BUSTI - Richard Anderson of Busti has been named the 2012 Busti Glogg Society tasting contest winner.
Glogg is a Scandanavian holiday beverage that is commonly served on St. Lucia Day, celebrated each year on Dec. 13, and throughout the Christmas season.
The main classic ingredients of glogg are red wine, sugar, spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, cloves, and bitter orange, and optionally also stronger spirits such as vodka, akvavit, or brandy. To prepare glogg, spices and/or spice extract are mixed into the wine, which is then heated to between 140 and 158 degrees. When preparing homemade glogg using spices, the hot mixture is allowed to infuse for at least an hour, often longer, and then reheated before serving.
Each year the winner of the Busti Glogg Society’s tasting contest gains possession of the trophy, “The Benevolent Viking.” Richard Anderson, of Busti, scored an overwhelming victory this year, outpacing all of his fellow competitors.
During the recent taste contest, glogg was scored based on taste, color, aroma and overall quality. The runner up was determined by a razor-thin margin that caused the judge to recheck the tally several times. To ensure absolute fairness, each contestant tasted the glogg, sometimes several times, and ranked the brews in order of the top three. As compared to the past contests, this one was the closest.
The contest began 10 years ago. Just like many things, a few prideful boasts mushroomed into a full-blown competition, and now those taunts are a Christmas tradition that contestants prep and fume over for weeks, sometimes months. In its initial stages, the ingredients for the glogg were more difficult to come by. Prior to New York state legalizing the sale of grain alcohol, one contestant who lived in the Poconos, Pa., transported the intoxicant from New Jersey, where it was legal, to Pennsylvania, and then to its final distribution point in New York.
Each year the winner gains possession of the trophy, "The Benevolent Viking." The award made its way to Jamestown from Oskarstrum, Sweden, after a contestant, Eric Anderson, traveled there with the Jamestown High School soccer team in 1982. At times wives offer to forgo the year's worth of pride of having the smiling Viking on their mantle, but it is ultimately the winner's decision. The winner's name is engraved on the base of the statue each year, making the award reminiscent of the Stanley Cup.
The contest has turned into a real family affair for all of the contestants. Ian Anderson of Jamestown expressed, "This is one of my absolute highlights of the year. After the contest every year, these guys just feel like relatives."
At times the taunts and jibes get more than a little off color, but deep down the entrants know they should take it all in stride. Annually, the contest grows in both size and stature with many novice glogg makers asking how to enter.
When asked what glogg and the contest mean to him, the winner of the 10th annual contest, Richard Anderson, said, "By the end of the Christmas season, I think half of my bloodstream is glogg. Good though."
The 11th annual contest is slated for Christmas Day 2013. Please check The Post-Journal for submission rules and regulations.