A Glühwein Recipe For Christmas Time


Admittedly, winter in Germany is not my favorite time, but Christmas…Christmas time IS MAGICAL here. The Christmas markets are the stuff of fairy tales and old-time xmas charm (perhaps another post on that later), and one of my favorite things about walking around a Christmas market is warming my hands and spirits with some hot mulled wine, glühwein. And when a German friend taught me how to make my own, well now I can warm my soul by the fire in my own home. And someday, when I go back to Texas, I can take a little bit of the Christmas market feeling home with me.

Here’s the recipe so you can relish in the spirit of Christmas the German way too!


Use whichever kind of wine you prefer (red is traditional, but white is also common, and I actually prefer it). 1. Start by covering the bottom of a pot with sugar (you can add more or less as you prefer. I just add it until I can't see the bottom of the pot, but the layer is light). 2. Turn the heat on, squeeze some oranges over the sugar. I just pour a little bit of orange juice (or any citrus juice I have) so that it just covers the sugar. Stir and allow the sugar to melt into the juice. 3. When the sugar is dissolved into the juice, add the wine. Make sure the heat is low enough that the liquid doesn’t boil, but is still hot (you don’t want to boil away the alcohol). 4. Add a 3-4 cinnamon sticks, about 2 teaspoons of Cardamom, and about 4 pieces of star anise. Again - this can be altered based on your taste. 5. Cut up a citrus fruit (I use an orange) and add it to the mix. 6. Let it heat for 10 min or so, careful that it doesn't boil. 7. Serve in coffee cups (the heat will break glass if it isn’t meant for hot drinks). Enjoy!

Our “Go-to” for German Food

Joh. Albrechts Exterior

Brauhaus Joh. Albrecht (Niederkassel)

This is our go-to restaurant. Lance claims it is the best restaurant in Düsseldorf, and he would be mad at my use of the word “claims.” Walking into Albrechts just feels right. It’s cozy and magical. Everywhere you look are quirky details that make the place that much more enduring.

Joh. Albrechts Interior

Mermen Chandelier

The wait staff is always smiling, friendly, and attentive to service. I’ve never had a bad wait time, though I do recommend making a reservation if you know you plan to dine here.

Everything we have eaten there has been delicious. They serve traditional German food, as well as a few dishes like flat bread pizza (the English menu calls it Torte) and even thai curry soup. I highly recommend the Schnitzel Jager Art (mushroom sauce), the pulled pork sandwhich, the brauhaus grill pan, the mushroom soup, and the classic torte. Really, everything we have tried has been amazing, and when we bring people here, they always rave.


And the beer…sigh. Not only do they brew their own Alt Beer, the traditional beer in Düsseldorf (which, I might add, is much better than Kӧlsch from rivaling Kӧln), they also brew a delicious craft beer, as well as a few other types. You can even buy a growler to take it home to enjoy (the bottle alone is pretty cool). And their paper coasters…I love them.

Warm and comforting inside in the winter, and lively and colorful outside in the summer, this is a good choice year round, rain or shine.

Their other locations and partners in Germany:






Dortmund -Schönes Leben (The Beautiful Life)


Not feeling German food, but want something really local?

Try some Japanese. Düsseldorf has the largest Japanese population in Europe. Read about my favorite Japanese place in town. 

Japanese Noodles & Soup in Düsseldorf


Na Ni Wa Noodles and Soup

Japanese (Klosterstraße, near Oststraβe and Immermanstraβe)

During my first winter in Germany after leaving Texas, I was missing two things – heat in my bones and spicy food. Na Ni Wa gave me both and more. I have never craved soup and noodles, like I crave theirs in the winter. I’m sure their food is great in the summer too, but I love this place when the weather is cold or rainy. The interior is tiny, and you’ll have to wait to get a table. They don’t take reservations, and the line stretches outside. But the line isn’t as intimidating as it looks. There is a heater above the line, and they pass out menus so that you can decide what you want and order outside before you ever sit down. I’ve never felt rushed once I did sit down, so that isn’t a problem either.


I can personally recommend the N9 – I honestly don’t even know what is in it beside chili oil, pork, and noodles, but trust me – it’s delicious. Lance almost always gets the N15, which I have to say is really flavorful and tasty, but it has a lot of kick. It’s a little too spicy for me. I have had some other dishes that were just as soul satisfying as the N9, but I can’t remember the number! But I can tell you the grilled gyoza as an appetizer is soooooo good! You would be remiss not to order them.

When we have friends or family in town, we always recommend this place!