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Favorite German Drinks to Try

No matter how hot the weather, Germany has got you covered!

1. Schorle is a beverage where sparkling mineral water and juice are mixed, comparable to a spritzer. This is as refreshing as a soft drink on a hot day, but with less calories and sugar. The most common varieties of Schorle are Apfelschorle, apple juice mixed with sparkling water, followed by Johannisbeerschorle, red currant mixed with sparkling water. Most soda machines and supermarkets have some form of Schorle available and many restaurants list it on their menu. In case you do not see it on the menu, feel free to ask your server.

2. Radler is one of the most popular alcoholic drinks among Germans, which simply is beer mixed with sparkling lemonade. Radler is available pre-mixed in a bottle or the server or bartender will make it upon ordering. Don’t try mixing Fanta instead of sparkling lemonade with beer, it is not comparable to Radler at all. While no one seems to know the exact origin of the word Radler, one source traces it back to being used by cycling clubs, since the translation of Radler is biker. On the menu it can also be called Alsterwasser or just Alster in Hamburg.

3. Spezi is a soft drink mix of cola, orange soda, orange juice, and lemon juice. The most popular brand names being Pepsi’s Schwip Schwap or Coca Cola’s Mezzo Mix. Make sure it is chilled.


4. Apfelwein is a cider which is most popular in the Frankfurt am Main region. It has an alcohol content of about 6% and a sour, tart apple taste. It is traditionally served in a glass with diamond-cut ridges called Geripptes. The way to order Apfelwein varies depending on how many people at your table are drinking it. To order it by the glass for one person, order a Schoppen. To order a large amount to share with the table, ask for a Bembel, a stoneware pitcher of Apfelwein. Other regional names for Apfelwein are Äppler, Ebbelwoi or Stöffsche.

5. KiBa is the coolest-looking drink out of all of these and is short for Kirsch Banane. Kirsch translates as “cherry”, Banane means “banana”, and to make the drink you simply need cherry and banana juice. If you are curious and want to make the drink before you take off to Germany, make sure to chill the bottles in the fridge as it tastes best cold! You’ll need half a glass of banana juice, then slowly add the cherry juice which will go to the bottom of the glass and give you a colorful, layered effect.

6. Bowle is the Germans’ way of describing a punch containing chunks of juicy, refreshing fruit. It’s usually served in a large glass punch bowl which goes by the same name. Most German punches include juice, lemonade or sparkling wine as well as white wine, and there might be a dash of rum or other spirits added. Of course, there are always the non-alcoholic versions for kids or teetotallers too.

Related articles:
German Wine Guide
The Ultimate Guide to Spritzers
Refreshing World of Schorle
Everything About Apfelwein

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