The flavorful and heavenly smelling mulled Christmas punch (non-alcoholic) you know and love from the German Christmas markets! Kinderpunsch incorporates fruit tea, fruit juices, citrus, and a variety of spices for an unforgettable fragrance and flavor!
There is something magical about German Christmas markets: The colors, the lights, the sounds, the displays, the huge selection of hand-crafted goods, delicious foods, and intoxicating aromas.
Time seems to stand still in this setting and you can easily lose yourself for hours.
And that’s where two traditional German Christmas hot drinks come in handy to keep your warm as you meander your way through the stalls, inhaling the enchanting atmosphere.
The first of these is Glühwein, a mulled wine with classic warming spices. The other, Kinderpunsch, is just what its name translates to: A punch for kids or for adults who don’t drink. It’s like the virgin version of Glühwein.
I remember visiting the Stuttgarter Weihnachtsmarkt (where I grew up) every year next to the Altes Schloss (old palace). Clutching a mug of steaming hot Kinderpunsch between my hands, I would sip it slowly as we made our way through the market.
The thing that distinguishes this German punch from other mulled punches is the addition of Früchtetee (fruit tea), most commonly Malvetee (hibiscus tee), one of the most popular herbal teas in Germany. It infuses the punch with a red color and contributes a wonderful tangy flavor.
My most treasured Christmas market memories are of Rothenburg ob der Tauber, a small medieval walled city about an hour and a half northeast of Stuttgart (less if you drive like a German), and home to the world famous Käthe Wohlfahrt store and a special deep-fried pastry, Schneebälle.
While it’s not one of the more famous Christmas markets because of its small size, it’s nevertheless my personal favorite because of the quiet and reverent atmosphere and the sheer beauty of the old setting.
I remember those Winter family drives out to Rothenburg with my parents and brother, listening to three of our family’s favorite Christmas albums, The Carpenters, John Denver, and The Jackson 5, and enjoying more of that Kinderpunsch while strolling through the town with the lights twinkling along each cobblestoned street.
And as funny as it might sound, every time I hear little Michael singing “Someday at Christmas” and “Give Love On Christmas Day” I’m filled with those cherished memories of that special German town in Bavaria.
Let’s get started!
To make the Kinderpunsch, simply place all the ingredients except for the honey and tea in a stock pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the tea bags and let them steep, covered, for 10 minutes. Remove the tea bags and add honey to taste. Reheat the punch until hot.
Serve hot. Optional garnishes to put in each mug include some orange slices, cloves, star anise or cinnamon stick.
© Alexander Raths | Dreamstime
For more traditional German Christmas goodies be sure to try our:
Kinderpunsch (German Christmas Punch)
- 2 cups apple juice
- 2 cups orange juice (or substitute half apple juice and half cherry juice) NOTE: some recipes use orange juice and some don't. If you omit the orange juice the Kinderpunsch will be translucent in color.
- 1/2 cup cherry juice (can substitute more orange or apple juice)
- 2 cups water
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 10 whole cloves
- 2 whole star anise
- 5 bags hibiscus tea , or buy in bulk and use 5 teaspoons loose dried hibiscus petals
- Honey to taste
- To make the Kinderpunsch, simply place all the ingredients except for the honey and tea in a stock pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the tea bags and let them steep, covered, for 10 minutes. Remove the tea bags and add honey to taste. Reheat the punch until hot.
- Serve hot. Optional garnishes to place in each mug include orange slices, cloves, a star anise or cinnamon stick.
My mother-in-law loves rich, fruity teas! I’m definitely going to be sharing this recipe with her!
Oh the sweet memories of a German Christmas market. Just the aroma of spices brings it all back. As a young child it was even more magical than when I went back as an adult. The large chocolate covered Lebkuchen in heart shapes hanging with red ribbons in the vendors stalls, the potatoes puffers, the Quark belle, the music and so much more is a real treat.
Thanks for the memories and the pictures. You made my day. Now I’m going to go bake some memories.
Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet says
Thank you for sharing that, Ingrid. (By the way, you share my mother’s name and my daughter’s middle name :) Agreed, it’s especially magical as a child. I’m looking forward to being able to take my kids to Germany during Christmastime someday.
Heather | All Roads Lead to the Kitchen says
I’ve always wanted to go to a German Christmas market – it definitely sounds magical. And this kinderpunsch is so perfect for the season.
Erin @ Texanerin Baking says
Schneebälle?! Whaaat?! Why don’t we have those here? :( And LOVE that last pic! Incredible.
Marta @ What should I eat for breakfast today says
You presented a real Christmas mood, love it!
Alyssa | EverydayMaven says
Sounds like an amazing way to spend Christmas – those markets remind me of Prague!
H shouse says
I love your website. The international recipes the stories the fantastic photos. I can’t think of a recipe site of any kind I like more- and I live on the internet. I just wanted to say so. I would say I am in love with the Indian recipes but then I see the German ones then the African then even the ropa vieja we had last night. I hope to find a real deal sauerbraten recipe one day, but until then I have plenty to try starting with this punch tomorrow. Thank you for all you put into this site.
Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet says
I can’t tell you how much I appreciate that. You’ve made my day – thank you :) Sauerbraten is actually what we’re having for Christmas, we all voted on it :) So as long as I can stave off everyone long enough to snap some pictures of it I hope to have that real deal Sauerbraten recipe posted before too long!
Jennifer Farley says
These flavors sounds so soothing and wonderful together!
Michelle | A Latte Food says
I have always wanted to see a German Christmas market! It’s on the bucket list. :-)
Erin @ The Speckled Palate says
Several of my friends have had the chance to visit the German Christmas markets, and I long to visit them someday. This drink looks good for both kids and adults and oh-so-festive, too!
Ashley @ Wishes & Dishes says
Those photos of Germany are beautiful! I can’t wait to try this! Love that pic of the fireplace, too.
Maris (In Good Taste) says
There’s a German Christmas market in Chicago and I love to go each year for Gluhwein. So fun and festive!
Hi, Maris, could you tell me where is this German market, the info. Thank you.
Maris (In Good Taste) says
Daley Plaza :)
The Food Hunter says
I would love to go to Germany at Christmas time
Colleen (SB) says
I would LOVE to shop a German Christmas Market!! My son (who is a freshman in HS) is in his 3rd year of German and plans to go there in 2018. I need to find a way to tag along! This drink sounds wonderful and I’d like a cookie and a glass by that cozy fire!
This sounds wonderful and I am loving these gorgeous Christmas-y photos!