The A to Z of German Christmas: F is for… Feuerzangenbowle

Two glasses of Feuerzangenbowle with sugar cubes melting on top
Image credit: Kitty - Fotolia

If you enjoy a mulled wine on a cold winter’s evening but feel it’s lacking a little theatre and excitement, perhaps a Feuerzangenbowle is for you. For what could improve a mug of hot, spiced red (or occasionally white) wine more than setting a rum-soaked, cone-shaped sugar cube alight over it so that the boozy caramelised sugar drips in?

Feuerzangenbowle translates literally to “fire tongs punch”, and it’s a very popular drink at Christmas markets all over Germany. There, at Feuerzangenbowle stands, you’ll find large cauldrons of spiced wine with flaming loaves of sugar suspended above them on a metal grate, the rum slowly being ladled on top of them until all the sugar has disappeared.

F is also for…

Früchtebrot: Sweet fruit breads are classic bakes around Christmastime in many countries, and Germany is no exception. Fruit loaves here are firm, dark and stuffed full of dried fruit and nuts, from prunes, dried apricots and candied orange to almonds, walnuts and/or hazelnuts.


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