On behalf of Wessex Scene, I have had the gruelling task of going around some of the Christmas Markets in North Germany and taste-testing the festive hot drinks on offer here. I would say that this was so you don’t have to, but I would strongly recommend you do, because some of them are amazing!
Mulled Red Wine
The traditional German Christmas drink, Glühwein is warm red wine spiced with cinnamon, cloves and citrus fruits. This drink is not very sweet, but it is tasty and warm. I am personally not a red wine fan, so this is not my drink of choice (especially when it cools down, it’s really not nice!). So, if you like red wine, then this could be the drink for you, but for me it was not my favourite.
Berry Mulled Red Wine
This is an Estonian take on Glühwein, and it is made with berries. This means this drink is a lot sweeter than traditional mulled wine, because it masks the red wine flavour. For that reason, this was delicious to me. It was warming and had the taste of winter berries and spices.
Scandinavian Mulled Red Wine
Very similar to the German version. However, the one I tasted had small pieces of apples, nuts and raisins in it. This meant it wasn’t very sweet and that when you drank it, your teeth had to work as a sort of barrier to prevent you from getting a mouthful of muesli! It was very annoying to drink and definitely needed straining before serving.
Mulled White Wine
This was a new, but very welcome discovery for me. I prefer white wine over red wine in general, so to be able to have it as a Christmas drink was exciting. I was slightly worried before trying it, as normally I like white wine chilled, but this was great. A clean taste, very warming and slipped down quite nicely. This is a nice alternative to the deep, red wine.
Glühwein Weiß mit Vanille Schoß
Mulled White Wine with Vanilla Shot
At most of the mulled wine stalls, you have the option to add a liqueur or spirit shot into your hot drink. Now, I really like the flavour of vanilla, so I thought, why not try the mulled white wine with vanilla liqueur in it? I did, but whilst I was drinking it, I couldn’t really taste the vanilla until I reached the bottom, and then it got quite strong! So, my advice would be ,when getting a shot added to a drink, make sure you give it a stir, otherwise the first sips won’t seem any different to normal and the last mouthful might not be so enjoyable.
Hot Chocolate with Peppermint Liqueur
At the Finnish hot drink stand, they were offering peppermint liqueur hot chocolate, and I could not resist! I was not disappointed either. It was so tasty, and tasted like a liquid After Eight. You do have to be careful with drinks like these though, since it didn’t taste alcoholic – it’s dangerous, but still delicious! I need to go back and get another one!
Warm Apple Juice (non-alcoholic)
This drink is a good alternative to sweet hot chocolate if you just want a warming drink without alcohol or if children fancy a festive hot drink too. It was simple, but tasty and kept me warm. I think the only thing I would change would be adding more spices to it to make it taste more like a non-alcoholic mulled cider, so that it would be like drinking liquid apple pie. But this was still very yummy!