Comments: 18
meeplemaiden 6 years ago
I haven't had a Feuerzangenbowle in years - it can be quite spectacular if you are a heavy handed with the alcohol.
BrokenTune 6 years ago
Yes, even if not intentionally heavy-handed, it can take quite a few attempts to get the sugar to light. And of course, part of the fun is having people on stand-by who are ready to put out the table cloth. ;)
When I was living in Berlin, my circle of friends used to have a "Frauen-Feuerzangenbowle" (ladies' Feuerzangenbowle) every year before Christmas. GREAT fun!

Oh, and of course I love the movie ... and the book, but the movie especially. "Die alkoholische Gärung" indeed ... :D
BrokenTune 6 years ago
I have a Feuerzangenbowle evening every year that I get a chance - regardless of location. :) I love the whole excitement around it - and it never fails to be fun.
meeplemaiden 6 years ago
I lived in Germany for 16 years and have to admit with shame that I never realised it was a book - oops...
BrokenTune 6 years ago
Haha. Well, it took me whole lot longer than 16 years to figure out there was a book.
Portable Magic 6 years ago
I had to google Feuerzangenbowle, because I've never heard of it. It must be quite the spectacle at any party! I wonder if it is as fun to drink as it is to make?
BrokenTune 6 years ago
The long and short answer is: Yes! It is fun - it's like a fun science experiment for adults.
Also, there are lots of different recipes to cater for different tastes. I make mine with red wine, rum (dark rum, but not as dark as OVD), and orange slices. I like the addition of orange but draw the line at spices as I am not aiming for mulled wine. Obviously, it has taken several attempts at different recipes to find one that hits the spot. :D

Also, because lighting the sugar may involve several attempts (which may require "refuelling"), the drink can be quite potent...
Portable Magic 6 years ago
I was just thinking that it might be one of those alcoholic drinks that, after the first few sips, you either can no longer taste anything, or else can no longer care, or remember.
BrokenTune 6 years ago
I've found that there is quite a bit of enjoying the taste, but after that, you're right. One of the two scenarios is inevitable. :)
Is this "feuerzangebowle" like a wassail bowl? Those I'm familiar with from the UK (not a thing in the US).
BrokenTune 6 years ago
A very similar idea, I think, but based on wine, not spiced cider. I guess the wassail bowl is the original idea behind this, except you can't physically pass the bowl around (as it is actually on fire for some time).
The wine is heated up (some people add fruit and/or spices - I only add fruit). On top of the bowl there is a grate on which sits a lump of sugar (imagine a rather large densely packed sugar cube). You soak the sugar in whatever spirit you fancy (I use rum) and set a match to it. The alcohol and sugar, melt into the heated wine. (Depending on how well you soaked the sugar, a lot of the alcohol will end up in the wine, too.)
When done, you ladle the drink into cups and have a (very) merry time.
There are a few images for purposes of illustration on these pages (the Wiki page also exists in English, but as merely a stub containing the most basic of explanations, and with only a single image -- whereas there are several images on the German Wiki page):

https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feuerzangenbowle
http://www.essen-und-trinken.de/rezept/13584/feuerzangenbowle.html
Portable Magic 6 years ago
I love that it has its own specialized punchbowl with the sugar loaf holder! The ones in the images are all gold - is that traditional?
Well, it needs to be a material that will both sustain and and transport the heat of the fire (i.e., the fire burning the sugar cone and the fire underneath the bowl) -- so very often you'll find brass or copper (which is what I think those in the pictures are), or fireproof glass.
Portable Magic 6 years ago
That makes sense. I assume stainless steel would work, but brass or copper would be much more festive.
Stainless steel works after a fashion, but it doesn't transport the heat of the fire as well as brass or copper do (or fireproof glass). And for the drink to be scaldingly hot is a major point of the experience, too ... not to mention that it prevents you from taking too large sips, which if you did would have the effect touched on earlier in this conversation sooner rather than later! :D
BrokenTune 6 years ago
Brass or copper or glass (fireproof), as TA says, work best. I prefer the glass ones because you get to admire the colours - there is something instantly soothing about the reflections of light in the deep red of the drink (I use red wine as a base).