Germany is known for many things: beer, bratwurst, lederhosen-clad revelers—and excellent drinks.
From fruit brandies to beer cocktails and from popular schnapps varieties to small-batch rarities, the German liquor landscape is quite vast.
We’ve rounded up 14 of the most delicious drinks you should have at least once in your life!
Perfect for a cozy evening in front of the fireplace or entertaining friends, these German liquors will wow your taste buds and help you create unforgettable experiences.
Jägermeister is a German herbal liqueur with an iconic dark brown color and a strong flavor that has grown in popularity since its conception in the early 1930s.
The unique flavor is derived from a blend of herbs, fruits, and spices sourced from around the world.
Some ingredients include cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, citrus peels, juniper berries, fennel seeds, star aniseed, and poppy seed.
Jägermeister has a distinct taste that you might describe as spicy with subtle sweet notes. It also comes with various suggested uses, such as being served neat over ice or mixed into cocktails like the classic Jägerbomb.
Kirsch, also known as Kirschwasser, is a distinctive German brandy made from cherries.
It has a unique flavor profile that sets it apart from other spirits, with notes of tart cherry blossom and almond.
In addition to its natural flavor, many producers add subtle flavors such as vanilla or chocolate to enhance the taste. These additions make each bottle of Kirsch slightly different.
Kirsch pairs well with light desserts such as fruit tarts or crepes due to its sweet yet slightly tart taste profile. It can also be used as an ingredient in baking recipes or added to a warm glass of coffee or hot cocoa for a winter treat.
Goldwasser is a unique, strong liqueur hailing mainly from German-speaking countries.
It has a distinct golden appearance due to the large number of flecks of real gold suspended in the liquid.
In terms of its taste profile, Goldwasser is known for its smoothness and sweetness; it has a strong herbal flavor profile with a sweet finish.
Additionally, it is often served chilled or over ice and pairs well with desserts like crepes or pancakes.
Of all the grain spirits, the German Korn is among the most popular.
Made from fermented cereal grain seed, the distilled spirit has a high alcohol content and a clear disposition.
Since Korn has a strong, bitter taste, people usually order it as a single shot or mixed with something else to dilute the strength and enjoy it.
It is also common to order a Korn shot in Germany to accompany a beer at the bar. This combination may seem odd but is referred to as a Herrengedeck.
In Germany, schnapps is typically produced by fermenting sugar-containing ingredients such as apples or pears.
Its appearance usually varies between clear to pale yellow or golden shades. Schnapps usually provides a sweet and fruity taste with a strong alcohol kick.
However, there are many different types of schnapps available today, each with its distinct flavor profile.
Examples include apple schnapps, which has a sweet, tart taste; peach schnapps, which has a ripe, juicy flavor; and herbal schnapps, which are made with various herbs like aniseed, coriander, and fennel seeds.
Geist is a unique distilled spirit from Germany with a mild taste that has been described as sweet, spicy, and earthy.
Geist pairs nicely with savory dishes like smoked meats or sauerbraten, making it an optimal choice for dinner parties or gatherings with friends.
Regardless of whether you enjoy it neat or prefer to mix it into your favorite libation, Geist makes for an enjoyable drinking experience.
Bärenfang, more commonly known as Bärenjäger to English speakers, is a German liqueur with a vodka base and honey.
Since the recipe is simple, you may find it common for Germans to brew this alcohol at home.
Steinhäger is a distinctly German gin that has been around for centuries and is becoming increasingly popular again today.
Steinhäger’s distinct color, taste, and aroma come from the ingredient combo used during the production process.
When it comes to tasting notes, Steinhäger can range from clear to golden yellow depending on its age and features a unique peppery flavor with herbal undertones.
It’s commonly served neat as an after-dinner drink but can also be enjoyed in cocktails such as martinis or gimlets.
In general, German whisky is known for being smooth and easy to drink.
It is often compared to Irish whiskey in terms of taste and quality. However, some key differences make German whisky distinct.
German whisky is usually made with rye grain and is distilled twice. This beverage is typically aged for at least three years in oak casks. Setting it apart even more from other whiskeys, German whisky has a distinct flavor profile that is fruity and floral with a slightly spicy finish thanks to the rye grain.
German whisky is best enjoyed neat or on the rocks, but you can never go wrong by using it in your favorite whiskey-based cocktails like an Old Fashioned or Manhattan.
Think twice before ordering a chilled glass of Killepitsch at the bar.
This blood-red, fruity herbal liqueur is often consumed as a digestif rather than as a stiff drink.
It pairs nicely with various foods, such as fresh fruit salad or baked apples with ice cream.
It also goes well with chocolate desserts or even cheese platters, making it an ideal digestif or after-dinner drink choice.
Kräuterlikör is served chilled as an apéritif or digestif and can be enjoyed with savory foods like cheese or cured meats as well as sweets such as chocolatey desserts or marzipan treats. Alternatively, it can be added to warmed cider for a special treat during colder months.
Obstwasser is a type of German fruit brandy typically clear in color, similar to Eau de Vie. The beverage has a sweet profile because distillers use apples, pears, and cherries to make it; however, some brewers also use plums, grapes, and berries.
There are two main methods for making Obstwasser. The first batch method involves macerating the fruit in alcohol for several weeks or months. This results in a stronger flavored Obstwasser with a higher alcohol content.
The second method is to infuse the fruit in alcohol for a shorter period. This results in a lighter-flavored Obstwasser with a lower alcohol content.
German gin is often made with a base of wheat or rye and is re-distilled with juniper berries and other botanicals. This process gives it a distinct taste, which is often described as more complex and earthy than other types of gin.
However, German gin’s flavor can vary greatly depending on where it is produced. Some popular German gin brands include Monkey 41 and Elephant Gin.
You can enjoy German gin as you would an American or Scottish gin in cocktails or with a meat and cheese platter, berries, and nuts.
German vodka is among the most premium vodkas because the production process involves distillation several times to create the purest product possible.
German vodka has an unmistakable flavor that can be described as smooth, slightly sweet, and aromatic. It has a medium-bodied and clean finish, making it a versatile choice for making various cocktails.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you’re still curious about German liquor, take a look at the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions on the subject below.
Is beer the most common alcoholic beverage in Germany?
Yes. While the country houses many popular German liquors and German spirits, beer still takes place as the most commonly consumed alcohol.
How much alcohol is consumed in Germany?
According to a 2018 study from German Center for Addiction Issues (DHS), Germans consume an average of 131.3 liters or 34.7 gallons of alcohol per year.
What are German drinking songs?
German drinking songs are a great way to have fun while enjoying traditional German beverages. They are usually full of life and joy, providing an exciting atmosphere for everyone involved. Most of the songs start simple, but as more people join in and the drinks flow the singing gets louder, faster, and more passionate.
If you’re a lover of German culture and drinks, then you should taste some of the most popular German liquors. From Korn and Eierlikör to Gose beer and Doppelbock, sampling unique flavors from each drink will leave a lasting memory for every taster.
Have you had one of these German liquors before? Let us know which one and what you think in the comments.
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