Looking for a list of the most popular Geman drinks to try on your next visit to Germany?
Whenever we travel to a new destination or country, we always make sure to check out all the exciting sights, explore some of the local cuisine, as well as sample the countries best drinks in order to get a real immersive experience of a place.
Regardless of whether you are planning a visit to Berlin, looking for the best things to do in Heidelberg, or exploring Munich, Frankfurt or any other part of the country, sampling German drinks should be on your list of top things to do!
Whilst Germany is certainly known for its wide selection of incredible German beers, there is a host of other fantastic drinks in Germany that you simply have to give a try when visiting.
If you happen to be wondering what to eat & drink in Germany, then this guide will certainly help you get started! We’ve collaborated with a few of our fellow bloggers to bring you 12 of the best drinks from Germany that you can add to your German itinerary. Whether you’re after alcoholic or non-alcoholic German drinks, we’ve got you covered.
So, grab your glass and as they say in Germany, “Prost”!
P.s. If you love learning about drinks from different parts of the world, then don’t miss these guides:
- Portuguese Drinks Guide
- Best Drinks from Greece
- Top Italian Drinks to try in Italy
- Most famous French Drinks to sample in France
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Popular German Beers
Altbier from Dusseldorf
By Dave from Man vs. Globe
Dusseldorf’s Altstadt is known affectionately as ‘the longest bar in the world’ due to the fact that almost every house, many of which date from the 13th to the 17th centuries, contains a pub. It is thought that there are almost 200 of them crowded together in just one square mile and almost every single one of them serves a unique, local beer; altbier. One of the best things to do when visiting Dusseldorf!
Served in tall, 0.2l glasses rather than pints, altbier is a beer style that has evolved over almost a hundred years. It is named for its fermentation style – top fermentation yeast – which is the old process of brewing beer and as a way to distinguish it from the lagers that are popular in other parts of Germany. The reason that the production of Altbier flourished in Dusseldorf is purely geographical: Dusseldorf never gets too warm, even in summer but also never experiences any long periods of freezing temperatures in winter making it the perfect place for brewing cold-conditioned ales such as Altbier throughout the year.
Although altbier is served in all of the city’s pubs, the number of altbier breweries has reduced significantly over the years. There were almost 100 altbier breweries in Dusseldorf in the mid-20th century but now only 10 remain.
Want to explore Dusseldorf as well as sample some of the best Altbier on offer? Consider booking this 2-Hour Old Town and Altbier tour and do just that!
Beers from Bavaria
By Diana from The Globetrotting Detective
As far as drinks from Germany go, Beer is perhaps the most well-known of all! Beer is one of Bavaria’s ultimate trademarks thanks to Oktoberfest which is the largest beer festival in the world taking place every year in Munich.
Half of Germany’s breweries can be found in the state of Bavaria. The most well-known ones, Augustiner, Hacker-Pschorr, Hofbräu, Löwenbräu and Paulaner, are originally from the Bavarian capital, Munich.
There are 40 different kinds of beer in Bavaria. Each of them has a very unique taste and each one is made with different malt and fermentation methods.
One of the most interesting types of beer in the region is smoked beer (Rauchbier) which originates from Bamberg. And the trendiest beer creation today is craft beer. It’s hand-made and generally produced by independent breweries.
The most popular places to drink beer in Bavaria are the beer gardens and beer festivals, especially in the summertime. Bavarians love eating Pretzel with Obatzda and horseradish when drinking beer. One very interesting fact about Bavarian Beer Gardens is that you can bring your own snacks with you.
Moreover, there are countless traditional Bavarian pubs all over Bavaria. The most famous traditional pub in Bavaria, Hofbräuhaus, is located in the heart of Munich.
Before having your first beer in Bavaria, don’t forget to lift your beer up and say, Prost!
Whilst in Munich, you may want to tour some of Munich’s oldest breweries and beer halls on this 3-hour guided tour!
By Sydney from A World in Reach
A famous German drink that you must try when visiting Berlin is a Berliner Weisse, a refreshing sour German beer that originated around Berlin.
There are mixed stories around the origins of the Berliner Weisse, but most beer historians claim that the drink dates back to the 16th century. Many believe that the beer came from the Huguenots fleeing from France to Germany; others believe that it was the invention of a brewer named Cord Broyhan.
Today, the Berliner Weisse is a popular drink around Berlin and elsewhere in Germany. It is typically served in a large bowl-shaped glass and sweetened with flavoured syrups – usually either raspberry or woodruff (a herb with a sweet, earthy taste). Many places have created their own flavourings for the Berliner Weisse, with some instead using fruit during the brewing process to add flavour to the drink.
