Now we’re in it. January and February are pretty bleak. Christmas cheer has been packed up. Things can be a bit dreary. Back home, March is usually just as bad, which is even worse for me because I stubbornly continue to think it should be warm. March, that should be spring, right? WRONG, YOU GET A SNOWSTORM. Hope that parka goes with your Easter ensem!
Things in Rome have been downright balmy compared to DC. The weather claims the highs are close to 60. I guess I can’t argue with the weather reporting professionals, but it doesn’t feel like 60. 40s and 50s, yes. It is a damp cold, but the teens it is not. Huzzah.
In case you are experiencing mega-cold let’s-build-a-fire type weather, consider these toasty Christmas market inspired drinks to warm you right up. These drinks were great for walking the markets in Germany. I think they would also be awesome on a chilly evening tucked up with a blanket. You don’t even have to worry about paying extra for your cup deposit (pfand) and remembering to get your money back!
Mulled wine is a staple at Christmas markets. You can find both white and red, but I’m all about that red. There are about a million recipes online and I can’t claim to have found the best one, but you are probably looking at some combo of wine, cloves, sugar, and orange.
If you like your gluhwein with a little more flair, consider trying a . . .
With a little help from wikipedia, I can tell you that this fun-to-pronounce drink involves a run-soaked sugar loaf being set on fire and dripped into gluhwein. The main difference in the markets seems to be that feuerzangenbowle, aka fire-tongs punch, stands are usually covered with flames and fire.
We tried it. It was tasty. I didn’t notice a huge difference from traditional gluhwein. I was disappointed that nothing was lit on fire in front of me.
The problem with gluhwein is that it can feel a little too Christmas-y. If you want to mix up your flavors, allow me to recommend . . .
In Nuremberg, we enjoyed some heidelbeer gluhwein. Heidelbeer doesn’t exactly translate to something in the U.S.; it seems to basically be a European blueberry. James and I ended up liking this a lot. You could really taste the fruit. I think this could be great with blueberry wine, strawberry wine, or any wine your grandmother would probably be really into. I’m looking at you Manischewitz.
If you are over hot wine, why not try a . . .
We got this on our trip to Tollwood. I’m not translating here. We literally ordered the “hot coconut.” It was served in a half coconut bowl that I forgot to take a picture of. I’m pretty sure it was just rum and coconut milk heated. I’ve tried googling to confirm, but all sorts of delicious and more complicated recipes come up. These sound pretty incredible if you have the time and inclination, but I’m pretty sure hot run and coconut milk together would be a simple win.
I would NOT, however, recommend that you try . . .
That’s right. I tried hot beer. The descriptions sounded amazing. Beer with additions of vanilla and caramel flavors. Beer with orange. James and I both got a different flavor.
Yeeaah, it was still hot beer. It is not something I would recommend. I like the concept. Hated the execution.
We also tried the Stachelbier. For this one, they put a hot poker into a cold beer, with the goal of creating hot foam. The point is then to enjoy the hot foam with cold beer. It was. . . interesting? There was definitely hot foam on the beer. I would not say it created any sort of unique flavor experience, but I’m glad we tried it.
And for the kiddos . . .
That’s right, zee Germans serve a hot punch for kids that looks like they are swigging hot wine along with everyone else. We only got this once for Henry because it was HOT and there was the mess factor. Henry can report that he really enjoys french fries dipped in his kinderpunsch. Also, this is not a hot one, but Henry put a hurting on some apfelschorle, a carbonated apple drink, during the trip.
Want to elevate your market-inspired drink experience? Try these authentic market munchies.
Is it super cold where you are? Do you have any favorite drinks to warm up by the fireside? Do you have a fireside? If so, I am definitely jealous!