Afterwards, I squeezed into matchbox-sized parlour Et Kabüffke to sample Düsseldorf's other local elixir: Killepitsch, a 42 per cent liqueur made from 98 different berries and herbs that tastes like Jägermeister-infused Ribena.At first glance, the Altstadt brims with one-euro-a-shot joints and Ibiza-aping bars, booming out Rihanna at cochlea-perforating volumes.But upon drifting away from boisterous Bolkerstrasse (the main thoroughfare), I stumbled across chanson bars, urbane cocktail bars such as Melody and incongruously, a jazz club called Doc Music housing an Elvis Presley museum.
The stodgy fare at Zum Schiffchen fitted the bill perfectly.I lined my stomach with sauerbraten (braised beef with red cabbage) and himmel und Erde (black pudding with mashed potatotes), wondering who would ever order a plate of the "rustic aspic".Judging by their swaying, it seemed the preparation was going well.The following morning, there were few signs of Düsseldorf having been used as a giant slop tray.In Düsseldorf, the notion of "going for a quiet drink" is anathema. At breweries such as Zum Schlüssel, tray-lugging waiters plonk a fresh glass of beer on your table whenever they spy an empty, whether you ask for it or not.
Request a glass of water and you'll get a sardonic: "Do you want a towel and soap as well?
I decided to join the hepcats from Beuys' era at their current home, Em Pöötzke jazz pub.
Chalk-haired citizens in cravats and trilbies watched a flatulent-sounding New Orleans-style jazz quartet while an octogenarian Leslie Phillips-a-like flirted at the bar, later belting out an German-accented version of "Route 66" onstage.
Andy Warhol regularly swooped by Düsseldorf to visit Beuys up until the German artist's death in 1986.
Ever since Palatine ruler Johann Wilhelm built an art gallery in the 1690s to appease his Italian wife (homesick for her Florence opera house), Düsseldorf has been in thrall to the arts.
It transpired that these were members from one of Düsseldorf's 60 carnival clubs.