Today, Berliner Kindl Weisse is the main Berliner Weisse that can be found in Berlin. Many restaurants and bars around the city have this on the menu, and it’s an especially popular drink among tourists visiting the city.
German Cocktails & Mixers
Radler – German Cocktail
By Fiona from Travelling Thirties
Germany is well known for its beers and for crafting amazing beer, they do have one of the biggest beer festivals in the world after all. Oktoberfest is well known for its large beer tents and for showcasing some of the best breweries in Munich.
However, not everyone is a fan of full-strength beers and prefer something a little sweeter. This is where the Radler comes into play. Radlers are a mix of beer and lemonade.
No one can be quite sure where the Radler comes from but legend has it that in Germany in 1922 thousands of cyclists riding down a new bike visited Franz Kugler’s pub in Deisenhofen.
After thousands of orders came in for beer the innkeeper realised that they may not have enough beer. His solution to the beer supply was to mix lemonade into the beer kegs. He named the drink Radlermass, which means cyclist litre.
Over the years, the name has been shortened to Radler, meaning Cyclist. These days, the drink is not just for cyclers but for everybody, it is a sweeter, lower-alcohol option to a stein of beer.
Jägermeister – German Alcoholic Drinks
By Matt from The Travel Blogs
One of my favourite German drinks is Jagermeister. A mysterious concoction is equally suitable on the Alpine slopes, an after-dinner digestif or a party starter on college campuses around the world, a famous German liquor you have to try at least once.
The drink has been around since 1934 as one of Germany’s most popular German liqueurs. it is a twist on the traditional herbal liqueur, and it was made for hunters to drink after a long day of shooting. In fact, the name itself translates to Hunt Master.
The recipe has not changed since it was invented over 75 years ago. In total, 56 different natural ingredients provide the flavours that have made Jägermeister so famous. Herbs, flowers, roots, and fruits from all over the world are used for its secret recipe.
The flavour is bitter and herbal but balanced with a subtle sweetness from the sugar.
It is usually drunk on its own, as a shot, chilled or on the rocks, however, it is also great in mixed drinks. One of the most popular is the almost iconic Jager-bomb. A shot that mixes Jagermeister with Red Bull as a favourite on nights out worldwide and responsible for more hangovers than I care to admit in this post.
German Spirits – Drinks in Germany
Schnapps – Traditional German drinks
By Kate from Miss Tourist
Known as one of the most famous traditional German drinks, Schnaps is a German distilled spirit that comes in many forms but is enjoyed by all. Traditionally, the drink is made by fermenting fruit alongside the liquor, so this little shot packs quite the punch. The word schnaps even comes from the German word schnappen which means snap, and that is precisely how this delightful drink should be enjoyed!
Although it is mainly served as a straight shot, Schnaps can also be used to create some pretty popular cocktails like Bellinis and Sex on the beach. Nowadays, schnaps comes in many different flavours, including fruit, herb, spices, and other exciting infusions. Whist you will find peach schnapps in nearly every bar in Munich, Butterscotch schnapps is another much-loved flavour (and my personal favourite).
Schnaps was actually first created for medicinal uses for digestion problems and the common cold. Today, it’s one of Europe’s favourite ways to keep warm in the winter, you will often see Germans head straight to the bar after a long day of skiing to order a round.
Apfelwein (Similar to a Cider)
By Daniel and Ilona from Top Travel Sights
Apfelwein is a popular German drink that you can mostly find in Frankfurt. It’s a wine made from apples, and while it is similar to cider, there are a few key differences.
First, cider is a sparkling drink while Apfelwein (which translates to “apple wine”) is not. During the making of the wine, producers let all gas escape.
The second difference is the sugar content, which is a result of the apples used. For producing apple wine, old apple varieties are used that are low in sugar. This gives the Apfelwein a tart taste you won’t find when trying cider.
Fortunately, there’s a variation of apple wine for anyone who doesn’t like the tart aftertaste. It’s called Süßgespritzter, and it’s a mixture of Apfelwein and lemonade. True lovers of the drink would never touch it, but it’s perfect if you prefer sweet drinks.
The best place to try Apfelwein is in Frankfurt. You can find lots of pubs in Sachsenhausen, a neighbourhood in Southern Frankfurt, where you can try the drink. It’s also the perfect location for sampling local food or wandering around the cobblestone streets to admire the old half-timbered houses.
