Last year around xmas time we got a visit from our Kentish friends: Sarah and Dave, also known as Father Christmas 😉 We went to our local christmas market in Weimar and the Brits got a taste of „Feuerzangenbowle“. The two lovebirds are going to get married in February and they want to serve Feuerzangenbowle to their guests. So in order to come up with the perfect recipe, we gathered with some friends. You can’t write a recipe without tasting – golden rule!!!
on the menu: mulled wine with a rum-soaked sugarloaf lit above it
- 3 bottles of dry red wine
- 1 bottle of rum (at least 54 %)
- peel of 1 organic lemon
- 1 organic orange
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 2 star anis
- 4 cloves
- 1 sugarloaf
a bit of history
Feuerzangenbowle is a traditional German alcoholic punch, that has been well known for more than 200 years. To prepare it a rum-soaked sugarloaf is set on fire and drips slowly into mulled wine. The mulled wine is spiced over night with cinnamon sticks, cloves, star anise, orange peel as well as juice from the orange and a lemon the day before. The Feuerzange used to be a pair of tongs in the old days, but nowadays it is more common to use a purpose-designed metal grate mounted on top of the bowl to hold the sugarloaf. The sugarloaf is soaked with rum and set alight, melting and caramelizing. The rum should have at least 54 % alcohol per volume and be at room temperature in order to burn properly. More rum is poured with a ladle until all the sugar has melted and mixed with the wine. Some like to add more of the remaining rum to the Feuerzangenbowle too. For some the ceremony is more important than the drink itself, celebrating the gathering of friends and conveying a notion of Gemütlichkeit (hygge). Drinking Feuerzangenbowle is often part of the Christmas or New Year’s Eve tradition. The popularity of the drink was boosted in Germany by the 1944 comedy Die Feuerzangenbowle. Since the 1980s, the film has gained cult status.
Pour the red wine in a large pan. Add the spices (cinnamon sticks, star anis and cloves). Peel an organic orange and lemon and also add to the mixture. Make sure to use only the cest not the white bitter parts. Than squeeze the juice of the orange into the punch. Heat the punch slowly until it reaches about body temperature. Take off the stove and leave to cool and infuse over night. After 12 to 24 hours reheat the liquid making sure not to boil it since that will release all the alcohol. Pour through a sieve into a glas bowl. Place the sugarloaf on the metal grate on top of the bowl. Soak the sugarloaf in rum and set on fire. After the sugarloaf has melted and caramelized into the Feuerzangenbowle, u can enjoy the drink. For those of you who don’t have as much of a sweet tooth as we do – using only half the sugarloaf also does the trick 🙂
To sum it up: A very special drink for a very special day 🙂