Saturday, August 3, 2013

Special and typical drinks in Germany

While for us Germans some drinks in other countries like root beer or Dr. Pepper seem peculiar or strange, we might have some beverages which are special or even weird for others:
One of the most popular drinks in Germany is "Apfelschorle". The word Schorle means a drink which is half sparkling mineral water and half some product. Apfelschorle with apple juice, Weinschorle with wine, Johannisbeerschorle with red currant juice and so on.
Most people who have been to Germany and tried Apfelschorle liked it. It is refreshing, not too sweet, a natural beverage and doesn't have many calories. You will get it in almost any place, sometimes already mixed in bottles which I don't recommend because there are always additives and they tend to be on the sweet side with more apple juice. Just mix it yourself with apple juice  which can be clear or opaque (we call it naturally cloudy) and  mineral water.
If you would like to have a little bit of alcohol in it, there is Apfelmost, a kind of cider, mostly quite acerbic and of course there is also Apfelmost-Schorle if you are too weak to stomach the pure stuff.
In Frankfurt Apfelmost is called Äppelwoi and they even have an Äppelwoi-Express which offers this drink and a sight seeing tour.
Especially in summer there is a special kind of beer, called Weizen or Weißbier as they call it in Bavaria. In English this would be wheat beer.
Beer is of course the drink which Germany is famous for all over the world. It is usually a local thing, really. Most larger towns have their brands and of course there are the global ones like Beck's, Warsteiner or Löwenbräu, but try to drink the beer from the place you are visiting, there are so many varieties.
A special feature you might have seen is the Bierstiefel,  a glass in the form of a boot, usually containing 2 liters. It is drunk in groups and used for drinking games. There are diffent kinds of these games, one for example contains the rule that the last but one has to pay for the drink. So everybody tries not to be this person.

If you like a sweeter alcohol free kind of beer, try Malzbier, also liked by kids for its sweetness.
It is brewed like regular beer without fermentation and has been more popular in former times, maybe due to the success of other pops and Bionade

Water in Germany comes as "stilles Wasser", "medium" and "mit Kohlensäure" - still, slightly carbonated and highly carbonated. If you don't tell the waiter in the restaurant you would like still water, he usually will bring a carbonated one. Putting water with ice on the table isn't usually done in Germany, although the water from the tap here is perfectly drinkable.
There are also many vinyards in the more southern parts of Germany which produce white and black grapes for wine and champagne.  Have a look at the different wine producing regions.
After a heavy meal, a glass of Schnaps is often welcome. Schnaps can be everything strongly alcoholic. Germany is mostly renowned for the spirits made from fruit like Kirschwasser, Himbeergeist, Williamsbirne and Zwetschgenwasser.
There are also many local specialities like Zibärtle, Vogelbeerwasser or Schlehenbrand.

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