Thanks to Oktoberfest, when people think of German drinks, they most often think of beer.
And to be fair, beer is a famous German drink, but it isn’t the only one.
Just like people everywhere, Germans enjoy a wide range of both non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages.
For this list, I’ve tried to give you a nice sampling of what German drinks are like.
I’ve included fruit juices, cocktails, punch, and even a smoothie!
Some of these contain alcohol, but many of them don’t.
So no matter the occasion, if you’re in the mood for German drinks, you should be able to find something you like on this list.
Apfelschorle is a popular apple juice-like drink in Germany.
It’s incredibly easy to make, requiring only two ingredients and about a minute of your time.
Start with apple juice or apple cider (Dealer’s Choice!). Then, add club soda or carbonated/sparkling water.
The drink retains the light, fruity apple taste, but it’s less sugary sweet and more invigorating than pure apple juice because you’re adding water to it.
If you’re looking for something with a little more kick, the recipe helpfully reminds you that you can substitute wine for the apple juice.
Then, you’ll have another well-known German drink, the Weinschorle.
2. Homemade Spezi
Here’s another two-ingredient, 1-minute fruity German drink.
You’ll add two parts soda to one part Sanpellegrino Aranciata, an Italian sparkling fruit drink.
It’s supposed to be, like the name says, a homemade version of a Spezi, a German orange-flavored soda.
However, you can alter the taste of the drink depending on what fruity flavor you’re craving. There’s orange, lemon, pomegranate, blood orange, and more.
Think ‘Cherry Coke,’ but with more possibilities.
These colorful German smoothies are adorable and would be an excellent way to start the morning on Valentine’s Day or Christmas.
It’s a double-layered drink that’s red on top and white on the bottom. Despite its appearance, though, it doesn’t taste like peppermint.
You’ll make the top layer with a frozen banana, almond milk, and cherries. The bottom layer is frozen bananas, fresh bananas, and almond milk.
It’s a rich, sweet, and slushy treat.
Traditionally served at Christmas, kinderpunsch is somewhere between party punch and mulled wine, only there’s no alcohol in it, so it’s safe for the whole family to drink.
You’ll serve it warm, and it has a lovely sweet and spicy flavor that’s a lot like spiced apple cider with a few additional fruit juices (cherry and orange) added in for flavor.
You’ll also use sugar, water, cloves, cinnamon sticks, star anise, and herbal hibiscus tea, which means it smells as fantastic as it tastes.
5. German Gluhwein
Kinderpunsch may be like mulled wine, but German gluhwein is mulled wine, and it is incredibly delicious.
You’ll start with a base of red wine, but that’s only the beginning.
To that, you’ll add oranges, water, sugar, cloves, cinnamon sticks, and star anise. You can also slip in some rum or amaretto when you’re ready to serve it.
It’s warm and wonderful, and it’ll certainly put some heat in your belly on a cold winter’s day.
The name, gluhwein, literally translates to “glow-wine” because it’ll give you that nice, boozy glow.
6. Radler Beer
Unlike Budweiser or Coors Light, you can’t just buy Radler beer off a grocery store shelf.
Instead, you’ll make it yourself from four ingredients and some (optional) ice cubes.
You’ll start with a base of sparkling, chilled lemonade. Then you’ll top it off with six ounces of chilled German lager.
Add some thin lemon slices and rosemary for garnishes, then your ice.
This drink is unbelievably light and refreshing for a beer, and while it doesn’t taste like lemonade, the tart lemon flavor does come through pretty strongly.
There’s also a nice freshness to it, likely from the rosemary, that makes it hard to remember you’re drinking beer at all.
7. Kirsch Wine Cocktail
Although not nearly as popular as beer and some of the harder liquors, wine cocktails are also prevalent throughout Germany.
This particular one is lightly sweet with tart cherry undertones, and it has a gorgeous pinkish-red color that makes it an elegant addition to any brunch or party.
You can whip it up in 5 minutes with only three ingredients – Kirsch wine, dry vermouth, and grenadine – and an optional maraschino cherry garnish.
If you enjoy spiced (and spiked!) eggnog, you’ll also love Germany’s take on it, eierlikör. It has a rich, decadent taste and is delightfully thick and creamy.
It’s also pretty easy to make, though it does take about 25 minutes from beginning to end.
You’ll only need five ingredients to make it, though: egg yolks, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, whipping cream, and rum.
The main difference between eierlikör and eggnog is that eggnog contains more spices and dairy, while eierlikör relies more on its eggs and rum to make up the drink.
9. Hugo German Cocktail
Ah, the Hugo — one of my all-time favorite drinks.
That’s not surprising since I’m a huge fan of mojitos, and Hugos have that same refreshing, mint flavor.
Unlike mojitos, which primarily use rum, the Hugo includes sparkling wine.
You’ll also add sparkling water, an ample helping of mint leaves, ice cubes, and the not-so-secret secret ingredient – elderflower syrup.
Elderflower has become more readily available in the United States over the past few years, but it’s still relatively unknown to many people.
If you’ve never tried it, it has a light, floral-like taste.
Some people say it gives off a hint of pear taste, but to me, it’s much more flower-like. Whatever its flavor, it makes the Hugo taste fantastic.
10. German Aperol Spritz
This gorgeous, bright orange drink is light and almost unbelievably refreshing.
Wherever you go in Germany in the summer, you’re sure to find this spritz nearby.
Part of that is because it tastes so good, but the other part of it is that it’s so fantastically easy to make, requiring only five ingredients and 5 minutes of your time.
All you’ll need to make it is prosecco, Aperol, sparkling water, ice cubes, and an orange or tangerine for the garnish.
It’s sweet, citrusy, and sure to be a hit at your next get-together.
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