Kinderpunsch at Germany’s Christkindlmarkets

Newsflash…it’sofficially getting colder. As the frigid temperatures settle in for the season, you may have to dress in layers and keep up with those runaway gloves, but the cold weather isn’t all bad; it also brings delicious drinks that are great for warming the body and the spirit. One such beverage is Kinderpunsch, (also called “children’s punch”) and it is a Christmas tradition in Germany.

At Christmastime, Germany. is filled with holiday spirit. There are over 2,500 Christmas markets (also calledChristkindlmarket) throughout the country. Dating back to 1393, these markets have provided a healthy dose of merriment in the advent season. What’s not to like?  There’s food, drinks, and all manner of hand-crafted items including nativity scenes and hand blown glass ornaments. Every region produces a unique Christkindlmarket, filled with food and drinks representative of their town. One thing that is common to them all is Kinderspunsch, a non-alcoholic warming drink, traditionally made with apple or grape juice, cinnamon, and ground/whole cloves. Sold primarily at German Christmas Markets, market-goers drink Kinderpunsch as they traipse around in frigid temperatures looking for their rare treasures.

Here’s a simple recipe from Sallyberstein.com: Pour one quart of red grape juice into saucepan or slow cooker. Add about 1/4 cup honey (or to taste); 1 cinnamon stick, broken into pieces; 3 whole cloves; and the peels of half a lemon and half an orange. Heat, but do not boil. Strain into glasses and serve.

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