An Irishwoman, a Brazilian and a Norwegian walk into a…

It’s not the start of a bad joke but, rather, the beginning of an excellent Friday evening. You see, the Germans have regulated the hell out of most things but, thankfully, they haven’t got around to stopping foolish foreigners from trying to make very dangerous German drinks.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you, Feuerzangenbowle…

Feuerzangenbowle (Fire tongs punch)

I had my first FeuerverylongGermanword at the Christmas market at Schloss Charlottenburg last week and, as with most things German, I instantly fell in love. I mean, it’s got wine, rum, sugar and FIRE – what’s not to like? So, when Young Germany posted a recipe, I just knew I had to try and make it myself.

Now the thing about making Feuerzangenbowle is that it’s rather dangerous, so the last thing you want to do is make it at your own apartment. Instead, you put the suggestion out there and wait for an innocent friend to invite you round to their place. This is where brave, wonderful Brahilde (Brazilian Hilde) stepped in. She invited Norhilde (Norwegian Hilde) and we were all set. A new Facebook chat group was born.

Me: OK, here’s the recipe. Brahilde, what have you got? 

Brahilde: Um, I’ve got cups…

(Finally, a woman after my own heart.) 

Me: OK, so we’ll split the ingredients and bring everything around to your place. Norhilde, I’m shit with things like spices so you can get those and the rum. I’ll get the wine, fruit and Zuckerhut (sugar loaf).  

Norhilde: Done.  

Me: Brahilde, do you have a big saucepan? 

Brahilde: I have little saucepans…

Me: (for once feeling “kitchenly” superior) OK, I’ll bring a saucepan as well. 

I popped over to the local supermarket, obviously located the wine easily, picked up a few oranges and lemons and went on the hunt for the Zuckerhut. Damn, where was the Zuckerhut? I found a jolly German lady who works there.

Me: Excuse me, do you have Zuckerhut? 

Shophilde: Yes, I think we have it somewhere…

Me: (Babbling like a lunatic) You see, I’m going to try and make Feuerzangenbowle this evening but I think it’s going to be a bit dangerous. 

Shophilde: For your head or just in general? 

Me: Both. 

Anyway, we found the Zuckerhut, I paid up and jauntily left the supermarket. I had very sensibly decided that three bottles of wine was probably too much so I told the Hildes that we’d only use two.

One was for drinking while we made the other drink. Sensible, like I said.
One was for drinking while we made the other drink. Sensible, like I said.

I crammed everything into two plastic bags and headed for the station. This time, I was almost hoping I’d get groped as I couldn’t wait to see the expression on the guy’s face when he got walloped with a massive saucepan and three bottles of wine. Luckily for Berlin’s gropers it didn’t happen.

I clanked my way through Neukölln and arrived at Brahilde’s apartment where everything was looking rather festive. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I thought it would be a shame to watch the place burn to the ground.

Fire hazard
Fire hazard

Norhilde showed up soon afterwards with the rest of the ingredients. She did admirably with the spices thanks to a lot of help from Google Translate. And the rum…

Tip: Do not let a Norwegian buy the rum for Feuerzangenbowle. You need the cheapest, nastiest, strongest rum you can find and a Norwegian will only buy the finest, most expensive, ridiculously non-flammable rum. 

Tip: Choose a friend who owns a CORKSCREW.

After an emergency dash to the supermarket, I poured the two bottles of wine into the saucepan, added the crushed fruit and proceeded with merry abandon to throw in the spices I’d never heard of as well.

Hey, good looking...
Hey, good looking…

At this point, we realised that we didn’t have a sieve or tongs or anything that would be particularly useful (normal) to hold the sugar over the saucepan. Brahilde gamely suggested her cutlery-drying utensil and we were back in the game.

Do not attempt to do it like this.
Do not attempt to do it like this. I am an idiot.

We placed the cutlery-drying thing upside-down in the pot and put the Zuckerhut on top of it.

It wasn't at all phallic.
It wasn’t at all phallic.

I poured a shitload of rum on top of it and Norhilde lit a match.


The match went out.

I poured on some more rum. Norhilde lit a match.


The match went out.


Why won't you BURN??
Why won’t you BURN??

