When it comes to holiday drinking, eggnog is only the beginning. Many cultures and cuisines proudly claim a Christmas punch and this week we're bringing you The Global Punch Bowl with five festive punches, each with a story of their own.
When the sun starts to set at 4 p.m. and the grass is frosty in the morning, it can be difficult to look on the bright side (there are so few hours of sunlight, after all!). But there's a silver lining to this dark and chilly season: mulled wine.
In Germany, mulled wine goes by the name Glühwein, which literally means "glow-wine," because of how you feel after you've been drinking it outside in December. The citrusy spiced wine — and an extra shot of rum or amaretto — makes it much easier to spend a few hours out in the cold. It is portable coziness, and it smells like straight-up Christmas.
It's served at Christmas markets, which are set up in town squares across (and beyond!) Germany and Austria from late November through the New Year. There are stands with vendors selling all manner of delights, from ornaments and toys to sweetened nuts and sausages, but Glühwein makes the market. It comes in tiny decorated mugs, which tourists can take home as a souvenir if they're willing to forfeit the three-euro deposit.
You, of course, can drink mulled wine inside, and it's been a big hit when I've served it at both board game nights and big Christmas parties alike. But what's so great about Glühwein is that it's designed for outdoor winter adventures — the perfect bribe to sweeten a rosy-cheeked December walk.
Glühwein Is the Taste of Christmas in Germany — The Global Punch Bowl