German Christmas markets have a long tradition. Already in the 14th century people were going to the markets to buy toys and sweets for Christmas. Today Christmas markets are place where people meet each other, drink mulled wine and eat.
What are the 3 must try drinks on the Christmas market?
1. Mulled red wine
The most popular drink on the Christmas market is mulled red wine, served warm. Not every wine can do good mulled wine. For mulled wine Germans use dry or semi-dry wine. We would recommend Spätburgunder, Regent or Dornfelder, which are good quality German wines. Germans started using recently also cherry or blueberry wine as a base to a mulled wine.
The German mulled wine is spiced with cinnamon sticks, cloves, star anise, lemon, cardamom and cane sugar. Remember: mulled wine is not cooked just heated to maximum temperature of 65 degrees! If the temperature was higher alcohol would evaporate and spices got bitter.
2. Mulled white wine
Mulled white wine is served especially in south Germany. The way of preparing it is very similar to red mulled wine, but instead of cardamom you use vanilla, instead of lemon you use orange and you can sweeten the whole mixture with honey.
It is traditional alcoholic drink mulled wine-based into which drips a sugarloaf. Sugarloaf is soaked in rum and set on fire. On the pictures below you can see how the drink is prepared and served on the German Christmas markets. Feuerzangenbowle got famous in 1944 because of the movie “Die Feuerzangenbowle”. “Feuerzange” refers to baking tray with the whole through which the rum-soaked sugarloaf will drip. Feuerzange will be place on the top of the bowl filled with mulled wine.
In different regions in Germany they use different mulled wines as a base for Feuerzangenbowle. Apart from the traditional spices used for mulled wine depends of the region they add black tea or different liqueurs. Per 3l mulled wine comes 0,2l rum-sugar mixture. The rum (dark) is not poured directly from the bottle – is slowly poured using ladle.
Feuerzangenbowle can be also white mulled wine-based. In this case the Germans use Sherry and white rum or Arrack.
German Christmas market is definitley a place worth visiting during the winter. In the big cities the Christmas markets are open every day, in the small cities only during the weekends. Feel free to try anything what looks good – I promise you – you will love it!
Preparetion of Feuerzangenbowle
The smile after getting Feuerzangenbowle
Cooking the world team enjoying mulled wine