No matter the occasion, a classic Bowle is the perfect way to add a bit of sparkle and excitement to your gathering. With its vibrant colors and tantalizing flavors, this bubbly concoction of wine and sparkling wine mixed with fruits or herbs is sure to bring a smile to your guests' faces.
But there's more to the delicious bowle wine punch than just its wonderful taste: with its beautiful presentation and refreshingly fruity flavor, the amazing wine punch variations are sure to be a hit at any party.
Looking for more delicious German drinks? Check out these delicious traditional German holiday drinks or these popular Oktoberfest drinks to get you in celebration mood.
What Is Bowle?
The delicious wine punch is said to be named after the English word "bowl" (vessel). The specialty is believed to have been invented by British colonial officers. They told their servants in India to make them a special drink to keep them strong and keep them from getting bored. This drink was then served in a big bowl.
In the 18th and 19th centuries "drinking the bowl" was brought to Europe. Bowle, which was originally reserved for the wealthy, quickly became a beloved beverage in bourgeois circles. The fruity punch then evolved from the fine society drink to a party hit in Germany. Today, the delectable wine punch is a popular fresh-fruity summer drink as well as a staple at Christmas dinners and New Year's Eve parties.
How to pronounce "Bowle" in German?
Listen to this audio file to hear how to say "Bowle".
Ingredients & Substitutes
The recipe in this post features the basic recipe for the popular Silvester Bowle (New Year´s Eve Wine Punch). Below you will find more popular bowle variations like the traditional Mai Bowle (may wine punch), the summer party classic Erdbeer Bowle (strawberry wine punch) and the winter favorite Glühwein Bowle (mulled wine punch).
White Wine: Bowle is only as good as the wine you are using. For a perfect result, use the wine that you like best.
Sparkling Wine: Sparkling wine is a wonderful addition and gives the bowle its bubbly energy. Like wine, you should go for a good quality product, but it does not need to be high-dollar champagne.
Fruit: Even I love fresh fruit, for bowle I enjoy canned or frozen fruit best. Perhaps this is just because this is how my family always made it, but perhaps for bowle it is really the best choice. Try different variations and choose what you like best.
Brandy or Vodka: In my family, we never used brandy or vodka to spike up bowle, as we enjoyed drinking bowle and wanted to enjoy more than one glass. Adding brandy or vodka sure elevates the flavor, but it will take the alcohol amount to the next level.
Sugar: Some people like to add sugar to the bowle others say it will cause headaches. I usually don´t add sugar when I use canned fruit, as it is already sweet enough for my taste. But you should go with what you prefer best.
See recipe card for quantities.
Mai Bowle (Sweet Woodruff Bowle)
Mai Bowle is a delicious German wine punch specialty. A combination of white wine and German sekt is infused with fresh sweet woodruff leaves (Waldmeister), which gives this bowle recipe its unique flavor and a wonderful light green color.
Mai Bowle is a classic German wine punch that is sure to amaze your guests. This refreshing drink is the perfect accompaniment to any spring or summer gathering.
Erdbeer Bowle (Strawberry Wine Punch)
When it comes to summertime drinks, nothing says fun quite like Erdbeerbowle (strawberry bowle). Whether you're throwing a BBQ or just enjoying the warm weather with friends, this fruity and refreshing drink is sure to hit the spot.
Bursting with sweet strawberry flavors, this bubbly wine punch is perfect for cooling off on hot days and adding a little something special to your outdoor gatherings. With just a few simple ingredients, you can whip up a batch of this delicious and convenient summertime party beverage in a flash.
Heisse Bowle - Mulled Wine Winter Bowle
Glühwein bowle is a hot, mulled wine-like winter bowle that is a wonderful addition to holiday gatherings. Use this recipe for traditional gluhwein to enjoy the classic German mulled wine, or try this blueberry gluhwein for a fruity mulled wine variation.
You will these following kitchen utensils:
- large glass bowl and glass or punch bowl set
- cutting board & knife if you need to cut fruit
- can opener if you are using canned fruit
Store wine punch leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 2–3 days.
If you pick out the fruit, you can keep leftovers for up to a week in the fridge. You can either drink the leftover bowle like wine or refresh it with fruit and an extra bottle of sparkling wine.
How to Serve
Bowle is usually served in a punch bowl. But if it is your first time trying the refreshing drink or you don´t want to invest in a pricy wine punch bowl set, you can either buy one of the cheap plastic punch bowl sets or just use a large glass bowl instead.
Never serve bowle as a stand-alone drink. The sweet taste sometimes makes people drink more or faster than usual. Always serve German bowle as part of a meal or add some tasty snacks along with this alcoholic drink.
Make sure that the wine punch bowl and filled glasses are out of the reach of children, as the included fruit may tempt them to try the wine punch when unattended.
Bowle German Wine Punch
- 2 bottles white wine
- 1 bottle sparkling wine or champagne
- 29 oz. canned orange mandarins
- 29 oz. canned peaches sliced or whole
- 20 oz. canned pineapple tidbits
- 1 cup brandy optional
- ¼ cup sugar optional
- Drain the fruit and set the juice aside. You will need it later.
- Cut peaches into small bite-sized pieces
- Add the fruit to a large bowl and cover with brandy and sugar (optional).
- Mix and allow to marinate in the fridge for a couple of hours or overnight.
- Add the juice and wine, stir and chill in the fridge for about 2 hours.
- And the champagne right before serving.
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