Germany is venerated throughout the world for its flashy automobiles, revolvers, castles, museums, renowned personalities, and yes, beers. Any beer enthusiast would consider himself blessed if he or she is present in Munich when the celebrated Oktoberfest is held. Branded and craft beers fermented in Germany, popular throughout the world, have an infamous reputation for overshadowing other German spirits.
Nevertheless, if spirit connoisseurs and enthusiasts take the trouble of exploring the eclectic world of German spirits, they’ll be hooked. If you care to look beyond the world-class German beers like Hefeweizen, Erdinger, Augustiner Hell, and Augustiner Hell, you’ll discover topnotch liquors including Jagermeister, Monkey 47 Dry Gin, and Roshe Uralt. A sizeable section of the populace in Germany prefers to socialize, sampling mouthwatering cuisines with rejuvenating liquors as aperitifs.
Drawing up a list of the top 10 German liquors would be a Herculean task for even the most seasoned of alcohol aficionados. Nevertheless, an attempt has been made.
Asbach Uralt is one of the finest German brandies fermented by Asbach GmbH, a licensee of Underberg AG. This brandy is produced after concocting and refining 25 distinct wine distillates. The refined brew sits in limousine oak casks for nothing less than 3 years, thereby imparting to the brandy its dark golden hue.
The taste of Asbach Uralt is somewhat similar cognac but has a subtle and distinctive fruity flavor. As you slowly sip the brandy, your nostrils picks up aromas of grapes and oaks tinged with a tad bitter taste but crisp and clear.
Produced by Schilkin Distillery ‘Berliner Luft’ is classic and purebred liquor that has a massive following in the German capital. No matter whichever bar you barge into in Berlin, you can take it for granted that the watering hole will stock Berliner Luft. The base spirit is neutral and the minty and herbal flavors embody the natural ingredients used for blending the same.
Berliner Luft is available in numerous variations, the pineapple-coconut and the chocolate orange flavors being the most sought after. Tourists warm up to the bottles of Berliner Luft that resemble Berlin TV Tower or the Brandenburg Gate. The Berliner Luft is Schilkin Distillery’s flagship brand.
Diageo, the world’s largest alcoholic beverages company owns and brews the Rumple Minze identified by its peppermint flavor. Rumple Minze is relatively unknown in Germany and the rest of Europe and the bulk of the produce is exported to USA. With an ABV of 50%, Rumple Minze is amazingly strong on the palate but sipping it leisurely, leaves behind a smooth aftertaste.
For sampling the inherent flavors of this spirit, serve it chilled. The liquor also serves as an excellent cocktail drink. The US is the biggest consumer of Rumple Minze and Diageo has launched two variations of the liquor in the country.
Schalderer’s journey started more than 160 years ago when he mainly brewed fruit brandies for select visitors at his eatery. After more than a century and half of dedicated brewing, Schladerer brewery has become one of Germany’s top producers of fruit brandies. Schladerer’s Himbeergeist brandy is a popular “Geist” (spirit) brandy flavored with Himbeere or raspberries.
Himbeergeist raspberry brandy is best sipped chilled as an aperitif after a sumptuous dinner. You can also relish the spirit by cocktailing it with a cabernet or champagne and thereafter adding a few raspberries. On the other hand, you can spice up a cup of espresso or latte with 1 oz. of raspberry brandy.
Goldwasser which literally means ‘gold water’ has been fermented since 1598 by Ambrosien Vermollen who founded the country’s first liqueur factory. Danzig Goldwasser is a robust liqueur whose exclusive characteristic are the tiny gold flakes suspended in the drink. The liqueur contains at least twenty herbal ingredients including juniper, coriander, thyme, lavender, cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom.
The Der Lachs brewery owned by Hardenberg-Wilthen distillery in Nӧrten-Hardenberg in Germany now produces Danzig Goldwasser. Nevertheless, there are numerous breweries in Gdansk (formerly Danzig), Poland that brew versions of Danzig Goldwasser.
Kammer Brandy Williams Birne Pear in The Bottle is prepared using the best quality of Williams Pears. Kammer Distillery, established in 1909, lets the pears to ferment in earthenware jugs filled with fruit brandy. The distillery exploits a double distillation process for creating a premium quality brandy.
In order to sample the flavors of the Williams Pear Brandy, decant the spirit in a long-stemmed wine glass. You can make a refreshing cocktail by concocting the brandy with a Riesling, champagne or espresso or pour a spoonful over ice-cream.
Strictly speaking, the Stroh 80 Rum is not quintessentially German as this spirit is brewed in neighboring Austria by Stroh Austria GmbH. Nevertheless, Stroh 80 Rum makes it to this listing because of its immense popularity in Deutschland. Stroh 80 Rum is actually a misnomer as the spirit is brewed by adding dyes and flavors to diluted ethanol instead of sugarcane molasses.
It is an intense spirit containing essences of different spices and herbs and tastes divine when added to warm chocolate. You detect whiffs of butterscotch, potpourri, Demerara sugar with subtle notes of treacle and molasses. The finish is musty and extensive on the palate with hints of sweetness, nutmeg, and cloves.
The numeral in Stroh Rum indicates its alcoholic strength. You can order four other Stroh Rum variants with ABV of 38%, 40%, 50%, and 60%.
Brewed by I. B. Berentzen GmbH & Co KG, Doornkaat Schnapps is a classic North German alcoholic drink brewed from malted corn. The brew is subjected to a triple distillation mechanism which imparts to the schnapps its distinctive flavor profile. A wide range of flavorings added to the spirit makes it taste somewhat like gin or a mild rye whisky.
The Verpoorten Distillery established in 1876, blends Class A eggs, brandy, and sugar for producing the Advocaat. The Advocaat is an alcoholic drink whose origins can be traced to Brazil where Dutch traders prepared the spirit using avocadoes. For enjoying the Verpoorten Advocaat’s almond-like flavor, consume a chilled serving or add it lemonade, coffee or milk shake.
The Monkey 47 Dry Gin has won numerous awards, including the 2011 World Spirits Award Gold (in gins category). This is one unique gin fortified with 47 different botanicals sourced from Germany’s black forest. The numerical (47) stands for the total number or ingredients used as well as signifies its ABV. The aromas includes notes of herbs, pine, wood, lemon with nuanced hints of sweetness, botanicals, cranberries, musk yarrow, and much more.