Friday, September 2, 2016
On Weird Drinks
*Appreciated by cyclists as an isotonic drink replenishing minerals lost in transpiration. These days shandies containing up to 3% alcohol are being replaced more and more by alcohol-free wheat beers containing less sugar and alcohol than shandies.
The weird shandy in question is a mixture of beer and cucumber juice. It is made in Lübbenau, a town south of Berlin in the Spreewald. The region is famous for the production of all sorts of cucumbers -- fresh, sour, or salty. Here people speak Sorbian, a Slavic language. While mixing its beer with cucumber juice the Kirchner brewery reduces the alcohol content of the shandy to a mere 2.1%. Mind you, the creators did refrain from calling their mix Spreewasser.
When I saw Kendall's photo of the green bottle showing a cucumber on a bicycle it was a must-have so I ordered a couple of bottles together with another beer mix with cucumber and rhubarb juice. To make a long story short: the Gurken Radler tastes like eingeschlafene Füße (old feet, literally feet that went to sleep). On the other hand the addition of rhubarb juice gives a refined touch to the rose-colored Gurken Radler Rhabarber and I like it. Prosit.
On the basis of fir shoots a private brewery created a soft drink dubbed Tannenliebe (love for fir trees). The mix is prepared with an essence from fir shoots, water, sugar, Black Forest honey and citric acid. Red Baron went downtown and bought two bottles of Tannenliebe, which turns out to be more expensive than beer. The taste? Disappointing, since I had expected more flavor. On the other hand the soft drink contains only a small amount of sugar and the Abgang (finish or aftertaste) of fir shoots lasts for a couple of hours.