Beer is an extremely well-liked beverage in Germany, but it’s far from the only drink commonly consumed in the country. Other popular beverages of Germany include strong spirits such as schnapps, wines like the sweet Riesling and a number of non-alcoholic German beverages.
German Liquors: From Schnapps to Korn
Aside from beer and wine, schnapps is the predominant alcoholic beverage of Germany. Like German beers, schnapps is made according to established culinary laws that regulate its production.
Many types of schnapps are derived from fruit juices. One of the most popular varieties is Kirschwasser, made with black cherries. It’s often drunk on its own, and may also be used in Black Forest Cake, a renowned dessert confection.
Korn is another popular variety of schnapps. A neutrally-colored grain liquor vaguely similar to vodka or gin, korn may only be made from pure wheat, buckwheat, rye, barley or oats according to German culinary law. It’s fermented, distilled twice and diluted with water to lessen the alcohol content. Standard korn is 32% alcohol by volume (ABV), while stronger korn or Doppelkorn is 38 percent ABV or more.
Wines of Germany: Riesling and More
Germany isn’t as known for its varieties of wine the way countries such as France, Italy and Argentina are renowned among wine enthusiasts. Even so, the German Riesling wines, which originated in the Rheingau, or Rhineland, region are highly regarded.
Rieslings are white wines with fruity aromas and tart flavor. They are low in alcohol content, usually ranging from 8 to 11 percent ABV. Sweet Riesling wines are often served as aperitifs and dessertifs, while more tart versions of the wine are served alongside pasta and seafood.
Spatburgunder is particularly prominent among the red wines of Germany. These are usually derived from pinot noir grapes, also used in the production of French Burgundy wines. Other German red wines include the stronger Lemberger and Domina varieties, as well as the Portugieser wine, which can be either red or pink.
Non-Alcoholic Beverages of Germany
Most popular non-alcoholic beverages in Germany are not unique to the country, though many are consumed in ways particular to the nation. Examples include:
- Coffee: Popular throughout Germany, particularly for the afternoon coffee-and-cake meal. When not drunk black, coffee in Germany is typically lightened with condensed milk.
- Fruit juices: Apple, grape and orange juices are all commonly drunk in Germany.
- Mineral water: Produced from German mountain springs, with minerals such as calcium and magnesium.
- Tea: Black, chamomile, fruit, peppermint and fennel teas are common in Germany and wildly popular in the cuisine of Lower Saxony.