12 German Drinks (Besides Beer) Worthy of a Prost
Think Oktoberfest is just about beer? No way! There are plenty of other delicious German drinks you can enjoy during this fall celebration.
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Planning an Oktoberfest meal? Then you better stock up on a few bottles of Riesling. This varietal is one of Germany’s most popular wines. It’s light and crisp and you can find sweet and dry options to suit any palate. This one from Dr. Heidemanns falls somewhere in the middle, so you can satisfy Oma, Opa and everyone in between.
No collection of German drinks would be complete without Jägermeister. This iconic liqueur was originally developed in 1934 and its recipe has not changed since. It boasts a blend of 56 botanicals including citrus, saffron, ginger and juniper, though this digestif is most known for its distinct licorice flavor.
While many folks enjoy Jäger on its own, you can easily incorporate it into your favorite drinks. Accentuate this spirit’s ginger flavors and substitute it for vodka in a Moscow Mule.
Now, hundreds of years later, Bärenjäger is more popular than ever in Germany. Serve it over ice, mix it with lemonade or try it in plenty of other cocktail recipes. The sweet honey flavor pairs well with everything from whiskey sours to hot buttered cider.
In Germany, you’ll often hear rosé referred to as weissherbst, and you’ll find delicious varietals of this wine there. Light, crisp but not overly sweet, Villa Wolf Pinot Noir Rosé is the perfect wine to sip on a warm September afternoon. Remember: Oktoberfest starts in September.
Make this brandy part of your Oktoberfest celebration this year. Fruit-forward and downright delicious, Asbach Uralt has been around since the late 1800s and it doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. This brandy is perfect for sipping on its own, but in Germany, you’ll often see it served mixed with cola.
If sparkling wine is more your style, there are some great sparkling Rieslings to be had. Say prost with a glass of this sparkling Riesling from Dr. Loosen. This wine walks the line between sweet and dry which makes it a great crowd-pleaser. Pop open a bottle to serve with a delicious German dessert, like apfelkuchen.
When we hear kirsch, many of us think of Black Forest cake. This chocolate-cherry German dessert is often brushed with a generous dose of this German cherry liqueur. But don’t leave this bottle in your liquor cabinet until you stir up your next Black Forest recipe. Schladerer kirsch is delicious on its own when served over ice. You can stir it into seltzer and other cocktails as well for a bit of cherry flavor.
While gin may have you thinking of the UK, Germany’s Monkey 47 asks you to think again. Made with ingredients from the Black Forest, Monkey 47 Dry Gin includes aromatics you don’t normally find in gin—but are welcome additions—like lingonberries, elderberries and spruce. Try it in a great gin cocktail.
Need a great wine to pair with your Oktoberfest dinner? Look no further than a classic German Gewustraminer. Geil makes a fantastic semi-dry Gewustraminer that can cut through the richness of many German dishes.
When it comes to German drinks, schnapps often comes to mind. You’ll find all sorts of flavored spirits in Germany, but perhaps the brand Americans are most familiar with is Rumple Minze. This peppermint schnapps is often enjoyed ice cold as a shot, but don’t sleep on its mixing capabilities. A dram added to hot cocoa is pretty tasty on a cool evening.
Fruit liqueurs are very popular in Germany. You’ll find flavors ranging from pear to elderberry, but one of the classics is Berentzen apple liqueur. Sip solo or make a hard version of the classic German refreshment apfelsaft. Apfelsaft is typically made with half apple juice and half white soda, but you can add a splash of Berentzen for an extra kick.
OK, we know that radlers are technically beer-based drinks, but this Stiegl Grapefruit Radler is so juicy and delicious, you’ll forget it’s half beer. This mix of Stiegl Goldbräu and juice has a relatively low ABV (just 2.5%) which makes it great for all-day sipping during your Oktoberfest party.