There’s nothing more heady and intoxicating than a nice hot mulled wine in December. So ever since I heard rumour of a drink made of mulled wine and 80% rum and set on fire like absinthe, I’ve been able to think of little else.
I waited for months as Julika coaxed various relatives into bringing over the neccessary ingredients – sugar cones, mulling spices, 160 proof rum, etc – and finally, last weekend, it all came together and I attended my first feuerzangenbowle party. The timing was perfect, as it’s traditionally drunk in the build up to Xmas.
For many Germans, feuerzangenbowle is their first taste of alcohol. I suppose this explains a few things. Not least, their famed tolerance to booze.
Julika “accidentally” bought a bottle of Captain Morgan, which was too weak to use. (If it doesn’t burn, it’s no good.) So – presumably because I’m passionate enough about alcohol to write a blog about the stuff – I was called in as the “expert” of sorts, to reccommend an emergency cocktail based on dark rum and as little else as possible. No brainer. Dark n’ Stormy. Dark rum, ginger beer, lime. So we started the night in a civilised manner with cocktails and kaesespaetzle, which tastes faintly like cheese straws but with the consistency of ravioli, before Julika announced that it was time for the main event – namely, setting stuff on fire.
Rather than try to re-create the atmosphere with my second rate prose, here are videos:
It was an improvised affair, rigged from a pan and a wire rack from the grill. The feuerzangenbowle was then served in traditional Dresden pottery mugs (and Disney cups) and the result was one of the strongest alcohol sensations I’ve ever felt – that warm, fuzzy feeling that used to always accompany the act of drinking alcohol, which spreads through the arms, into each finger and down through the body, rendering you unable to get up, yet completely comfortable and content with that fact. This drink reminded me why I fell in love with this “business” in the first place. So thank you, Julika.
Needless to say, a great time was had by all. For most of us, the night from here on in is a bit of a blur. We eventually made our way to The Wick, though what we did there is anyone’s guess.
P.S. I thought about calling this post “Feuerzangenbowle…the Führer of drinks!” but since it wasn’t intended explicitly as an Adolf Hitler reference. I thought I’d avoid that unfortunate connotation altogether. What would you have called it?