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Fridge sharing takes off in Vienna

Vienna’s free-cycle economy just got a bit bigger - with a new scheme of ‘open fridges’ which enables people to share unwanted food - and take what they need.

Fridge sharing takes off in Vienna
One of the shared fridges. Photo: ORF screengrab

In 19 locations around the city fridges can be found in which people are invited to put food that they would otherwise throw away – and also take whatever they find in the fridge.

Vienna resident Walter Albrecht has started dropping off food at one of the fridges – including spreads and vegetables which are still fresh. The idea is a great way to make sure any food in the fridge isn’t wasted if you’re about to go on holiday, for example. Companies are also invited to donate any food or drink that would otherwise go to waste. 

The fridge project is similar to an already established and successful book sharing scheme in Vienna, where people can drop off unwanted books and take any they fancy reading.

The fridge idea was entered into an Austria-wide competition called ‘Orte des Respekts’ (Places of Respect) and was selected as regional winner in Vienna. The €2,000 prize money has enabled the team to buy new refrigerators which have been placed in offices, cafes and other public buildings. They will be maintained by an organization called foodsharing.

Andrea Beltrame, one of the brains behind the ‘Fair-Teilen’ (fair-sharing) concept, says the refrigerators are already a success: “They are being used by a wide variety of people… including students, pensioners, and single mothers on low incomes. They are probably also being used by homeless people.”

Christian Köck, one of the judges of the competition, says he’s excited about the project and plans to use the fridges himself. “There’s so much food we as a family don’t eat – because we’re going on holiday for example, so it just makes sense to drop it off at one of the fridges.”

The fridges can be found in the following locations:

1st District: BioWerkstatt, Biberstraße 22 (Open Mon-Fri, 9am-6pm).

2nd District: Salon am Park, Krakauer Straße 19 (Open Tues-Fri, 7.30am-7pm and Sat 8am-8pm).

3rd District: VHS Landstraße, Hainburgerstraße 29 (Open Mon-Fri 9am to 9pm).

4th District: Argus Fahrradbüro, Frankenberggasse 11 (Open Mon-Fri 2pm-7pm and Sat 10am-2pm)

Schikaneder, Margaretenstraße 22-24 (Open Mon-Sun 6pm-4am)

Verein M.U.T., Rechte Wienzeile 37 (Open Mon-Fri 10am-4pm).

5th District: Heavy Pedals, Am Hundsturm 1 (Open Tues-Fri 10am-1pm and 2pm-6pm).

7th District: Amtshaus Neubau, Hermanngasse 24-26 (Open Mon-Wed and Fri 6am-5.30pm)

7*Stern Kulturzentrum*Cafe, Siebensterngasse 31 (Open Tues-Sun 10am-2am)

8th District: Der Greissler unverpackt ehrlich, Albertgasse 19 (Open Mon-Fri 10am-6pm and Sat 8am-6pm)

Greisslerei 8, Strozzigasse 27 (Open Tues-Thurs 8am-7pm, Fri 9am-12pm)

10th District: Private residence, Köglergasse 11 (garage) – opening hours to be agreed

11th District: Private residence, Sedlitzkygasse 14 – opening hours to be agreed

14th District: R.U.S.Z, Lützowgasse 12-14 (Open Mon & Wed 9am-5pm, Tues & Thurs 9am-7pm, Fri 8am-1pm)

15th District: Verein Login, Weiglgasse 19 (Open Mon-Fri 10am-4pm)

17th District: Zur Allee, Schwarzenbergallee 40, Open 24/7

Das Jetzt, Parhamerplatz 16 (Open Mon-Sat 6pm-4am, Sun 6pm-2am)

22nd District: VHS Donaustadt, Bernoullistrasse 1 (Open Mon-Thurs 9am-7.30pm, Fri 9am-7pm)

For members

FOOD & DRINK

Hugo, Almdudler and Radler: 5 drinks to try in Austria this summer

It is easier to face the summer heat with a proper cold drink in your hands. Austrians know that well and have created (or made popular) several delicious alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Here are five you should try.

Hugo, Almdudler and Radler: 5 drinks to try in Austria this summer

The debate of which is the perfect summer drink is undoubtedly a very controversial one.

