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Just Add Fire

Posted Wednesday, Dec. 04, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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Serves 9 The punch bowl set and sugar cones, including single-serving mug versions, are available at German Deli or online. 2 bottles merlot 1 cup pulp-free orange juice 1/2 cup lemon juice 8 orange slices, plus more for garnish if desired 8 lemon slices, plus more for garnish if desired 4 cinnamon sticks, plus more for garnish if desired 10 whole cloves 1 sugar cone 1 to 2 cups 151 proof rum 1. In a large stainless steel pot, combine all ingredients except the sugar cone and rum. Heat over medium until hot, but not boiling. 2. Pour into the heatproof glass bowl of a punch-bowl set. Light the candle below the punch bowl to keep the mixture warm. 3. Place the stainless steel bridge across the glass punch bowl and place the sugar cone on top. Carefully pour the rum over the sugar cone, rotating the cone to ensure the rum covers all sides. 4. Use a long lighter or match to carefully set the cone aflame. Allow the flame to melt the sugar cone, which will slowly drip into the wine. 5. Serve the hot punch in heatproof mugs and garnish with orange or lemon slices and cinnamon sticks, if desired. — 5100 Texas 121, Colleyville, 877-437-6269, www.germandeli.com

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Fireworks, champagne toasts and midnight kisses are all familiar New Year’s Eve traditions, but in Germany, a glowing bowl of wine punch, set ablaze via rum-soaked sugar, takes the stage as a crowd-pleasing holiday light show. The traditional drink, often served on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, is called feuerzangenbowle — literally meaning “fire tong punch” — and is made with merlot, citrus and spices.

What separates the concoction from conventional mulled wine is its exciting, fiery presentation.

“Growing up in Germany, it was pretty typical for most families to enjoy this drink, including ours,” says Inga Bowyer, owner of German Deli in Colleyville, which offers a variety of German goodies and housewares. “It was considered a special-occasion drink — something you would set up if you had a crowd of people, for all of the ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs.’”

A heatproof punch bowl is required, as is a stainless bridge that can hoist the zuckerhut — a large cone made of sugar that slowly melts once ablaze; dripping into and sweetening the wine. Use Bowyer’s recipe here to create your own batch of fire punch this holiday season, then turn the lights down, gather the guests around and toast to a new end-of-year tradition.

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