Friday, January 8, 2016


The very happiest of New Years to you friends!  Welcome to 2016.

Unlike many of my fellow bloggers, you won't find me making resolutions or reflecting back on the year that has passed in this first post of 2016.  That's never really been my thing.  And to be honest, I'm not really all that keen on jumping feet first into a new start.  I find myself, instead, slowly easing my way into the new year.  The Christmas season was such a whirlwind in our house- the holiday sort of came at us hard and fast and then, POOF!, just as quickly as it had started it ended. 

Part of this feeling of let down that I'm experiencing is because of the immense quiet that has settled over my house.  My sister and her fab family spent a bit over a week here visiting us over the holidays.  My house has never felt so small or so wonderfully full of life.  We spent our time making the best of what was left of Christmas in Germany- finding small markets still open, watching skaters slip over the ice at rinks set up in the city center, wandering medieval towns and castles and watching the fireworks displays that marked the end of the year.  The kids were constantly playing and enjoying the company of their cousins.  And of course there was food.  What is Germany at Christmas-time, after all, if there aren't bratwursts, beers, potato pancakes (kartoffelpuffer), gluwein or its non-alcoholic counterpart kinderpunsch?

So as part of my ease into the new year, I decided to hang on to a bit of the past season and make my own kinderpunsch.  You can find it at any Christmas market right next to the spiced wine for the adults, but I often find the gluwein a bit too strong for my taste so I go for the kids' drink instead.  I'm never disappointed.  Finding a recipe was a bit of a task, however.  It's one of those things that there area million recipes for because everyone has their own special or favorite way of mixing it up.  So I found myself imagining my favorite kinderpunsch drinks instead, and then doing a bit of kitchen alchemy until I found just the right combination.  My kids gave it two thumbs up, so I know I've gotten it right as they are the experts.

Friends, raise a glass (or Christmas market mug, in my case) with me to 2016!

Makes 4-6 servings depending on the size and thirst of the drinker.
For the printable recipe, click here

There are just as many recipes for kinderpunsch as there are for Mom's chicken soup or Nana's marinara sauce.  Everyone's Oma does it her own way.  This just happens to be our favorite.  We think there is just enough fruit, sweetness and winter spice to warm us through the gloomy and cold winter in this punsch.  I think you will too.  And it's incredibly easy to throw together.  So you can make a big batch and keep it in the fridge for warming up after school or playtime in the park.

3 cups water
4 bags of fruit infused tea, such as berry or raspberry (I like Lipton's Bavarian Wild Berry, ironically)
2 cups apple juice
1 cup cherry juice (a sour cherry juice is very nice in this punsch, but sweet cherry or even grape will work)
2 tbs honey
2 sticks cinnamon
2 pinches (about 1/4 tsp) ground cloves

Place the water in a medium saucepan over medium high heat.  Bring the water just to a simmer and then remove from the heat.  Place the tea bags in the water and steep for 5 minutes.  Remove the tea bags.

Stir the apple and cherry juice, honey, cinnamon sticks and cloves into the tea.  Return the saucepan to the heat and let the punsch warm over medium heat for 5 minutes.  Bo not boil or even simmer the punsch, you're not looking to reduce the liquid just warm and infuse the spices into it.  Remove from the heat and serve.

The punsch will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

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