Drinking Horns

Goat Mug Brown
May 7, 2024  
Categories: Assorted Ramblings

These drinking horns are perfect for any Norseman. Read on as Josh Orth educates us on drinkware for the modern Viking.

I’ve been really enjoying getting into Viking re-enactment these last few years. Part of this has been to get into the combat aspects, partly the crafting and the culture.

Man using the Goat Mug.

Part of this is collecting and using period appropriate kit, part of it is becoming comfortable using anachronistic gear. Did you know it’s quite hard to chug a beverage from a drinking horn unless you tilt it to one side?

I now have three Viking style drinking vessels. Two traditional and one more modern.

Goat Mug

First up is the very slick and modern Goat Mug. The Goat Mug is a 16 oz (470mL) polypropylene horn-shaped take on the classic keep-cup idea. Originally a Kickstarter project, now in full commercial production. It has been a mainstay of my desk since its arrival. With its silicone ring seal screw top and drip and spill proof locking clip, it’s made a prominent workplace oddity. The best part is when people ask how it stands up. The molded leather handcuff inverts to act as a stand to support the horn with great stability and protects the hand from hot beverages.

Goat Mug in brown



  • HEIGHT: 21 cm / 8.3″
  • DIAMETER: 8 cm / 3.2″
  • VOLUME: 350 ml / 12 oz
  • WEIGHT: 188 g / 0.4 lbs


  • HEIGHT: 23.5 cm / 9.25″
  • DIAMETER: 8.5 cm / 3.34″
  • VOLUME: 470 ml / 16 oz
  • WEIGHT: 250 g / 0.5 lbs

Top of the horn cup

The Goat Mug comes with a wrist strap and a shoulder sling for ease of carry that clip to holes in the lid and tip, respectively, but I’ve never had much need of either. I carry mine in my hand or table it in its holder. The seals are good enough to keep in a carbonated beverage, and the horn keeps my mugs of tea hot for a lot longer than a similarly sized conventionally shaped mug would. They aren’t even remotely period-appropriate but are perfect for adding flair to work or the open-pit BBQ pig on-spit Thing in the backyard. The curvature of the inside presents some scrubbing challenges, but I’m not phased by some tannin build-up, and it’s dishwasher safe.

Viking Horn

I also have a more traditional bulls horn drinking horn. This 8oz, (250mL) capacity horn (9oz when filled to the brim upright) natural bull horn has a fine embellished brass rim riveted on and a brass tip fixed to the pointy end. The outer surface is well polished and the insides have been well cleaned and sealed to keep the horn structurally sound after long sessions of ale. The traditional horn has the drawback of not having a stable base to sit it down so once you get started it’s awkward to set it down till you’ve emptied your horn.

I’ve knocked up a quick stand from some off-cuts for mine and you could always thrust it through your belt at the risk of spillage and wetting your britches. The brass fittings are handsome and lend themselves to adding some cordage as a sling. It feels nice in the hand and it has a good capacity, and certainly looks the part.

Close up of the inside of the drinking horn

I personally like to be able to set a drinking vessel down when eating as a joint of meat on the bone can sometimes need two hands and pickled herrings are slippery.

As I mentioned earlier, when drinking from a horn, it’s important you tilt the point of the horn downwards or to the side, not out in front or upwards when you drink, or you’ll get an unexpected surge and slosh your drink all over your face, in your beard and down your chest. Amusing but wasteful and won’t impress that sword maiden you’ve been waggling eyebrows at over the fire.

Original Drinking Horn Mug

The final horn in my collection of drinking vessels is the “Eleet Original Viking Drinking Horn Mug”

Inside the Viking horn cup

This elegant tankard has a 20 oz capacity and is fashioned from a worked ethically sourced ox horn in which the point of the horn has been bent back to form the handle / retention grip. The base of the is a colour-matched resin to seal off the mug and the inside is sealed with a 100% food safe non-toxic lacquer on the inside, in order to avoid the real horn odor and to avoid leakage. The exterior part is unpolished, unadorned and is kept real. The tankard feels great in the hand, it looks great and does the job.

A full drinking horn mug.

Being a natural product means each one has its own unique pattern and shape, but the true value is that it works. After a long day of swinging axes, hauling gear and arms and setting camp, let alone matching steel with the foeman and all the day to day challenges of the rustic Northman, having a large beverage to hand really brings home what is best in life. The “Eleet original Viking drinking horn mug” fits the bill AND I can set it down on the feasting bench to wrap an arm around someone close whilst feeding.

I don’t think i’d want to put hot drinks in either of the horn vessels, (be it pine needle tea or the beans of Mocha for structural integrity reasons (hot water softens horn …), but they’re perfect for my home-brewed mead or cider.

Its high capacity, flat base and broad handle make it the most convenient of my horns and mugs and as such keep it in highest rotation.

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Apocalypse Josh

Apocalypse Josh

About the Author

Josh Orth is a second generation expat currently dwelling in the arguably civilized outskirts of Melbourne, Australia. He's lived in deserts, jungles and urban sprawls around the world and traveled/adventured into assorted inhospitable places around the world and has a keen sense of the speed with which the trappings of 'civilized Western life' can disappear. This has led him to begin writing about his interests and observations when it comes to the gear, skills and other necessities of self reliance of being equipped for whatever a capricious, occasionally indurate life might throw at him. This isn't by any means to say our eccentric friend actually longs for life in dystopia, but if he had to he might not complain. Read more by Josh at Apocalypse Equipped.


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