Combine glühwein, rum, sugar and fire and you get the fabulous Feurzangenbowle. Don’t burn your lips!

A Feuerzangenbowle – or fire tong bowl – is a fantastic looking German Christmas drink. It involves Glühwein, high alcohol rum (at least 54%), a sugar cone, and fire. You basically sit the sugar cone on the tong above a pot of warmed glühwein, pour the rum over it and then set it on fire. The syrup drips into the Glühwein below and you drink it – blowing out any flames before you take a sip.

You can buy mugs of it at some Christmas markets, but it’s best enjoyed next to a fire, with a big pot of glühwein, a large sugar cone – which you can buy at most supermarkets – and a bunch of friends.

Cult status

The 1943 German comedy “Die Feuerzangenbowle” made this drink widely popular among Germans and it’s achieved cult status. Many fans invite friends over for a mug of Feuerzangenbowle and a screening of the iconic film.

Want to try it yourself? Here’s a recipe:


3 bottles of red wine (2-3 liters total)
2 cinnamon sticks
1-2 oranges
1-2 lemons’
5 cloves
1 German sugar loaf*
1 bottle of rum (at least 54%)

In a large pot filled with red wine, add cinnamon sticks, cardamom, and allspice. Cut up the oranges and lemons, crush fruit to release the juice, and add to the punch along with the cloves. Warm to a steaming mixture. Place a German sugar loaf (Zuckerhut) on a metal rack/screen or clamped in metal tongs above the warm punch. Slowly pour high-proof rum over the sugar loaf and let it soak for a minute. Carefully light the sugar loaf and let the flaming sugar caramelize and drip into the punch mix. Add as much rum as is needed to keep the flame going until all the sugar is gone. Serve the punch hot in mugs or hot-tea glasses. Turn the lights down low to appreciate the warm glow of the burning sugar.

For best results – buy yourself the proper apparatus:

You can get this on Amazon. Treat yourself for Christmas!



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