German Drinks, Ranked (Beer-less Edition)

by Todd Wehrkamp

Why write such a list you ask? Because Team Nights & Weekends, otherwise known as Sean, spent a long weekend in the German capital city of Berlin in his Magellan-esque quest around the world for creative inspiration. As a local Bürger, I felt it only hospitable to incessently force all my favorite refreshments and libations at his piehole without remorse. All these substances passed through his gullet and I have since ranked them without gaining any sort of insight or feedback. Bitte schön

1. Apfelschorle

Arguably the culture’s greatest invention since the printing press. It is ubiquitous in any German speaking country and practically nonexistent in the States. To taste what you’re missing, just add one part apple juice, one part sparkling water, and enjoy. Simple. Refreshing. Lecker.

2. Club Mate

First made popular in the coding community, Club Mate is rampant in the streets of Berlin. It’s carbonated as all hell and has an acquired taste, but also possesses an addictive quality most likely due the 100 mg caffeine in each bottle. This makes it a perfect booster to fight the after lunch slows or to keep the party going. Along with an absurd amount of drug use, Vodka Mates are the wind in the Berlin club scene’s sails.

3. Grog

It gets cold and dark in Germany. Warm alcoholic drinks are necessities to make it through winters when the sun routinely sets as early as 3:30 pm. Enter grog. Despite its unbecoming name, grog is a delightful pick-me-up consisting of rum, sugar, hot water, lemon juice and a cinnamon stick. Whiskey, brandy, or arrack are also good substitutes. Simply drink until the sun comes out again in May.

4. Fritz Cola

Started by two brothers in Hamburg, Fritz Cola has gained a level of notoriety in the Bundesrepublik for its nice selection of high quality of sodas as well its savvy advertising. Just before the G20 summit it released a series of billboards for this ad campaign.

5. Glühwein

Did I mention it gets cold and dark in the winter? There is nothing quite like going to your first Christmas market of the season to get a hot mulled wine to celebrate the coming of the holidays. The name literally translates to glowing wine and will make your soul do likewise.

6. Mexikaner

“The Mexican” is essentially a shot of a spicy bloody mary. So what makes it special? Nearly every bar has its own homemade version of the shot and offers it for one cheeky euro. No store-bought mix, just good old-fashioned, chunky, vodka-tomato heartburn.

7. Water

11,383,742. Mezzo Mix

This beverage would go lower on the list but I ran out of ideas after “Combined Jock Sweat of the National Handball Team in a Steamed Glass”. My theory is that Mezzo Mix is a product of some guy named Stefan who did the fountain soda suicide routine at CiCi’s Pizza on his student exchange semester. It is a mixture of orange cola and dark cola, and it is an abomination. Just a half Schritt behind Bavarian Pig Farmer’s Bath Water, it is simply the most awful drink in existence. Your cuisine is still appalling, Germany.

Todd Wehrkamp is a Berlin-based drink drinker writing on his friend’s blog

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