Sponsored by Belsazar Vermouth
Have you ever asked yourself, why Kreuzberg is actually named Kreuzberg? Turns out it’s strikingly simple: it’s named after the cross on top of a hill in Victoriapark, located in the south west corner of the borough. In contrary to most of the rare and small “hills” in Berlin – which are mostly high piles of war-rubble – this one’s a natural, glaciation formed hill. Rising 66m above the ground, topped with a Prussian national monument, it’s a perfect place for a sundown-drink with a Belsazar Vermouth. Read on for a chance to win an all-inclusive package of Belsazar.
One reason: the sundown is glorious to watch from the top of the stairs surrounding the monument, which resembles a gothic tower and commemorates the liberation wars against Napoleon. It was erected in the beginning of the 19th century according to plans by Karl Friedrich Schinkel – the park itself was only built seventy years later, putting a final end to the century-long tradition of wine growing on the hill. (Except for the 700 bottles a year of “Kreuz-Neroberger”, that is pressed from the grapes of about 300 vine stocks in the surrounding area.) Inspired by the Krkonoše, or Giant Mountains in the Czech Republic, the garden architects created a wild and romantic layout including an artisanal water fall, that was electrically illuminated in red back then. Unfortunately, this feature wasn’t reconstructed.
To get to the top of the Kreuzberg, you’ll wander through a mountainesque landscape with steep slopes and tiny terraces, outlooks and ramps, sodded hillsides, and the occasional bronze sculpture, plus more monuments, obviously. No site in Berlin can do without many memories of its history. However, it’s mainly dozens of sunbathers, playing children, and celebrating teens, admiring the view and soaking in the last rays of the day. My favorite place is high atop the steps leading to the main monuments, facing the West.
I even brought some ice cubes, glasses, and a bottle of Berlin vermouth, Belsazar, to watch one of those long summer sundowns. Belsazar comes in four variations, rosé, white, red, and dry. Fret not, Belsazar is not made from the last remaining vine stock on the Kreuzberg, but from black forrest grapes, grape must, and brandy, and finally macerated with a selection of herbs, fruits and roots. It’s an easy and light summer drink, carefree, and refreshing. If straight on the rocks is a bit too much for you, add some soda, or tonic, or ginger ale, and some lemon zest if you wanna get fancy.
Are you looking for more places to have a fine Aperitif? Belsazar just launched a map of Berlin including loads of locations including bars, parks, lakesides, and more. To provide you with the best aperitif moment, they’re giving away a huge package including all Belsazar flavors, glasses, and mixers. To win it, follow the Belsazar instagram channel at @belsazar_vermouth, post a picture of your favorite place with the hashtag #berlinfavourite, and tag Belsazar in it. Good luck!