May Wine Punch With Sweet Woodruff (Mai Bowle)

Originating from Germany, May Wine is deeply rooted in folklore and customs associated with the arrival of spring. Its creation involves infusing aromatic woodruff herb into white wine, resulting in a beverage that not only tantalizes the palate but also carries a rich tapestry of cultural significance.

This enchanting libation has been praised for its ability to evoke feelings of joy and renewal, making it a cherished part of seasonal festivities and rituals around the world. So, if you’ve ever wondered about this enchanting elixir that encapsulates the spirit of springtime, join us as we embark on an exploration into the captivating world of May Wine.

Key takeaways

  • May wine dates back to the middle ages
  • it is a mixture of dry white wine with woodruf or waldmeister syrup and strawberries. White wine can be replaced with sparkling wine
  • May wine is best served chilled

What is May Wine

May wine, also known as Maibowle in German, may wine is served as a traditional beverage that celebrates the arrival of spring. It is made by steeping sweet woodruff leaves (Galium odoratum) in light white wine or sparkling wine, along with strawberries and other seasonal fruits. The unique flavor of sweet woodruff gives May wine a fragrant, herbal taste with hints of vanilla and almond. This refreshing drink has been enjoyed for centuries in Europe, especially during May Day celebrations and festive gatherings.

History of May Wine

One intriguing aspect of May wine is its connection to folklore and traditional customs. In Germany, the use of sweet woodruff dates back to medieval times when it was believed to have magical properties and was used to ward off evil spirits.

The addition of strawberries not only adds a burst of fruity sweetness but also symbolizes renewal and fertility and pairs well with the sweet woodruff. This further ties May wine to age-old spring rituals. Its delicate aroma and light, crisp taste make it a perfect accompaniment for outdoor picnics or garden parties during the blossoming season.

May wine variations

As the popularity of craft cocktails continues to rise, May wine offers mixologists an opportunity for creative experimentation. By either infusing white wine with different fruits or adding a splash of liqueur, bartenders can put their own spin on this classic recipe and offer customers a unique taste experience.

Additionally, this refreshing herbal infused beverage incorporates sustainable practices. Sourcing local ingredients can elevate the appeal of May wine as an eco-friendly libation for modern consumers seeking more mindful choices.

How to serve May wine

May wine, also known as Maibowle in German, is a delightful and refreshing beverage. It is perfect for welcoming the arrival of spring. To serve May wine, start by gathering fresh ingredients. This can be fresh sweet woodruff, strawberries, a dry white wine, and a sparkling mineral water.

May wine ingredients

Infuse the fresh sweet woodruff and strawberries in the white wine for at least an hour to obtain a mixture filled with aromatic flavors. When ready to serve, strain out the infused ingredients and pour the flavorful liquid into glasses filled with ice. Top off each glass with a splash of sparkling mineral water to add a light effervescence. It brings out the vibrant flavors of herbal infused beverage.

For an extra special touch, garnish your May wine glasses with additional slices of fresh strawberries. You can also add sprigs of sweet woodruff for an elegant presentation. The combination of floral sweetness from the dried sweet woodruff, and the bright acidity from the strawberries creates a drink that captures the essence of springtime in every sip.

When to serve may wine

Embracing traditions like serving May wine provides an opportunity to celebrate nature’s renewal. It allows to enjoy moments of conviviality with loved ones. Whether sipping it on a warm afternoon or toasting under starlit skies, May wine offers a taste experience that epitomizes all things delightful about this time of year.

Key ingredients of May Wine

The key ingredients of May wine, an enticing German drink traditionally consumed in the spring, comprise a delightful blend of white wine, dried sweet woodruff or Waldmeister syrup, and a splash of sparkling water. You can avoid sparkling water when using sparkling wine.

The use of Riesling or Müller-Thurgau wines adds complexity and depth to the flavor profile. The sweet woodruff lends a unique herbal flavor and sweetness that is both refreshing and aromatic. Additionally, the addition of crushed strawberries – nature’s seasonal delight – imbues the beverage with a touch of fruity essence that complements the floral notes exuded by the woodruff.

Creation of May wine

When creating May wine, it is crucial to consider the quality and origin of each component. Opting for high-quality white wine ensures that its delicate flavors shine through without being overpowered by other elements of wine recipe. A punch bowl is the perfect recipient to prepare may wine and to allow th flavors to develop.

Likewise, sourcing authentic sweet woodruff syrup provides an unparalleled depth of flavor to uplift this traditional German concoction. Furthermore, incorporating freshly picked strawberries from local farms infuses a burst of natural sweetness into every sip, elevating the overall drinking experience.

As we celebrate springtime traditions around the world, embracing May wine as more than just a beverage but as an embodiment of seasonal blossoms. Abundant harvests allows us to connect with nature on a deeper level. By valuing each ingredient’s contribution to this revered libation. White, fruity white wine, for its timeless allure, sweet woodruff for its botanical intrigue, and strawberries for their ephemeral sweetness. We honor not only tradition but also Mother Nature’s bounty herself.

How to make traditional German May Wine


– 1 bottle of dry white wine

– 1/4 cup of fresh woodruff leaves (or a few sprigs of dried woodruff)

– 1/4 cup of strawberries, sliced

– 1 orange quartered and sliced


1. Pour the white wine into a large pitcher.

2. Add the woodruff leaves, sliced strawberries and sliced orange.

3. Stir gently to combine.

4. Cover the pitcher and refrigerate for at least one hour to allow the flavors to meld.

5. Serve chilled, garnished with fresh strawberries if desired. Enjoy your May wine!

Hi, my name is Christina Day, and I am a self-proclaimed wine connoisseur. It is my favorite alcoholic drink, and I enjoy nothing better than kicking back on the sofa after a long week of work to enjoy a glass of wine… or two!

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