Refreshing German Summer Drinks are the only rescue on hot days in Germany! When the heat hits, there are no Air Conditioners in the houses and apartments. Even restaurants, banks, doctors offices, etc. don’t have them. The loudly running fans are not really helping a lot and so it comes that the whole country is suffering … and complaining … about the heat that comes with “good weather”. The best thing one can do is going to a Biergarten (beer garden) with good shade and order cold drinks like Radler (in the North called “Alsterwasser”) or Holler Spritz. The kids, of course, can’t drink alcohol, they will have Apfelschorle (Apple Cider) and Teens will drink Spezi (=Mezzo Mix). A little less refreshing but also very popular is the KiBa and the Kiba Royal, which is a mix of Cherry and Banana juice and in the “Royal” version also with some sparkling wine.
5 German Summer Drinks
The most common drink in Germany is, however, carbonated water! Every family has at least one box of 12 bottles with sparkling water in the house or – much easier – a Soda Maker (we have a Soda Stream). Though our tap water has a really good quality and no chlorine added, flat water isn’t really for us. We give it to our babies and toddlers but once we get older, the sparkling water is a must. We even mix our wine with bubbly water. This water also usually has lots of important natural minerals from the spring where it comes from, catching two birds with one stone.
Here are the 5 most common German Summer Drinks:
Radler, Alsterwasser, and Russ
Depending on your location, you either order a Radler (South of Germany) or an Alsterwasser (North of Germany) and also depending on your location you will get it with different beers. In North Germany, beer is much stronger and taste more bitter while the South German beer is smooth and lighter. Since you mix these beers with lemon soda, one can have a larger, refreshing drink with the taste of beer but still drive home!
Usually, the ratio is 60% beer and 40% lemon soda. But what put you into the glass first? If you start with the beer and add the lemonade, it will create a lot of foam and in order to avoid this, one has to pour it very slowly. In a crowded Biergarten, this is not really an option and often they first pour the lemon soda and then the beer. This creates less foam while pouring but often the two beverages don’t mix perfectly and the beer floats on top of the soda. Easy fix: They have a large knife to give the drink a quick stir.
The Russ or Russe (stands for Russian) is made the same way but it’ made with Hefeweizen beer. With this beer it is important that you pour the Hefeweizen first and the soda second. Otherwise, you will end up with a lot! of foam.
This is my “go to” drink and I love mixing it at home because here I can choose my favorite apple juice (which is Honey Crisp) and carbonated water in the ratio I like: 60% water : 40% juice or just 50:50 if I’m in the mood.
At our recent vacation in Germany, I was reminded, that in a restaurant one has to choose between a small and a large glass. When I choose the small glass, I was shocked by how tiny it was. After almost 10 years in Texas, I had forgotten how small these are. You better get the large glass, because in Germany there are no free refills!
Spezi or Mezzo Mix
This is simply a mix of Fanta and Cola, right? Right? Well, yes and no. It is mostly made this way but it’s original was made with a orange soda that was made by a special recipe. But since you can’t get the original Spezi here, I will not elaborate on that. Just mix these two sodas 50:50 and add a nice slice of orange and there you have it. Very refreshing and a favorite of my son. My kids were not allowed coca cola until they were teens and even then only on special occasions. I actually don’t buy sodas at all, so they were quite happy when I loaded our fridge with Sprite, Fanta, and Coke for my video.
KiBa stands for Kirsch Banane = Cherry Banana and that’s what this drink is made from. In Germany, we can buy banana juice (most common from the brand Granini). One can’t buy it here in the US that easily (try this at amazon or a liquor store) so I made it in the blender from Banana and water and a spritzer of lemon juice (so it doesn’t turn brown). The ratio Banana to water is a little difficult to find out. It shouldn’t be watery but also not gooey. It must be somewhere in between. Whether the cherry juice goes in first or the banana, doesn’t matter with homemade banana juice because the drink won’t mix like with the original and therefore doesn’t create the beautiful patterns. But that’s ok, the taste is still the same and you simply stir the drink a little with your (paper) straw.
A Holler Spritz refers to the Holler or Hollunder which is Elderberry. This drink is made with Elderberry Flower Syrup which you can get easily at IKEA or order at Amazon here.
It’s hard to describe how this drink tastes, it is a very unique taste that makes you feel like you are in heaven. An explosion of all the things one loves happening on your taste buds at once. If you try any of these drinks, this is the one I most recommend to you. It’s one of the things you should have had before you die. OK, now I’m overly dramatic but it really is a wonderful drink and I highly recommend trying it. Maybe at your next party?
The Elderberry Flower syrup is paired with lemon juice and white wine (take a wine you like) and a hint of fresh balm if you can get it. I used fresh mint from my garden instead and it only adds a hint of it’s taste.
Serve this drink ice cold, so knock yourself out with ice cubes but maybe try to get a drink early, before it gets watery.
Apfelschorle - Apple Cider
- ½ glass Apple Juice, cold
- ½ glass Carbonated Water, cold
- Mix the Apple Juice and the Carbonated water in a tall glass.
- Enjoy with or without ice cubes!
Alsterwasser / Radler / Russe
- 1 bottle German Beer, cooled
- 1 bottle Sprite or other Lemon Soda Brand, cooled
- Fill a tall beer glass 1/2 with the Sprite or Lemon Soda.
- Add the beer until the glass is filled.
- Serve very cold and enjoy without ice cubes.
KiBa = Kirsch-Banane or Cherry-Banana
- 2 Bananas
- 100 ml Water
- 1 Bottle Cherry Juice, sweetened
- Put the Bananas into the blender and add 3/4 of the water.
- Blend and check consistency: The Banana juice should be liquid but not watery. Add water if needed.
- Fill a glass (optional with some ice cubes) 2/3 with the Cherry Juice.
- Add the Banana Juice until the glass is filled, if needed, mix the two liquids.
- Serve immediately.
Mezzo Mix, also called Spezi
- 1 large bottle Fanta or other brand of orange soda
- 1 large bottle Coca Cola or other cola brand
- 4 slices of fresh orange (optional)
- Put some ice cubes into each glass.
- Fill each glass halfway with Fanta.
- Add the Coca Cola until the glasses are almost full.
- Optional: Add one orange slice to each glass.
Holler Spritz (Holler Spritzer)
- 200 ml Elderberry Flower Syrup
- 100 ml Lemon Juice
- 1,5 liter White Wine
- 200 to 500 ml Carbonated Water
- 1 bundle fresh Mint
- In a large drink dispenser fill plenty of ice cubes.
- Add the Elderberry Flower Syrup, the Lemon Juice, the Wine and the Carbonated Water.
- Stir, then stir again with the mint, so the drink takes some of the taste of mint.
- Enjoy cold with friends or at a party!
Pin German Summer Drinks to Pinterest