Are you planning to usher in the new year with a GDR-themed party but not quite sure what drinks to serve for an authentic flavour of the socialist East? This blog post has got you covered. Below are recipes for five of the GDR’s most popular drinks to send you and your guests on a boozy journey back in time.
Grüne Wiese Whatever the Season
One of the best-known and simplest East German drinks is known as ‘Grüne Wiese’ (‘Green Field of Grass’) for its lush green colour, which is produced by blending Curaçao Blue with orange juice and Rotkäppchen Sekt.
Simply pour 2cl each of Curaçao Blue and orange juice into a glass, then top it up with Rotkäppchen Sekt for a sweet taste of nostalgia that goes down well at any time of the year.
Source: Rhianon Lassila on Unsplash
Traditionally, a Manhatten is an aperitif made with rye, red vermouth and angostura bitters.
East German cocktail enthusiasts recreated the classic American drink using only local ingredients. The whisky came from the oldest distillery in Brandenburg, conveniently located in Luckenwalde just outside Berlin, which made the only two brands produced in East Germany, called ‘Falckner’ and ‘Edel-Falcke’. Unfortunately, production was discontinued in 1997.
East Germany’s most popular vermouth, called Gotano Wermut, was made in the Thuringian city of Gotha. The East-German Manhattan was finished with a splash of angostura and topped with a cocktail cherry.
Like the Manhattan, this next drink sounds very sophisticated and cosmopolitan. Named after the famous cabaret in the Parisian district of Montmartre, the East German Moulin Rouge was a cocktail with a distinctive sweet flavour.
You’ll need three ingredients to make this cocktail: peach liqueur, dry red wine and orange juice. Pour 4cl of peach liqueur into a glass and fill up with some orange juice. Top up with 2cl red wine – pour carefully so the red wine sits on top rather than blending into the other two ingredients. Cheers – your East German Red Windmill is ready to serve.
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This drink is dedicated to the GDR’s socialist sisters overseas, although there’s a bit of a mystery about how exactly it got its name. The ingredients do have a slight Caribbean flair, although somewhat surprisingly, there’s no rum in a Havanna Girl cocktail.
Instead, you’ll need mango juice, milk, whisky, lemon juice and a sachet of ‘Komet’ vanilla-flavoured ice-cream powder to make this drink, which tastes every bit as good as it sounds! To make four glasses, simply mix the sachet of ice-cream powder with 75cl milk, a tin of mango juice, 4tbsp lemon juice and 4cl whisky (you’ll need to substitute another brand, as bottles of Falckner are hard to come by these days).
Serve with ice cubes and a straw, and you’ll immediately be transported to the Caribbean via the GDR.
Quelle: Rhianon Lassila on Unsplash
Whether GDR-themed or not, New Year’s Eve would not be the same without a boozy punch. Here’s a quick and easy recipe for a local concoction known simply as ‘Berliner Bowle’.
All you need to make a bowl of punch is 2 bottles of ‘Berliner Weiße’ beer, 1 bottle of Sekt, 3 unwaxed lemons and sugar. Mix the beer and Sekt in a punch bowl, shave some of the zest off the lemons and add for an extra fruity flavour along with their juice and sugar to taste. After about 15 minutes, you can remove the strips of lemon zest and your punch is ready to serve!
Central Berlin Drinks and Bars
If you fancy a great night out with an authentic taste of GDR architecture and ambience, check out our list of top locations around Strausberger Platz for the best places to eat, drink and party.