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