Erdbeerbowle (literally, "strawberry punch") is a must-have wine punch served at summer parties and BBQs in Germany. Made with sweetened strawberries, lemon, white wine and sparkling white wine (German Sekt), its vibrant color and fizzy quality set the mood on warm summer nights ablaze with tiki torches. Serve with cocktail picks so the strawberries can be speared and eaten.
The strawberries, sugar and lemon mixture must marinate in the refrigerator for 2 hours before mixing with the dry white wine, which requires an additional 1 hour of chilling before being mixed in a punch bowl with the sparkling wine, so plan accordingly.
European strawberries are smaller, sweeter and more fragile than the hybridized versions available in North America. In the summer, you will find kiosks on every corner in Germany selling freshly picked strawberries. For a more authentic taste, if possible, try making this strawberry wine punch with wild strawberries you have harvested from some secret spot only you know about.
- 2 quarts strawberries (washed, hulled, and sliced)
- 1/2 cup sugar (or to taste)
- 2 lemons
- 1 bottle white wine (dry)
- 1 bottle white wine (sparkling)
- Garnish: fresh mint or fresh lemon balm
- Place 2 quarts sliced strawberries in a medium bowl. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup sugar or to taste. Wash the 2 lemons and zest them. Then squeeze out the juice. Add both the juice and zest to the strawberries and let sit for 2 hours in the refrigerator.
- Drain and reserve the strawberry juice. Add 1 bottle dry white wine to the strawberries and marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour, or until the guests start arriving. Transfer the marinated strawberries to a punch bowl, and add the reserved strawberry juice and stir. Pour the 1 bottle of sparkling white wine into the bowl and serve.
- To serve, ladle punch and strawberries into the glass, garnish with a sprig of fresh mint or fresh lemon balm, if desired, and serve with a cocktail pick, so that the guests can eat the strawberries.
Note: Mixed drinks in Germany can be divided into beer-based drinks like the Berliner Weisse, and mixed wine drinks like a Kir Royale. The teetotaler need not feel left out because here are 8 Nonalcoholic German Summer Drink Recipes.