While many people would argue that nothing can beat the Italian Aperol Spritz (which is also very popular in Austria), some would rather stay with a simple cold beer.

If you are team Spritz, then you should know that Austria has a love for things g’spritzt, with their own versions of sparkling drinks (with or without alcohol). However, for those who prefer a beer, the alpine country is home to several famous brands, including the Styrian Gösser, the Viennese Ottakringer, and Stiegl, from Salzburg.

READ ALSO: Five Austrian destinations you can reach by train to escape the heat

In any case, when living or visiting a new country, it’s always fun to try out the traditional dishes and, in this case, beverages.

Here are five drinks you should try during the Austrian summer.

Hugo drink summer drink austria

Hugo is a very popular (and sweet) summer drink in Austria (Photo by Greta Farnedi on Unsplash)

Hugo

Some say this is the Austrian answer to the Aperol Spritz, but its sweetness from the elderflower syrup makes it quite different from the bitter bright orange Aperol.

There is also a bit of controversy as to where this drink, which Austrians love to drink during a nice summer afternoon, originates.

Internationally, it seems to be widely accepted that this alcoholic aperitif comes from South Tyrol, a German-speaking region of Italy with deep Austrian roots. Ask any Austrian, though, and they will tell that just proves the drink is from Austria.

READ ALSO: Eight ways to talk about the heat like a true Austrian

Italian or Austrian, the sweet drink is made with prosecco, elderflower syrup, seltzer and mint leaves. Serve it with lots of ice in a large glass, and you have a perfect summer drink.

white wine drinks party

Mix your white wine with sparkling water and you get a refreshing gespritzt (Photo by Matthieu Joannon on Unsplash)

weiß gespritzt

This is extremely popular, relatively cheap even in fancy restaurants, and somewhat controversial, but take some white wine and add a little sparkling water (sometimes ice) and you get a weiß gespritzt, or a g’spritzter.

READ ALSO: The best Austrian wineries to visit this summer

Not everyone appreciates mixing your wine with water, but it makes for a refreshing and lighter drink. In Austrian restaurants, you might be asked whether you want a summer gespritzt, which means it has higher water content and, therefore, is lighter, or a “normal” one.

It is by no means an Austrian drink, and you may have to ask for a Weinschorle instead of a Gespritzter in Germany, but it is a popular drink in the German world.

gösser radler drink

Austrian brands sell some of the most popular Radlers in Europe (Photo by Jonathan Kemper on Unsplash)

Radler

A Radler is another drink that though not from Austria, is extremely popular here. Not only that but some of the most popular Radlers are sold by Austrian brands.

Traditionally, all you need to make a Radler is to mix beer and lemonade. However, the drink is also found bottled and sold by beer companies such as Gösser and Ottakringer. The mix has also expanded and you can discover Radlers with a citrus or berry mix.

READ ALSO: Austrian old folks toast success of ‘Grandma and Grandpa’ beer

It is a lighter and sweeter beer, perfect for enjoying the summer with a fresh drink that is not so alcoholic.

Mixing apple juice and sparkling water creates a perfect non-alcoholic summer drink. (Photo by MIGUEL RIOPA / AFP)

Apfelspritz

Following the Austrian love for adding sparkling water to drinks, a very common and non-alcoholic beverage is the Apfelspritz.

It is a mix of apple juice and (you guessed it) sparkling water. It is popular in Biergarten as a non-alcoholic alternative, with kids joining in on toasts with their apple and soda mix.

The drink is also very common in Germany (where it is known as Apfelschorle), Switzerland and Hungary.

READ ALSO: Cash and Schnapps: A guide to visiting pubs and cafes in Austria

almdualer gerhard schilling

Almdudler’s CEO Gerhard Schilling holds a bottle of the traditional Austrian drink (© Philipp Lipiarski)

Almdudler

Another option for a summer light and non-alcoholic drink is the Almdudler, which is technically the name of the Austrian brand that sells the famous carbonated soft drink.

The drink is a blend of 32 “natural alpine herbs, beet sugar and soda water”, according to the website. It has a very distinctive logo and can be found in almost all Austrian households – being one of the most popular beverages in the country.

Did we forget about your favourite summer drink? Then let us know in the comments below or send us an email at [email protected]

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