Drinks and Libations

Boat Drinks and other Libations…

We first had Gluhwein at the Christmas markets in Germany. The wonderful aroma of this traditional seasonal drink permeates the air of the markets.

“Glühwein,” which literally means “glowing wine,” is served at every Christmas market in Germany. It often comes in a limited-edition, seasonally inspired and creatively adorned ceramic mug. For a small additional fee, you can either keep this cute little mug as a memento of your visit to the Christmas market – often the year and name of the town or city where you purchased your cup of Glühwein is inscribed on the mug – or you can return it to get your deposit (Pfand) back to buy something else, like your next glass of Glühwein …

We tried several prepared bottled versions of Gluhwein but none of them came close to what we expected. We finally found this recipe from Viking Cruise Lines and now we heat up a batch of this every Christmas.

boat drinks - gluhwein








  • 4 qts dry red wine (e.g., zinfandel, pinot, burgundy)
  • 1 C white sugar (more to taste)
  • 1 pt brandy
  • 12 whole cloves
  • 1/8 tsp allspice
  • 1/8 tsp mace
  • 1 qt dry white wine
  • 1 orange, sliced
  • 1 lemon, sliced 
  • 6 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 orange, sliced

Pour red wine into a 3-gal pot (or larger) and begin gentle heating. Add sugar and spices. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Add brandy and white wine, slices of 1 orange and the lemon. Steep for 1 hour over low heat, covered. Serve hot and garnish with orange slices or a cinnamon stick.

Cook time: 1 hour

Makes 12-15 servings.

Glühwein can be enjoyed with “Lebkuchen,” the chewy spice cakes perfected centuries ago in Nuremberg and popular all over Germany (find a recipe for this in the Desserts section) or all manner of other treats served up at traditional German Christmas markets, including roasted nuts like “gebrannte Mandeln” (burnt almonds), “Reibekuchen” (potato pancakes), or “Stollen,” a dense, marzipan-infused fruit cake masterminded by Dresden-based bakers (also found in the Dessert Section). Or you could just enjoy your Glüwein with a piping hot bratwurst.

Here are a few more interesting “Boat Drinks” and other cocktails:

Celebrity Xpedition’s Blue-Footed Booby Cocktail

boat drinks - blue footed booby

  • 2 oz good quality white rum
  • 4 oz pineapple juice
  • 0.5 oz Blue Curacao
  • 1 oz cream

Combine all ingredients in a blender. Pour into a cuvee glass, a wide-bowled white wine glass or Champagne flute. For a variation on the theme, try the Red-Footed Booby, made with 2 ounces Finlandia vodka, 1/4 ounce Cointreau and 2 ounces pineapple juice. (Shake over ice and serve in a martini glass.)

Santa’s Helper – Carnival

 boat drinks - santas helper




  • 2 oz. Grey Goose Cherry Noir
  • 7.5 oz. Pomegranate Liquor
  • 1.25 oz. Cranberry Juice
  • 5 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
  • A few ice cubes


Combine all ingredients – and your favorite memories of the year – in a cocktail shaker Shake vigorously and strain into a martini glass. For extra holiday flair, garnish with a candy cane.

boat drinks - papa doblePapa Doble – Carnival


  • 1 CHERRY
  • ICE


  • Gather all of the ingredients, plus your favorite vacation memories, into a cocktail shaker
  • Add ice – Shake like you mean it
  • Strain and pour – as gently as a Caribbean sea breeze – into a martini glass
  • Garnish with a cherry

Mango Margarita – Carnival

boat drinks - margarita




  • Add all ingredients in a shaker.
  • Add ice.
  • Shake vigorously
  • Pour everything into a 12 oz glass.


  • Lime Wedge.

Follow this link for a comprehensive list of Carnival Cruise Lines special “Carnival Boat Drinks”