German Appetizers and Cocktails


Feierabend and Appetitanreger in Germany

german bargoers enjoy german cocktails As is the case with most German cuisine, German appetizers tend to be a bit heavier than their neighbors’ to the west and south. That’s OK, they also have plenty of refreshing beers, light wines, and German cocktails to lighten your stomach’s load (at least it’s easy to tell yourself that!).

Many German beer hauses and bars offer great happy hour deals (feierabend) and are a good place to sample delicious German cocktails and German appetizers. Thanks to the growing popularity of feierabend in many German cities, innovative bartenders have come up with a number of creative German cocktails. Some of my favorites are:

A light, bubbly German cocktail made with Sekt (sparkling wine), apple juice, vanilla syrup, vodka, and garnished with an apple slice and ripe blackberry.

Batida Kirsch
This is a fun, fruity German cocktail drink made from Batida de Coco (coconut-flavored liquor) and cherry juice, served over ice with a red cherry garnish.

Of course, Apfelwein (apple wine), a German variant of cider made out of apples is a refreshing treat. It is also regionally known as Ebbelwoi, Äppler, Stöffsche, Apfelmost (apple must), or Saurer Most (sour must). It has an Not in the mood for a German cocktail? Drink a bitburger. alcohol content of between 5.5% and 7% and a tart, sour taste.

Not in the mood for a German cocktail? Plisner Bittburger, a local favorite, has a hoppy, bitter flavor with a clean, dry finish – the perfect compliment to hearty German appetizers.

Speaking of German appetizers, here are some of my favorite ways to start a meal in Germany. Many of these are also served as sides.

Kartoffelsalat (German Potato Salad) is comprised of thinly sliced potatoes, crumbled bacon, chopped or sliced onion and vinegar. I like it when it’s served hot.

German Meatballs are made from sausage, onion, breadcrumbs and kraut, then rolled in flour and breadcrumbs and fried. They are typically served with a mayonnaise-based sauce.

Wurst is the best! Over 1000 types of wurst (sausage) exist in Germany. Nearly all wurst is made from pork wurst, a classic German appitizer (and sometimes beef or veal), spices, and peppercorns. However, each region makes its own types of wurst by adding special ingredients. Some of my favorites include:

Bierwurst—coarse slicing sausage flavored with juniper berries and cardamom.
Weisswurst—typically made from finely ground veal and spiced with chives and parsley.
Cervelat— a slicing sausage that reminds me of Italian salami. Made from a combination of pork and beef, spices and mustard or garlic.
Wurst is often served with a variety of mustards (sweet, hot, coarse or smooth), rolls and bread (rye and poppy seed rolls are especially good), and sauerkraut.

Cheers! Prost!

Written by Jen Westmoreland Bouchard for

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  1. A german. says

    May I correct:
    – The description of Bockwurst is the one for Weisswurst, as the photo shows, too. Bockwurst is another story.
    – Normally You won’t find Kraut in a meatball, and they are usually never fried. Mustard is normal, mayonnaise rather exotic.

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