Hi There! Thanks for stopping by for our How to Drink Like a Germany blog! Now, everyone knows to try beer while in Germany, but there are some other specialties that come from Germany that you have to drink while you are here!
Our favorite, non-alcoholic drinks are from Germany! And yes, we do drink things that don’t have alcohol. Okay, okay… not often, but we do.
1. Apfelschorle (pronounced app-ful-shor-la): This is an absolute must for anyone coming to Germany and a favorite of my kids. It is actually apple juice mixed with bubble water. When I first heard about it I thought, “Ew!” because I’m not a bubble-water fan; however, it is really great and actually takes the sweet edge off of the juice. You can buy it anywhere, so pick up a bottle or order a glass while in Germany.
2. Spezi (pronounced spe-ce): This is an interesting mix of orange soda and cola. This is another favorite of my family; they absolutely love it and will order it anytime we are out to eat. The first time we heard about this was when Benas came home to Czech from a tournament in Germany. He was raving about this drink he had and how amazing it was. Now we know it is spezi, and he still raves about it.
3. Mineral water (pronounced was-ser): Most Germans drink carbonated water. If you order water in a restaurant, you will get carbonated water with bubbles. If you want water without bubbles, you have to order still water or wasser ohne gas (vass-ar Oh-ney gas). In the stores, you can find all types of bubble water and ranges by the strength of the carbonation. There are actually over 500 types of bottled water in Germany. There is natural mineral wasser which is highly carbonated. Even if it says table water, check the label to see if it says mit kohlensaure. You can purchase water without bubbles – look for the label that says wasser ohne kohlensaure.
4. Tap water in Germany is not a problem. You can drink directly from the tap, and it is clean and tastes great. I am a water snob, coming from Colorado, and the water here in Germany is very good, so feel free to drink it from the tap. I do not recommend this for all European countries, though.
5. Free refills: Just so you know, this is NOT happening in Germany, or anywhere in Europe that I know of. I know this causes some confusion for those of us from the USA where most soft drinks, coffee, and tea have free refills. So remember, if the server asks if you want another one, you are going to pay for it.
6. HUGO: I freaking love this stuff! Here is the low down – you can buy it in a pre-mixed bottle or you can buy it in a can for your busy days on the go; or you can make it yourself. Anyway you drink it, you will love it! It is Prosecco, or sparkling wine, with elderflower syrup (the flower from the elderberry or Sambucus plant) mixed with a little bubble water, mint leaves, and poured over ice! I really can’t get enough of this stuff. Be careful – it goes down easy and can sneak up on you! I have a recipe for you, too! Try it, you will like it! Hugo recipe.
7. Jagermeister: Everyone is Germany drinks Jagermeister, right?! It’s just a big, drunken Jagermeister festival all the time. Well, that’s not exactly true. I have only had Jager once or twice in the few years that I have lived here, and once because my husband lost a playoff game and I was forced to drink it by the opposing fans. It is made with 56 different herbs and is dark and rich in color. It tastes like cough medicine, even in Germany. Yuck, not my favorite. But, if you are here, I think you need a selfie of drinking a shot of Jager; or feel free to drop your shot into a beer and make a Jager Bomb; you’re on vacation, what the hell!
I prefer Goldwasser, only because it’s much prettier.
8. Goldwasser: This is made in Berlin and Norten Hardenberg in West Germany. It was originally made in Danzig, part of the Prussian Empire. After WWI, the city of Danzig became part of Poland; however, now the production has been taken over by the Hardenberg-Wilthnen distillery and produced in Germany. It is sprinkled with flecks of 22 carat gold. It also tastes a bit like cough medicine, but hey, at least it’s pretty!
9. Schnapps/Obstbrand: In America, this would be called fire water. Don’t be fooled – this is not your fuzzy, sweet, peach schnapps you drank in college. Schnapps is actually a word we stole from the German language. In Germany, this is hardcore alcohol made from fruits that is very popular all over Europe in a variety of flavors.
10. Sharing tables: In Germany, when you are dining out/drinking, it is very normal to share a long table with strangers. You can just ask if you can sit down, and then belly on up. This is a great way to meet people and practice your German skills. We have met some very cool people by sharing tables.
Beer and wine are the king and queen of Germany. Please check out our wine, beer, and cocktail section for more information on drinking like a German.
Do you have a favorite drink or tip that originates from Germany? If so, please leave us a comment! We would love to hear your thoughts!