In August, visiting the Apfelwein Festival is one of the best things to do in Frankfurt. You can try many different types and variations of Apfelwein here and even buy your own bottle to take home.
Gluhwein – Famous German Drinks
By Chantae from Chantae Was Here
Come wintertime in Germany, enjoy the magic of Germany’s festive Christmas markets with a mug of Glühwein in hand, one of the most well-known drinks in Germany. Glühwein is a hot mulled wine typically made with red wine and spiced with cinnamon, star anise, cloves, sugar, and a bit of orange zest. In some regions, you might also find Glühwein made with white wine. Some Germans opt to have their Glühwein with a shot of rum or schnapps poured in as an extra kick, ordered “mit Schuss.”
Glühwein pairs great with other traditional Christmas market snacks like soft pretzels, piping hot roasted chestnuts, glazed almonds, or bratwurst (vegan options are becoming more and more popular).
Though its origins have yet to be pinpointed, many Germans claim Glühwein was traditionally made from wine that was about to go off. Chefs heated the wine, covered any ill taste with loads of spices, and the wintertime staple of Glühwein was born!
Non-Alcoholic German Drinks
By Corrine from Reflections Enroute
Apfelschorle is a very popular drink in Germany. It is apple juice mixed with sparkling water to make a fizzy, yet non-alcoholic German drink. Kids to adults love it, and there are many brands marketing the mix so you don’t have to do it.
However, if you do want to, it’s super easy. All you have to do is buy your favourite mineral water, with fizz. Mix equal parts apple juice, or any kind of juice really, and mineral water together, and voila! It’s so refreshing, and the spritzer makes you feel like it’s something special.
The wonderful thing about apfelschorle is that there is less sugar and calories than a full glass of juice, so you can drink it without remorse. That’s probably one of the reasons German kids grow up drinking it along with their meals.
By Cate from My German Vacation
If you’re looking for a refreshing summer afternoon pick-me-up, try a German Eiskaffee (ice cream coffee)! You’ll find this simple yet decadent drink on menus all summer long all over Germany.
Eiskaffee is typically made with strong cold coffee, a scoop or two of vanilla ice cream and then topped with freshly whipped cream and sometimes chocolate sauce or chocolate shavings. Served with both a straw and a long spoon (and sometimes a cookie on the side), you can choose whether to enjoy bites of ice cream or let it melt in order to create a sweet creamy coffee drink.
If you want to turn your iced coffee into an adult beverage, just ask for it “mit Schuss” (with a shot). This drink is either made at home or enjoyed at one of the abundant cafes and ice cream parlours around Germany.
It’s the perfect choice when you can’t decide between coffee and ice cream. Definitely give Eiskaffee a try the next time you travel to Germany!
By LeAnna from Wander In Germany
While Gluewein often gets all the glory during Christmas time, those who can’t (or don’t want to) drink, can still choose the absolutely festive non-alcoholic version: Kinderpunsch (Kinder Punch).
It is really easy to make homemade Kinderpunsch, but while in Germany, it can feel so magical getting a mug full of this mulled juice and walking through the Christmas Markets and you can easily buy it at the local grocery stores in Germany.
Kinderpunsch takes several different types of juices (typically, ones like orange and cherry) and mixes them with some tea, like a nice hibiscus tea. Then, just like the Gluewein, it is heavily spiced with flavours like cinnamon and clove, and then it is all simmered slowly to let all the different flavours meld together. The mixtures of the spices with the warm fruit juices may not have the alcohol, but it will still keep you warm and merry as you enjoy the magic of Christmas in Germany.
Spezi – Non-alcoholic Drinks from Germany
By Luke from Wild About BC
Spezi is a non-alcoholic soft drink that is popular across Germany but particularly so in Bavaria.
It is a combination of cola and orange soda and can be found in almost every shop, pub and restaurant in Bavaria. While it may sound like a bit of an unusual concoction it is actually delicious and very refreshing. It is the perfect drink to enjoy over ice on a warm summers’ day.
When the brand ‘Spezi’ was first registered in 1956 it was first sold as beer under this trademark before evolving into the cola and orange combo that is so popular today. It is so popular in fact that in many of the Oktoberfest beer halls, it is the only non-alcoholic drink that they sell (other than water). It can be enjoyed by itself over ice or it can also be mixed with spirits such as vodka and whiskey, although this is less common.
While you may have made this mix yourself as a kid it is definitely worth tasting this tried and tested mix the next time you are in Germany.