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High-end German spirits? (moved from International board)

grumpitybug Jun 8, 2008 08:21 PM

I know, I know, Germany is all about beer, but there must be a whole class of distilled beverages as well.

Asbach I've heard of, but what else counts as an authentic German classic alcohol? Even more to the point, what are the best labels?

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  1. Behemoth RE: grumpitybug Jun 9, 2008 12:35 AM

    Fruit eau-de-vie are very typical. Schladerer is a good mainstream brand http://www.schladerer.de/index.php?id...
    but its a lot of fun to seek out smaller distillers as well.

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      ChewFun RE: grumpitybug Jun 9, 2008 06:23 AM

      Go for locally produced Apple and Pear brandies. I've bought some in Lindau and in Dresden that were really great.

      1. z
        zin1953 RE: grumpitybug Jun 10, 2008 07:14 AM

        Yup! Primarily it's eaux-de-vie -- clear brandies distilled from the fruit itself, rather than "fruit flavored" brandies. Kirsch or Kirshwasser (cherry) is the best known German eau-de-vie, but there are of course many others -- blackberry, plum, apricot, strawberry, raspberry, and on and on and on . . .

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          Chefpaulo RE: grumpitybug Jun 15, 2008 08:08 PM

          I've always enjoyed Doornkat Schnaps and, for the really adventurous (if we count Austria in here), Stroh 80 rum (i.e.160 proof) is amusing as long as you can handle it and don't use it near open flames. No joke! It is lethal.

          1. t
            tmso RE: grumpitybug Jun 16, 2008 02:05 AM

            Liquor is very regional in the German speaking world, and often the local liquor is referred to as Schnaps, whatever it may be. In the south that could mean an Obstbrand or Obstgeist (the former being brandy distilled from fermented fruit, the latter being brandy that had fruit macerated in it then redistilled). Or even Bierschnaps, which is distilled beer (interesting, rarely good but sometimes amazing). One of my favorites is Haselnussschnaps, often found in Bavaria as Tresterbrand (essentially grappa) that had hazelnuts soaked in it, then redistilled. Dry, highly aromatic from all the hazelnut oil and the grappa flavors from the base spirit.

            Magenbitter (aka Kräuterbitter aka Kräuterlikör) is the German variant of those bitter, herbal liquors found throughout Central Europe. At their best they're as good as the best Italian amari ... at their worst, well, that would be Jägermeister.

            But the best answer is, try the local Schnaps and see if you like it. The locals will generally try to steer you towards the best their region has to offer.

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              18465 RE: grumpitybug Jul 8, 2008 11:43 AM

              himbergeist (raspberry purified alcohol) and other geists are popular and are the more appropriate german name for the eau-de-vie (french) style of distilled spitirts.

              Ratziputz is quite interesting and difficult to find and drink.

              1 Reply
              1. re: 18465
                Mayor of Melonville RE: 18465 Nov 4, 2010 03:43 AM

                When I was stationed in Germany the new arrivals on the base were treated to a night out by the old hands. The evening was capped by a shot of ratziputz for the "new guy". Often this ended up on his shoes almost immediately.

              2. wagger RE: grumpitybug Jul 8, 2008 07:37 PM

                I've found that a wide range of digestivs are typical but very regional. One of my favorites is Tatzlwurm Feur from Oberaudorf in southern Bavaria. It is produced by the Hotel Feuriger Tatzlwurm and is a potent cinnamon flavored spirit.

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                  craigasaurus RE: grumpitybug Nov 4, 2010 09:48 AM

                  Gilka Kummel, a caraway-seed flavored liqueur.

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