There are many different alcoholic drinks that are popular in Germany. Some originate from Germany and others have migrated to become synonymous with the culture.
Germany is typically only associated with bier (beer), but there are many other drink options available. Germany even has a large wine-producing area in the southwest region. There are also many mixed drinks that are quite popular and were completely new to me.
Below is a list of popular alcoholic drinks that you’ll find and some that might surprise you.
Glühwein is a hot, sweet mulled wine that’s best in the cold winter months. Many places often don’t serve this wine in the summer. The most popular time to drink glühwein is at the famous Christmas markets. When it’s bitterly cold outside and the warm cup feels nice in your hands, it can be easy to sip this sweet hot drink quickly.
Our German friends explained that it is meant to be consumed when extremely hot, as that’s when it tastes best. After a few years of Christmas markets, I found they were correct; a luke warm cup of glühwein just wasn’t the same.
If you don’t have any Glühwein at your local store, you can make your own! I’m don’t post recipes (yet), but I found this one that we used before and tastes great. The cinnamon, orange, anise, and cloves bring the flavor together. As the directions state, do not boil it as you will boil off the alcohol.
If you want to add a kick and make it less sweet, you can add a shot of rum to it which was also common at the Christmas markets.
2. Aperol Spritz
Aperol spritz can be found at nearly every restaurant in Germany. It’s actually an Italian drink created by mixing together the Aperol pre-made mix, prosecco, soda water, ice, and a slice of orange to top it off. The resulting taste is sweet and light. This popular summer drink is best enjoyed at a sunny cafe with friends.
A radler is simply a mixture of half beer and half soda, usually cola or sprite. It’s often preferred over a regular beer when you don’t want the full alcohol content, but many prefer to drink these simply because they like the sweeter taste. In fact, radler’s are so popular that nearly every German beer brand sells them in pre-mixed bottles. As with others listed, this drink is more popular in the hot summer months when people want something light and refreshing to cool down.
4. Rosé Wine (rose-ay)
While it’s also found elsewhere, rosé is really popular in Germany, especially in the summer months. Rosé is a light-bodied sweeter wine that has a pink color. It’s preferred when the weather is warmer because it’s served cold and has a light taste. Rosé is originally a French wine but is very popular throughout Germany. Although red and white wines are also popular in Germany, rosé is a common drink among locals.
Although not from Germany, this Portuguese drink is really popular in Germany. It’s a refreshing mix of lime, sugar, lime juice, and cachaça. Cachaça is the most popular Brazilian spirit. It’s sort of like a white rum made from distilled sugar cane juice.
How to make it: Muddle the sugar, lime juice, and lime (cut into slices) in the bottom of a glass. Then the cachaça and ice are added to complete the drink. It’s a light and tasty drink to sip on during the summer months. Be sure to mix it up a bit before drinking, however, so you don’t end up with a mouth full of sugar.
Huge is a relatively new drink that also originated outside of Germany, in a small Northern Italian town. It was a happy accident (like many cocktails in the past), and it became so popular that it soon was being offered throughout Austria and Germany. Today, you can find premade mixes of hugo at just about any store in Germany.
The key ingredient is elderflower syrup. Drawn from elderflowers (Holunderblueten), this is a well loved flower in Germany. The flower heads are used in spices, added to honey and mustard, made into syrups, added to drinks, and more.
Unfortunately for me in Alaska, finding Elderflower syrup is quite the challenge, but I was able to find some here on Amazon.
The other ingredients used to make a hugo include mint, sparkling wine, and either lime or lemon juice.
No German drink list is complete without mentioning German beer. Not surprisingly, beer is the number one selling alcoholic beverage in Germany. There’s a brewery in nearly every town and countless beer gardens as well. Germany is also home to the largest beer festival on the planet, Oktoberfest. The most popular beers are pilsner, lager, and a variety of weizen beers including dunkelweizen (dark wheat beer) and hefeweizen (wheat beer).
Did you know? Many of the same mixed drinks can be found in the US are available in Germany. Long islands, jack and coke, and other popular mixed drinks can be find throughout Germany.
Germany has much more to offer than simply beer. Now that you know what other drinks are available, the next time you visit you’ll be a pro at selecting from one or more from this list to try out yourself.