Maibowle or May wine was mentioned the first time in the year 854 by the monk Wandalbertus from the German monastery Kloster Prüm, and it was used as a strengthening medical beverage for liver and heart. It also contained leaves from black currant and a vine named Gundelrebe.
Waldmeister is an herb that has de-cramping effects as it contains the substance Cumarin which is having an euphoric effect in high dosage, and can cause headaches and drowsiness. The vikings used Waldmeister in beer brewing, and because of its intoxicative effect is was inhibited in the 1950s. You should not drink too much of it as it can seriously cause strong headaches.
The Waldmeister plant grows to 12-20 inches long, and is often lying flat on the ground or supported by other plants. If you translate Waldmeister into English it means "Master of the Woods". It is not only used for the Bowle but also in beer and is called Berliner Weisse. The English name is Sweet Woodruff. The best is to buy the plant and have it in the garden. So you can enjoy every year the Maibowle.
Ingredients Maibowle or May Wine
500 ml white wine, dry (Moselle or Rhine)
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 package vanilla sugar
250 ml dry Sekt
5 stems fresh Waldmeister (not blooming) or 1/2 cup dried or Waldmeister syrup - find Waldmeister Syrup here
1 stem mint
1 stem lemon mint
2 slices lemon
Instructions Maibowle or May wine
- dissolve brown sugar and vanilla sugar in wine.
- let fresh Waldmeister wilt and hang it upside down together with mint for 30 min, maximum 45 minutes in the wine. The cutting edges of the plants should not touch the wine.
- freeze lemon slices, then place wine in the fridge and chill it.
- before serving add Sekt.
- you can add small ice cubes if the Waldmeister fragrance should be too strong.
- you also can add strawberries that are cut in halves.
buy the sweet woodruff plant here