Last updated: 16/10/2022

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The drinking horn has been a common drinking vessel for a very long time. It was very common in the Middle Ages and is considered a luxurious and valuable showpiece. Nowadays, drinking horns are used at concerts, festivals, medieval festivals and markets or as living room decorations.

Are you a big Vikings fan and want to get yourself a drinking horn? Then you’ve come to the right place. In this article you will find all the important information on buying a drinking horn and valuable tips on how to care for and clean it.




Summary

  • Drinking horns were originally used from animal horns of the cow, cattle or ox.
  • A food-safe finish is what makes a high-quality drinking horn.
  • An alcoholic mixed drink of honey and water (also called mead) is drunk from the drinking horn, which is why the drinking horn is often called methorn.

The Best Drinking Horns: Our Picks

If you want to buy a drinking horn, there are a few things you should consider. That’s why we’ve put together our favourites below to help you make the right choice. This will help you find the right drinking horn for your needs.

Buying and evaluation criteria for drinking horns

So that you are not too overwhelmed when making your choice, we have picked out the most important buying criteria for you. These are as follows:

In the following, we show you what to look for in these criteria to help you make your decision.

Manufacture

Drinking horns are made from real horn from different breeds of cattle or water buffalo. For the desired capacity, quite long horns are required, which come from special cattle breeds. But don’t worry – no animal is killed to make a drinking horn, because the horns are already present as a by-product during meat processing.

In Germany, the next step then takes place: the inner and outer raw horn refinement that takes place for hygienic and aesthetic reasons. The horn is first boiled and then polished and ground on the outside according to the desired appearance. The rustic drinking horns are thicker-walled than the polished drinking horns because the last two operations are omitted.

Finally, the drinking horns are given a food-safe varnish on the inside, which is the quality of a high-quality horn. The food-safe varnish is heat-resistant, tasteless, alcohol-resistant, saliva-resistant and long-lasting, so that drinking from it is no problem and there are no funny smells.

Material

The material of the drinking horn is decisive when buying. Real animal horns from cattle, oxen or cows are of higher quality because they are a natural product and at the same time you are buying a unique item. It is important that the natural horn does not come into permanent contact with moisture, otherwise the natural horn fibres could swell.

Drinks with a lot of citric acid can damage the lacquer layer, which can result in untypical “cow” smells. Drinking horns can also be made from other materials such as metal, glass and clay. Plastic or synthetic materials are also used for processing.

Filling quantity

Drinking horns are available in different sizes. The question you should ask yourself is where the drinking horn will be used. For use at home, a small drinking horn is advantageous. At a medieval festival or festival, a larger drinking vessel is more suitable.

Drinking horns are usually filled with between 100 – 200ml, but larger drinking horns with a size of 300 – 750ml are the most common. In order not to spill the contents in the crowd, the drinking horn should not be made too full, because with half a filling there is still enough content.

Appearance

The appearance plays an important role and should please you personally. There are drinking horns made of wood or with individual engraving. If you buy an individual natural product, the grain and colours may differ slightly from the exact product image. The thickness of drinking horns is not usually specified by the manufacturer. If you are spoilt for choice, opt for the thicker one. These are more resistant, especially in the event of a fall.

Accessories

When you buy a drinking horn, almost all offers include accessories. The following accessories are included in some offers:

  • Drinking horn holder
  • Drinking horn stand made of wood
  • Drinking horn lid
  • a belt for the drinking horn
  • a bottle of mead
  • Drinking horn with engraving
  • Drinking horn set

This way you can make a really good bargain and a drinking horn is also a creative gift for all mead lovers at Easter, birthdays or Christmas. When buying, however, you should make sure that the quality of the drinking horn accessories is also appropriate.

Guide: Frequently asked questions about drinking horns answered in detail

In our guide, we answer the most important questions about drinking horns.

Who is a drinking horn suitable for?

As a rule, a drinking horn is suitable for every true medieval fan or mead lover. An alcoholic mixed drink of honey and water (also called mead) is drunk from the drinking horn, which is why the drinking horn is often called methorn. Drinking beer from a drinking horn is also popular.

Other alcoholic drinks such as schnapps, sparkling wine, wine and non-alcoholic drinks such as cola, water and juice can also be poured into the drinking horn and drunk. Hot drinks can also be partially consumed from drinking horns and are an absolute eye-catcher as coffee-to-go cups.

Drinking horns bring joy to younger and older people. (Image source: melly17 / Pixabay)

What types of drinking horns are there?

There are different types of horns, but not all of them are suitable for drinking, so make sure you don’t mix up the different horns before you buy. The different types of horns, such as signal horns, call horns, hunting horns and horns (musical instruments) are NOT suitable for drinking.

Another type of drinking horn is the rhyton, but it has an opening at the bottom of the horn. Therefore, the classic drinking horn is more recommended. Therefore, when buying a drinking horn, make sure that the product you buy will actually be used for drinking. Just have a look at our recommendations mentioned above.

What does a drinking horn cost?

The price of a drinking horn is mostly determined by criteria such as quality/durability style and value for money. Therefore, there is a price range from low to high. This table should give you a little more information about the possible prices of a drinking horn:

Price range Available products
Low-priced (from € 9.99) Small drinking horns available online
Medium-priced (from 23,99 €) Medium drinking horns available online
High-priced (from 59,99 €) Large drinking horns available online

It turns out that you can already get a quality and stylish drinking horn for little money and an unadulterated taste experience is guaranteed with every selection.

Conclusion

Drinking horns are the perfect accessory for concerts, festivals and for all medieval fans who are looking for an unusual drinking vessel. Each natural horn is unique and stands out with its very unique shape and size. In addition, the drinking horn should be very well made and coated with food-safe varnish.

As you can see, you can get a drinking horn for little money. With the right care and cleaning tips, it is now easy to get a customised drinking vessel that will surely impress your family and friends.

(Cover picture: Susanne Dicke / Pixabay)

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