What you can drink while visiting a festive market
Glühwein is just the start…
A lot of people when they think of a German Christmas market, their immediate reaction would be sausages, and of course, they would be right. However, if you were to forget about the food (just for one minute) then the next image to be conjured up would probably be glühwein (mulled wine).
I mentioned in our feasting at a German Christmas market post that in 2017 not only did we revisit Cologne for the 10th time, but we additionally travelled to Munich & Frankfurt. We also visited Strasbourg, I know, geographically it's France, but considering how close Strasbourg is to the German border, the markets are so different.
A reference guide
I love nothing more than planning a trip and so often I use the DK Eyewitness books. I find them extremely informative, easy to follow and the pictures and maps tempt you into discovering more.
We used a previous version of this book to plan our Germany road trips, now you can grab the revised copy.
Top of the pops – the red one
There are certainly some differences from town to town. However, there is definitely a constant theme, and that is red Glühwein.
You’ll notice that depending on which town you are in the mug will be a different design, and in some towns, the mug then differs from market to market. Some of them are so cute; it’s irresistible not to acquire one.
A new design is generally created each year.
The glühweins are around €3.50 each, and then a deposit (pfand) is charged. If you don’t want to keep the mug just hand them back and you’ll deposit will be returned.
Depending on the time of day and if you’re a bit cold you may want to add an additional shot (schuss), of either rum or amaretto.
But beware this could turn out messy!!!!!
The white one
Weiss or Weiß glühwein is also available, I quite like the white one every so often (but it isn’t to everyone’s taste), be wary though it is quite nice with an additional shot of calvados.
Now in Nuremberg they have a couple of extra additions to the glühwein menu, firstly they have the Nuremberg Glühwein which is made from blueberries and slightly spicier than the norm and a little pinker.
Then there is the Winter Warmer which is produced by Hausbrauerei Altstadthof and contains malt, hops and a special mix of nine spices.
Both of which are very good.
In 2017 when we visited Frankfurt, they had stalls that offered quite a wide range of hot and cold drinks.
So for research purposes only (honestly), we tried their apfelwein (apple glühwein) and also brombeerwein (blackberry glühwein), I got Gary an extra topping of cream.
That’s easy for you to say!
This is the fiery one, so after a couple of these, I’d doubt if you could say Feuerzangenbowle. (Unless you are German, of course!)
Not only is it red glühwein, but it also has a lump of sugar balanced on top of the mug, which has been soaked in alcohol and then set alight.
Then the egg one
Eierpunsch, now this isn’t really my choice.
Although, Gary has a soft spot for this, as it brings back memories of when he had an egg-nog at Christmas with his family.
It is quite sweet and apparently even better with a cream topping.
This drink isn’t so common, it is also known as Kirschglühwein on certain markets. It's glühwein with cherry brandy so over to Gary (I'm not a fan, are you?)
Actually Gary loves it "Mit Sahne", or with cream - what can be done?
It’s not all alcohol
There isn’t a lot that can surpass a lovely hot chocolate, and when it is topped with cream, it’s even better.
In Düsseldorf, the Lindt hot chocolates were made with pure chocolate you could either have milk or white.
I know I said it wasn’t all alcohol. However, if you buy a hot chocolate from the market, you may also be asked if you would like it “mit” Baileys.
Hot or cold?
Beer, surely not hot….oh yes, not only are you able to get your cold little Kolsch from Cologne or your cold Altbier from Düsseldorf.
You can also buy a hot beer, try one at the Harbour market in Cologne.
Then we found a local hot beer in Munich (gluhbier) I decided to stick with the apple wine (it would have been rude not to).