It’s unlikely that you will come back from a night out in Cologne without having been passed a fluorescent green and sweet smelling shot of Flimm. The woodruff drink first made an appearance in 2008 and now is a staple drink in most of Cologne’s pubs and bars. Don’t let the colour put you off. The shot goes down quite smoothly.
Alcohol content: 17.0% vol.
The blackcurrant liqueur is often waved aside as a ‘girly drink’, not only because of its name – which can be translated as ‘sis’, as in short for ‘sister’ – but also because the mild and super sweet flavour makes it more popular among women. That being said, it’s widely available in bars, clubs and restaurants, and a lot of people find it quite refreshing.
Alcohol content: 15.0 % vol.
The parting of the ways comes when someone orders a round of Kettenfett (chain grease). Some love it, and others absolutely despise it. A brief look at the shot glass explains the name. The liquorice liqueur is thick, sticky and has a distinct smell. The taste is as intense as you’d expect, but those who like liquorice will appreciate the intensely sweet and salty flavour – not without grimacing though.
Alcohol content: 25.0 % vol.
A mix of tomato juice, chilli, pepper and double-distilled wheat schnapps has taken the Cologne bar scene by storm. Inspired by the success of a spicy tomato schnapps in Hamburg, two Cologne barkeepers experimented with the idea and decided to produce their version. Today their Mexikölner enjoys cult status.
Alcohol content: 15.0% vol.
It doesn’t take too long until you end up back drinking Kölsch in this city. Arguably Cologne’s most traditional drink is the German equivalent to a boilermaker and essentially two drinks. Here a glass of Kölsch followed by a shot of corn schnapps. It’s mostly served in the local breweries and corner pubs, but corn schnapps is experiencing a renaissance among younger people.
Alcohol content: beer ~ 4.8 % vol. / corn schnapps ~ 32.0 %