Festive drinks

Christmas drinks at the Frankfurt Christmas Market
Enjoying beer and Glühwein at the German Market, 11th December 2013.
Photograph courtesy of the University of Birmingham.


We hope all have been enjoying the holiday season. Members of BE got into the festive spirit with a visit to the Frankfurt Christmas Market which was held in Birmingham city centre during December, partaking in the beer and mulled wine on offer. We needed the hot Glühwein to warm our fingers in the cold evening, but we can imagine similar ales and flavoured wines being available in ancient Egypt where the cold was less of a problem!


An article written by Dr Carla Gallorini (Innovation Through Interactions: A Tale of Three Pilgrim Flasks) for the University of Birmingham’s 2012 online project ‘Connections: Communication in Ancient Egypt’ focuses on examples of so-called ‘pilgrim flasks’ in the Eton Myers Collection (on loan to the University); Dr Gallorini refers to Janine Bourriau’s suggestion that such vessels in the Eighteenth Dynasty could have contained flavourings to be added to wine, as ‘pilgrim flasks’ can sometimes be seen associated with Canaanite storage jars.  These flavourings may have been in the form of honey syrups, spiced liquids or perhaps juices from fruits such as dates. Fruit was the flavour of choice for our own beverages – BE members enjoyed warm spiced wine flavoured with apple and cherry, both of which are known to have been introduced into ancient Egypt relatively late in its history (see H. Wilson, 1988. Egyptian food and drink, for a basic introduction to the foodstuffs grown, produced and consumed).

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