Other than stollen, nothing puts me more in a holiday mood than glühwein, a traditional German drink offered during the winter, especially around Christmas. It is a mulled red wine served hot that has been infused with spices and a touch of sugar. One of the most famous places in Germany for glühwein just so happens to be in Düsseldorf and thanks to VisitDüsseldorf and AirBerlin we were allowed to stop by before it was even open for the season.
Teichmann Glühwein Pavilion is located in the heart of the Engelchenmarkt, or Angel’s Market, which is the main Christmas Market in the Old City. Millions of tiny lights in the trees, ornate handicrafts, holiday music, romantic lanes between the stalls, and of course delicious glühwein help to create a sublime Christmas atmosphere.
Mrs. Teichmann was kind enough to share with me her famous glühwein recipe:
- 25-36 oz (0.75 fl) of high quality, full-bodied red wine.
- 1 whole stick of cinnamon.
- 1 whole star aniseed.
- 2 whole cloves.
- Orange peel from half an orange in large bits. Use a potato peeler. Try not to add any of the inner, white peel that separates the outer shell from the flesh.
- Add orange juice to taste.
- Heat, keeping the temperature under 158°F (70°C) for 15-20 minutes.
- To sweeten add rock sugar.
- Enjoy when hot.
Honestly, I would have been happy to have stayed in the pavilion drinking the amazing glühwein and sharing stories with Mrs. Teichmann, however we had a special experience awaiting us: we were going for a ride on the Wheel of Vision. This impressive structure is placed on the Burgplatz, next to both the Rhine promenade and the Old Town. Its forty-two capsules soar as high as fifty-five meters and offer spectacular views across the river, the city, and the Christmas markets and decorations.
After our thrilling ride, we strolled across town to our next destination. One of my favorite things about Europe is that most of the cities are walking friendly and Düsseldorf is no exception — it is pedestrian perfection in my opinion.
Again, we were lucky enough to get up close and personal with another German Christmas specialty: sweet roasted almonds. We met with Mr. and Mrs. Gagliardi who own the famous Mandelbrennerei Gagliardi store. People come from all over the world to buy their delectable treats during the holidays and after just one bite you will understand why.