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Nobody knew quite as much about enjoying a drink as did the Vikings.
Drinking from a horn is a cool and authentic way to really give yourself a break from your standard beer glass, and enjoy your next adult beverage from a drinking horn.
Why not take a step back in time and bring a little something different to your next gathering with family and friends.
We’ve searched for some of the best drinking horns so that you can find one that suits you best.
Table of Contents
What is a Drinking Horn?
The first and most obvious question you might be asking is, what is a drinking horn?
A drinking horn is just what is sounds like, it’s a real drinking vessel that is made from the horns of animals.
Human beings have been enjoying beer way before we invented glass, so they had to find something to drink out of. The idea and solution that came to the Greeks, Romans, Vikings, and countless other civilizations was to use the horns of various different animals as their drinking vessel of choice!
The Best Drinking Horns
If you’re going to invest in a drinking horn, you want to be sure that you get the right one.
Whether you’re looking for great value, something seriously authentic, or something in the middle, you can be sure that you’ll find the perfect drinking horn for your needs and your budget.
But, if you don’t have a lot of time, and just want to see the top 5 on our list, you can just click on one of the links below.
Das Horn Drinking Vessel 24oz
If you’re looking for something straightforward at a seriously reasonable price, this Das Horn drinking vessel might well be the thing that you’re looking for.
Rather than being made from an actual animal horn, it’s made from food-safe plastic with a stainless steel rim. Not only does this mean that it’s one of the best value drinking horns out there but it also has the look and feel of a drinking horn with a modern twist.
It also includes a neck strap to keep your hands free when you’re not drinking and a stand that lets you display it proudly. Of course, this modern take on a drinking horn might not be for everyone, especially if you’re looking for a real authentic, traditional experience. Not only that but the plastic construction means that this horn isn’t actually going to be unique.
- Sleek, modern design
- Food safe materials
- Sturdy, stylish display stand
- Not made with a real animal horn
- Slightly generic design
Norse Tradesman Original Viking Drinking Horn Mug
If you want something totally traditional then there really aren’t many better places to look than with this Norse Tradesmen drinking horn.
For one thing, this horn is made from 100% authentic, ethically sourced ox. Each one is carefully selected to provide the best possible appearance, durability, color, and shape.
This means that every single horn is totally unique. The style is something that you can choose based on your personality.
Norse Tradesmen rigorously test all of their horns for quality and each is carefully hand-crafted and hand-polished. You even have the option of different sizes and the chance to customize your horn with engravings, making it completely unique to you.
Of course, this does mean that you can’t be 100% sure of how your horn is going to look since they are all entirely unique. Not only that but the use of authentic animal horn means that they require more care than something made from metal or plastic.
- 100% authentic ox horn
- Thoroughly tested
- Each one is totally unique
- Requires care
- You don’t always know exactly what the drinking horn will look like
AleHorn Hand-Made Natural Finish Drinking Horn Tankard
Sometimes when you’re looking for a drinking horn, you want to be sure that it can hold enough to quench a Viking sized thirst!
This XXL horn tankard is perfect for your next feast! Made from 100% real horn, this mug is something seriously impressive.
It’s well-sealed not only for safety but to ensure that you don’t end up having to deal with any spills. This kind of horn is the one that’s perfect if you’re looking to really dive into that Game of Thrones-style fantasy.
It comes in a variety of styles from a more natural finish to a high-shine polish to something in subtle white. That way you can be sure that you find a style that’s perfect for you. And since it’s entirely handmade and can be custom engraved, you can always rest assured that your drinking horn is never going to be exactly the same as anyone else’s.
Of course, this mug style isn’t the most authentic thing in the world. It makes it more usable but it’s not exactly what you might call totally traditional. You also need to be sure that you clean it as carefully and regularly as possible to preserve the finish.
- Large size for a Viking sized thirst! (Up to 36 ounces)
- Variety of sizes
- Fully handmade
- Traditional yet comfortable
- Needs to be cleaned carefully
- Not the most authentic style
AleHorn Authentic Drinking Horn Curved Style With Stand
This is maybe the most authentic-looking of all the horns on this list. Rather than being formed into a particular shape, the appeal of this horn is the natural look that it offers.
You can instantly recognize this as having come from a real animal. Rather than being polished to a mirror shine, this horn is only semi-polished. This means that the texture of the horn itself is allowed to be the star of the show. This natural feel is enough to make you feel like a real Viking!
The brass rim around the edge helps to give it that little touch of class as well as making it as comfortable as possible to drink from. The stand is made from the horn as well so that you can display it proudly with a wonderfully authentic style.
This is the kind of horn where the craftsmanship is so clear and on display and you’ll definitely want to show it off. The simple, natural design does mean that it’s not quite as dramatic as other horns that have been heat-formed into shape and you can’t always be sure that the shape is going to be the easiest to drink out of.
