the grog in moderation.”
This hot cocktail is a perfect midday refresher, especially at the Weary Traveler, where the light from the stained glass window above the bar bathes the restaurant in a bright orange glow of its own.