Punch your way through May

Maibowle adorned with strawberries

By Therese Weiss
The Stuttgart Citizen

“Maibowle,” or May punch, is a refreshing beverage to enjoy on mild afternoons and evenings with family and friends.

The main ingredient is “Waldmeister,” a sweet woodruff, a perennial herb with small white flowers that bloom in May and June. Sweet woodruff contains coumarin, which gives it its notable scent and flavor.

Regular Maibowle recipe:

  • 1 bunch of Waldmeister, or sweet woodruff (about 0.2 to 0.35 ounces)
  • 2 squirts of lime juice or lemon juice
  • 2 bottles of dry white wine
  • 1 bottle of semi-dry sparkling wine
  • Ice cubes

Let the bunch of woodruff dry somewhat and pour one bottle of white wine into a punchbowl. To prevent the toxic substances of the woodruff from entering the punch, you should dip the bunch of woodruff into the wine, tied together with a string so that the stem ends stick out; let steep for 20 to 30 minutes. Remove the woodruff and discard. Add the remaining white wine and top off with the sparkling wine. Chill with ice cubes placed under the bowl. Add some sugar if you would like it sweeter.

Alcohol-free Maibowle recipe:

  • 1 tablespoon of sweet woodruff syrup
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 600 ml apple juice
  • 400 ml sparkling water
  • Mix all the ingredients and serve chilled