German Beer and Wine Cocktails

Strawberry-beer punch

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Part of the fun of traveling is tasting the authentic food and drinks of wherever you're visiting—even if you're not a certified foodie. Whether you're in a casual place or are out for an upscale experience, make having a German cocktail part of the adventure.

If you're making a German meal of roast and potatoes at home, do it up right by starting off with a German mixed drink.

On this list, you'll find the most common mixed drinks served in Germany. Get familiar with them so when you are in a restaurant it will be easier to order—although getting the pronunciation right is up to you.

These German-style mixed drinks cut down on alcohol content and still quench thirst. Cocktails made with hard liquor were not popular until recently in Germany and follow the American style. So you can order a Manhattan, Cosmo, or whatever is your favorite, but if you're looking for an authentic German cocktail, check out one from this list and pretend you're in your own real-life cabaret, channeling Ute Lemper.

Mixed Drinks Made With Beer

  • The radler, an equal mix of lager beer and lemonade. Very nice in the summertime because you don’t consume as much alcohol.
  • An alsterwasser is almost the same thing as the radler, but it's made with a pilsner.
  • The Berliner weisse mit schuss is made from Weiβbier brewed only in Berlin with a shot of flavored sugar syrup. The syrup can be green, flavored with woodruff; red, raspberry flavor; or yellow, a lemon flavor.
  • Altbierbowle is a mixture of altbier, fruit syrup, and fruit, such as raspberries and strawberries. It’s served in a large snifter glass with a cocktail fork.
  • A gespritzter is lager beer mixed with cola.
  • Colaweizen is a hefeweizen (a southern German beer made with wheat) mixed with cola.
  • Mix altbier, cola and a shot of cherry liqueur and you get an altbier cola.

Mixed Wine Drinks

  • A kir, imported from France, is a white wine cocktail that is made by pouring a small amount of creme de cassis (blackcurrant liquor) into the bottom of a wine glass and adding dry, acidic white wine. The best proportion is 4 parts white wine to 1 part creme de cassis, so your drink should not be very sweet even if it sounds if it might be.
  • A kir royale is the same but made with champagne and sometimes served in flute glasses; good for celebrations.
  • Sweet wine spritzer uses Sprite or another lemon-flavored soda with white wine.
  • Sour wine spritzer, which is more common, mixes sparkling water with white wine.
  • Wine spritzer can also refer to apple wine with lemon juice and/or sparkling water.

 Non-Alcoholic 'Cocktails'

  • Spezi is a mixture of cola and orange soda. It is sold pre-mixed or you can make it yourself.
  • Apfelsaftschorle, or apple juice spritzer, is apple juice mixed with sparkling water.