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New Year's Eve was the first time I used this recipe. My Grandfather was from Germany and I wanted a festive punch that was authentic from his area of our globe. I had to use the sugar cubes then but have since found the zuckerhut (sugar cone) on germandeli.com. I had to go to several stores before finding rum that had the required alcohol content and finally found Bacardi 151 proof (75.5% alcohol). You might want to dilute it with some regular rum which is about 42%. It's pretty potent so you might want to mix the two - say 50-50. To hold the sugar, I found a stainless "Chinese spider" scoop at Williams Sonoma that fits nicely across my glass punch bowl and has two parallel stainless rods in the handle, about 3/4 inch wide that nicely holds the sugar cone. The spider scoop is great if you use sugar cubes but you have to hold it over the punch while the sugar melts into your brew. With the lights dimmed it makes a beautiful sight and photographic opportunity. Tonight our friends, a German couple, Indian couple and my wife and I will fire up the punch, sip some of the warm delight from Bavarian glasses, take some down to the basement Home Theater and watch the 1944 movie "Die Feuerzangenbowle" -- a comedy starring one of Germany's great actors from that era, Heinz Ruhmann (there's an umlaut over the u). The literal translation is Fire Tong Punch. It is a delicious concoction that can carry its own punch; it's fun to make, fun to watch, wonderful to sip. Enjoy.

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Chef Dr. T. March 08, 2008

This was a wonderful experience! The recipe sounded good, and I really wanted to try it when we had friends over for a Christmas celebration. We had a few set backs, but we overcame them! First, I could NOT find a sugar loaf ANYWHERE, and I called every bakery I could find! So, no problem, I improvised with sugar cubes! Then, my husband rigged up a wire mesh thingy to put the cubes in, so we could soak them with the over-proof rum, as there is no special tool here in Canada that I could find. We heated the wine mixture on the stove in a pot, then transferred it to a fondue pot, put my husband's little wire mesh contraption on top of the fondue pot and we were all set. We soaked the rum, and all sat in awe watching it burn, and the sugar drop in the pot. It looked really beautiful! It was a cold, snowy day outside, and we were ready with mugs to drink the warm mixture. Just as the sugar started burning nicely, my Husband's invention fell into the fondue pot! (you can see it in the photos, sorry they didn't turn out as nicely as I had hoped Thorsten!) Never mind, we just let it sit there and burn as it was! Then, finally it was time to try it! I poured the mugs, and oh my! It was sooooo delicious! We loved it! The only downfall was that I didn't double the batch. I will make this again for sure, especially now that I have it all figured out. It really was not that much work at all. I just need my husband to revise his mesh invention thing! Thorsten, I can't tell you how much we all enjoyed this, it was just wonderful!! Thanks so much for posting a wonderful recipe. P.S.: My friend ate the fruit afterwards and got pretty looped...it was so funny, talk about some potent fruit!

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~Leslie~ December 30, 2005

I love Feuerzangenbowle and this is the same as we always do. It is such a lovely experience to sit around the pot and watch the sugar burn and slowly drip into the wine. The wait is rewarded with a wonderful, hot and potent drink that will warm you up and make you feel like the holiday season is truly there or just around the corner!

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-Sylvie- January 12, 2006
Feuerzangenbowle (Burnt Punch, Traditional German Beverage)