Traditional Feuerzangenbowle

Our Annual Holiday Party Menu

Don't forget to share your holiday food photos with us! Here, CasaSugar's Elka Karl tells us about her annual Feuerzangenbowle.

Every year, we throw a cozy Feuerzangebowle at our home. My husband's family is from Germany, and this German holiday party is centered around a bowl of mulled wine. A Feuerzangenbowle (pronounced "Foy-err-song-en-bowl-eh," German for "tongs of fire punch") is a traditional fruity and mulled wine finished with flaming rum.

A Zuckerhut (sugar cone) is doused in Barcardi 151, and then set ablaze. The caramelized goodness then drips into the heady and seasonal brew. The lighting of the punch serves as a particularly festive kickoff to a cozy little holiday gathering. It's liquid Gemuetlichkeit (cozy kitsch).

In addition to the mulled wine, we also put out a pretty massive spread of food. There's a lot of German and Scandinavian foods: fresh baked rye bread, cold cuts, pungent cheeses, stollen, quark, and gravlax, among other selections. Every year my husband makes the gravlax at least a week in advance, letting it cure in the fridge in its mixture of dill, brown sugar, and salt.

To check out a photo of the punch and see what else she served at the party, read more.

This year I also made quark, and it was so easy I want to make it every week! It's actually good for you — the only ingredient, besides some sea salt (you can also add fresh herbs) is 1 percent milkfat buttermilk. To make it, you put the buttermilk in a covered pyrex bowl in a 150 degree oven for nine hours. Then, pull it out, line a colander with cheesecloth, and let the cheese drain its whey into a bowl beneath the colander. Refrigerate, salt, and eat. Yum!

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