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Feuerzangenbowle. Another one of those long German words that doesn’t roll easily off the tongue. Some training in pronunciation does pay off though in the end when you are finally able to order the delicious treat at one of Germany’s fabulous Christmas Markets.  Feuerzangenbowle is a hot alcoholic beverage which is similar to the famous mulled wine, known as Glühwein in Germany. The drink is usually served during the cold months before Christmas or for New Year’s Eve. The beverage as such consists mostly of the same ingredients as Glühwein whereas some regional additions are made such as different types of liquors or even black tea.

Feuerzangenbowle at German Christmas Market, traditional winter drinksWhat’s The Difference Between Feuerzangenbowle & Mulled Wine?

What makes this beverage special is the method of preparing it. All ingredients are first heated in a bowl. On top of the bowl, the so-called Feuerzange – German for fire pincer – is placed which gives the drink its name.

A cone of sugar is first soaked with rum of more than 50% alcohol. After that, the sugar cone is placed on the pincer and is set on fire. The sugar melts, slightly caramelizes and drips into the heated liquid, refining it and adding its particular taste.

If you are in Germany for the Christmas season, there will definitely be at least one stand at every market selling the sweet delight. At the same time, you can easily make Feuerzangenbowle at home. We do recommend getting a proper fire pincer that is made for this purpose to avoid setting anything on fire with some provisionally self-made holder. You can easily get these online at a very affordable price. Once you are all set, you can follow our authentic and simple recipe below to make this delicious German winter beverage right in your own kitchen.




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Silvester 2009 by Krompi, licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0
Christmas 2011 by Jana Reifegerste, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0