German New Year’s Hot Drinks

Feurzangenbowle + Glühwein

Two German New Year’s Hot Drink Recipes:
Feuerzangenbowle (Flaming Fire Tongs Punch) and
Glühwein (Hot Mulled Wine)


Flaming fire tongs punch.

Below you will find recipes for two popular German hot winter drinks: Feuerzangenbowle and Glühwein.

Feuerzangenbowle is a German New Year’s or winter hot flaming punch made with red wine, rum and carmelized sugar. See the New Year’s Customs page for more about the story behind Feuerzangenbowle. Although it is a bit complicated to make, Feuerzangenbowle is a wonderful winter treat. Here is a party recipe for Feuerzangenbowle that serves 12-15 people:


  • 3 bottles of dry red wine (750 ml each)
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • cardamom (or a pinch of ground ginger)
  • allspice
  • 1-2 oranges
  • 1-2 lemons
  • 5 cloves

Zuckerhut/Sugar Cone

  • 1 sugar cone/loaf*
  • 1 bottle of brown rum (750 ml, min. 54% alcohol)

CAUTION! This recipe requires the use of high-proof alcohol and an open flame. Use care!

1. In a large pot or kettle filled with the red wine, add cinnamon sticks, cardamom, and allspice. Cut up the oranges and lemons (optional: make peel spirals), crush fruit to release the juice, and add to the punch along with the cloves. Warm to a steaming mixture. Do not boil! Remove pot from heat and place on a low-heat source to keep it warm.

2. Place a sugar cone (Zuckerhut, sugar loaf)* on a metal rack/screen or clamped in metal tongs (Feuerzangen) above the warm punch. (Substitute sugar cubes if you can’t get a real Zuckerhut.) Slowly pour the high-proof rum over the Zuckerhut or sugar cubes and let soak for a minute. Carefully light the Zuckerhut or sugar cubes and let the flaming sugar carmelize and drip into the punch mix. Add rum as needed to keep the flame going until the Zuckerhut process is done. (Use a long-handled ladle to add the rum; do not pour the rum directly from the bottle!) Stir gently and serve the punch hot in mugs or hot-tea glasses. (Note: Traditionally, Feuerzangenbowle was prepared with the Zuckerhut sitting on crossed swords atop the pot.)



*ZUCKERHUT: A German sugar cone or sugar loaf (lit. “sugar hat”) is made of compressed Raffinade (refined sugar) in a cone shape. A German description of Raffinade: “Ein Zucker von höchster Reinheit und bester Qualität. Die Raffinade wird aus sehr reinen Zuckerlösungen gewonnen und entspricht hohen Anspröchen.” (A sugar of highest purity and best quality. Raffinade is made from very pure sugar solutions and meets high standards.) If you can’t get the real thing, substitute sugar cubes in the recipe above, but a real sugar cone works best.

Also see the much simpler recipe for Glühwein below.

GlühweinHot Mulled Wine

Glühwein, literally “glow wine,” is a popular hot winter drink in Germany and the other German-speaking lands. Known as hot mulled wine in English, it makes a great winter drink. Why? It tastes great, warms you up, and is easy to prepare.

Ingredients (serves 2-3 persons)

  • 1 bottle of dry red wine (750 ml)
  • one lemon
  • 2 sticks of cinnamon
  • 3 cloves
  • 3 tablespoons of sugar
  • some cardamom (or ginger)

Heat the red wine in a pot, but don’t let it boil. Cut the lemon into slices and add to the wine. Then add the cinnamon, cloves, sugar and a little cardamom or ginger (to taste). Heat everything for about 5 minutes (but do not boil!) and let stand for about an hour. Before serving, reheat and strain. Serve in prewarmed mugs or tea glasses.

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