- Incredible craftsmanship
- Natural design
- An authentic Viking drinking experience!
- Isn’t as easy to drink from as a formed horn
- The semi-polished finish means that it requires extra care
Viking Drinking Horn - 18oz Handcrafted, Natural Horn
Just because a drinking horn is totally natural and authentic doesn’t mean that it can’t also have a sleek and stylish design.
This drinking horn is made from 100% animal horn and is carefully handcrafted by master craftsmen, while still featuring a sleek design that is surprisingly modern. It’s the ideal balance of modern design ideas and traditional methods. It’s understated in the way that a lot of drinking horns generally aren’t and it helps to bring the thrill of drinking like a Viking into the modern-day.
The brass lip makes it extremely comfortable to drink from and the simple strap keeps your hands free when you’re not raising a toast. The iron stand is equally simple and understated. Forged from iron for a classy yet traditional way to display your horn for everyone to see.
Again, because this horn is made by hand, it’s possible that the size and color will vary slightly from what you expect, but that’s just the reality of drinking from a real horn. The simple design is also something that might not necessarily be what everyone wants. If you’re looking for a genuine show-stopper then this might not be the horn you’re looking for.
- Sleek and stylish
- The perfect balance of modern and traditional
- Authentic iron stand for display
- Choice of 3 different material types: Smooth, spiral, or original
- Size and color can vary
- Simple design
Why Drink From a Drinking Horn?
For one thing, it’s a serious conversation starter.
If you want your drinking vessel of choice to be something more than just a receptacle for your beverage of choice, a drinking horn is pretty much ideal.
If you’re at a party or you just have some guests over, you can pretty much guarantee that you’re not going to be able to pull out your drinking horn without some questions. Not only that but it’s a great way to show of a little extra personality.
Whether you’re celebrating some Nordic heritage or just showing your love of shows like Game of Thrones, a drinking horn can help to say a lot about you.
And if you’re drinking something seriously high quality, then why wouldn’t you want to enjoy it out of a vessel that’s worthy of it?
How Are Drinking Horns Made?
In order to turn an animal horn into a drinking horn, the inner core is first removed. This is done by boiling it to soften the insides and then scraping them out. After all, the horn is often heat formed into shape.
Of course, with a Viking drinking horn, the natural shape is part of the appeal and this step isn’t necessary. The horn is coated in a food-safe coating and polished, that way you can be sure that it’s always safe to drink out of.
And in the modern era now, there are other options available too. You can get drinking horns made from steel and even plastic if you’d rather not use something taken from an animal.
How To Clean a Drinking Horn
If you’re going to use a drinking horn, you need to be able to clean it properly. A genuine drinking horn should never be put in the dishwasher. You should always wash your drinking horn by hand in order to keep it looking fresh and new.
You should wash your horn with warm water, a hand cloth, and a soft bottle brush. That way you can get to all of the deepest parts of the horn. Then just let it air dry or dry it with a towel and it’s ready to be used all over again!
One thing you should always remember is to wash your horn as soon as possible after use.
It might be tempting to leave it until the next day but the acidic content of your drink could end up wearing down the coating and potentially cause permanent damage to your horn.
What Animals Do Drinking Horns Come From?
In the time that they were first used, drinking horns were often made from the horns of aurochs, a now-extinct ancestor of domestic cattle. Obviously, that’s not an option now.
However, drinking horns have been made from other animal horns for centuries. If you’re looking for a genuine drinking horn, the chances are that it will have come from either a buffalo, cow or ox horn.
The kind of animal that a horn is taken from will obviously have an impact on the way that it looks and feels in your hand but you can be sure that no matter its origin, a well made drinking horn is going to be carefully treated to ensure the best possible drinking experience.
What Alcohol Did Vikings Drink?
If you’re going to be drinking from a genuine drinking horn, you want to be sure that you’re filling it up with the right stuff!
There are two main drinks that the Vikings liked to drink: beer and mead. Most of us are pretty aware of what beer is. However, stuff that the Vikings drank would have been quite a bit stronger than the stuff people enjoy now.
One of the reasons that beer was so popular among the Vikings was that the water was often too dirty to drink. This means that it was enjoyed by men, women, and even children!
Mead, a drink made from fermented honey and spices, was also incredibly popular and is still available to buy today if you want the fully authentic Viking drinking experience.
Final Say and Our Favorite Drinking Horn
For us, our favorite and most authentic of the bunch is the Norse Tradesman Original Viking Drinking Horn Mug.
Having the option to choose between three different sizes, this mug combines the best of all worlds. The design is suitably authentic and traditional while still remaining more comfortable to use than the horns that haven’t been formed into shape.
They use a strict process when it comes to selecting the animal horns for their products. The 100% ox horn construction means that they are strong, sturdy, and should last you a very long time.
This is also one of the most popular drinking horns that you can find on the market.