Drinking in Frankfurt: Apfelwein
Frankfurt is the biggest city of Hesse and of the Main-Rhine Region. These both cultures strongly impact drinking traditions in Frankfurt, which are quite different from other German regions. Drinksandtrips tells you how to experience Frankfurter drinking culture in the best way.
When you want to drink like Frankfurter locals – try Apfelwein (apple wine). This is the most traditional drink from South Hesse which is being heavily consumed by locals especially in the summer time. Apfelwein (Äppler, Ebbelwoi in Hessisch dialect) is a drink a bit similar to very bitter apple cider, which can be ordered in three different variations: pure, süß-gespritzt and sauer-gespritzt (mixed with lemonade or with sparkling water approximately 3:1). You can like it from the first try, but much more often unprepared guests cannot enjoy this drink calling it too bitter and tasteless. Indeed, the taste is pretty specific, so don’t expect much from the first try. I personally managed to enjoy this drink after 3 years living in Frankfurt.
If you go out with a group of people, you usually order a Bembl of apfelwein – it’s a traditional grey colored pot with blue flowers painted. Bembl could be in different sizes of 1, 1.5 litre and above. It looks very traditional and even if you won’t like the taste, you will have a great feeling of deep-diving into a Frankfurter drinking culture. Possmann is the most most well-known Frankfurter apfelwein manufacturer, so if you see this brand – truly believe in its quality if there’s any could be at all.
Last thing to mention before you rush exploring Apfelwein is its specific glass. Apfelwein in Frankfurt can be served only in the traditional glass called geripptes (ribbed) due to its lozenge cut. Never order Apfelwein at the locations, where people drink it from normal glasses or plastic.
Where to drink:
Being a very traditional drink, Apfelwein is being consumed mostly at the city festivals, markets and German restaurants. We recommend to try Apfelwein on the farmer’s market at Kostablerwache (Thursdays and Saturdays), or in our favorite Hessisch restaurants: Apfelwein Wagner (Schweizer Straße 71) or Zum gemalten Haus (Schweizer Straße 67) in Sachsenhausen. If you want 100% not touristic location, look for Apfelweinstube (apple wine pub) in deeper Frankfurter suburbs: Roedelheim, Eschersheim and of course Bornheim.
Besides Apfelwein, Frankfurters also drink local Rhine wines and local beers. But this will be a topic of our next story!