Sunday, December 23, 2018


It's Christmas time in Berlin and today we went out to Nikolaiviertel for Feuerzangenbowle.  Nikolaiviertel dates back to 1237 and it is the oldest residential quarter in Berlin.

The quarter was completely destroyed during the war and East Germany pretty much left it as a shambles for many years.  It was finally restored in time for the city's 750th anniversary in 1987.  All of the shops, taverns, and courtyards were rebuilt according to historical records and it is now a popular place to visit.

Feuerzangenbowle translates to "fire-tongs punch" and it is a traditional German drink normally served at Christmas and New Year's.  It became popular after following the release of a 1944 film comedy called Die Feuerzangenbowle.

Basically, there is a loaf of sugar that has been soaked in rum.  It sits on top of a smaller burner, kind of like a fondue set, and the whole thing is set on fire.  The sugar drips in to mulled wine (heated red wine flavoured with cinnamon sticks, orange peel, cloves and star anise).  It's similar to svaržák or glühwein but with a bit of a kick.

The stand in Nikolaiviertel has a video clip of the movie running on a loop.

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