Thankfully, I’d had a message from my German friend earlier that day saying that if the rum wouldn’t light, heat it up and try again. We poured half the bottle into another (little) saucepan and warmed it up. I gently spooned some over the Zuckerhut and Norhilde lit another match. WHOOSH! WE HAD FIRE!

Not dangerous at all.

I continued to spoon and Norhilde continued to light matches and I only set the saucepan of rum on fire a couple of times. Soon, all of the Zuckerhut had dissolved into the saucepan and we were ready to taste it.

Like I said, do it in someone else’s apartment.

I’m not one to brag but I really think I have a talent for making Feuerzangenbowle. I’m not particularly gifted in the kitchen, but this, this was amazing.


And we all lived.

Fun night.

71 thoughts on “An Irishwoman, a Brazilian and a Norwegian walk into a…”

    1. Ha, yeah, they’re really fun people! Unfortunately we’ve lost touch a bit as Brahilde moved to Munich. Still, never really stuck for a fun crowd in this city! Hope you find what you’re looking for too!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Luckily we didn’t, but just in case, stick with the friend’s flat idea 😉 And yes, this was the grand-daddy of that little one you had 😉 Will probably write the blog post a bit later…


  1. Lol, on our first attempt we some how managed to burn the sieve I thought was out of steel. And then there was an incident with a tea towel while I was out. But we lived too and the flat could be resented even after us… (i think we had another rum to drink while doing the preparations… maybe that was the reason….?)

    Boy do I miss the taste though!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha ha ha! It is damn tasty! That sounds like quite the adventure – I did think of using a sieve but Brahilde only had a plastic one and even I’m not that stupid 😉


  2. Funny! I had some of this recently–delicious, but dangerous. (I did some shopping after downing the Fire-bowl, and apparently my drunk self likes tacky 70’s decor.) I’m going to download that recipe and try it out on my unsuspecting relatives on Christmas–should be fun!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Rum with 37.5%? Maybe a cocktail based on rum. For flambéing I strongly advise “Stroh Rum 80%”! Furthermore, this stuff is basally for the famous Austrian Jagatee (hunters tea).

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yep, you were right – I did enjoy that! I have to admire your ingenuity with the cutlery thingy. Can I ask what the spices were? I’m intrigued to know if they are genuinely complicated or just “Linda” complicated! I’m also fascinated by that big sugar lump – I’m off to Google that now. Glad it all worked out and you had a good night!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ha ha, the ingenuity was all Brahilde’s! I would have been holding it with two forks and ended up with no fringe 😉
      These are the ingredients – like I said, I’m hopeless 😉
      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

      Liked by 1 person

          1. OMG, and I thought you knew…. It`s basics physics: general rule of thumb < 50% it won't burn. But I digress. Next time, to include a german lesson, you guys oughta rent the movie, too. Incidentally, it`s called "Die Feuerzangenbowle"… Good old black and white movie.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Ha, yes, I’ve heard of it! Found it while Googling Feuerzangenbowle! Must pop over to the local Video World and see if they have it. That and “Dinner for One” which I also haven’t seen!

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Dinner for one will be on German TV for new years, usual, same as every year. Don’t bother renting it, it will come to you, all you have to do is stay awake long enough to see it. Greetings.

                Liked by 1 person

                1. Der 90. Geburtstag, or Dinner for one was written in the 1920’s as a short stage play and recorded in 1963. Out of character for German television, it was never dubbed over in German, and returns every year. I have no idea why, it’s just the way it’s always been (from my perspective), same procedure as every year. Greetings.

                  Liked by 1 person

            1. I am now really confused, I started reading Linda’s post because it mentioned Brazilian and I thought she was going to ‘wax’ lyrical about hair cutting. But now we are discussing firemen and GDR women

              Liked by 2 people

                1. Is waxing a special Anglo-Saxon or Americano thing? Like Halloween? And why is the Brazilian way so extra funny?
                  In Germany it’s a rather boring activity. You need a scrubber, a rag and wax. Or something more avant-garde product likes Emsal or Bembé. You don’t need to wax if you have fitted carpet, you must only hoover. And don’t waxing the tiles!

                  Liked by 1 person

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