Beer gardens and café terraces are the ultimate summer spots. For many, summer means going out for a drink – for example apple spritzer, rhubarb spritzer, cold beer or a beer-lemonade mix, which – depending on the region – is sometimes called Radler, sometimes Alster. Many also choose non-alcoholic beer if they don’t want a gin and tonic, cocktail, wine or wine spritzer. “Because that’s less stressful in the heat,” you often hear.
Thinking about the new hip aperitivo, a summer drink to be discovered, the hip trend drink par excellence, is also popular every year. Since Aperol has become so popular as a spritz (i.e. the Italian bitter orange and rhubarb herbal liqueur with Prosecco and mineral water), its alleged successors are often proclaimed.
Looking for a successor to Aperol Spritz
“Bye, Aperol and Hugo: Sarti Spritz is the new trend drink for the hot season,” wrote the “Bunte”, for example, about Sarti, a blood orange, mango and passion fruit liqueur. The “friend” meanwhile recommended mixing an alcohol-free Aperol Spritz substitute (made of ginger ale, San Bitter and orange juice). And “Elle” relies on lemon-ginger spritz because Aperol is said to be out.
Among other things, “Harper’s Bazaar” predicted the breakthrough of the Crystal Razz (raspberry-rosemary liqueur with lemonade). The “New York Times” recently recommended the summer red wine that is common in Spain (Tinto de Verano; wine with lemonade), without which there is no real summer. Some shops and bars also advertise the Green Spritz, which is based on the bright green, sweet-spicy P31 herbal liqueur from Padua.
Every era seems to have its trend drink – or: to want to have it. Recently there has also been hype about espresso martini and Lillet Wild Berry. Some drinks are even dedicated to songs. Think, for example, of “Wildberry Lillet” by Nina Chuba (2022) or “Piña Colada” by the hit band Wind (1989).
“Some have predicted the limoncello spritz as a big trend for this terrace season,” says Nils Wrage, editor-in-chief of the bar culture magazine “Mixology”. “But if I look at the outside areas of the bars and cafés in the last few weeks, there is little to see.” Instead, Aperol Spritz will probably remain very popular around the world.
“It offers a lot that serves the mass taste, and I don’t mean that in a judgmental way,” says Wrage. “It’s sparkling, stimulatingly bitter, has enough sweetness and is simply a classic summer refresher.” In the USA, Aperol is just really taking off. Although Aperol Spritz is usually perceived as a light drink, it plays in the league of a Gin & Tonic or Moscow Mule in terms of pure alcohol content. In addition, he is sometimes “victim of the caipirinha syndrome”. In other words: “A basically nice drink is mixed badly and with inferior ingredients.”
Non-alcoholic beer trend
In the beer nation of Germany, there is also a trend towards non-alcoholic beer, especially in the hot season. “We expect that soon every tenth beer brewed in Germany will be non-alcoholic,” says Holger Eichele, General Manager of the German Brewers’ Association. According to him, this market has a lot of potential.
In the past, the fermentation of non-alcoholic beer was usually stopped after a certain time, which left a lot of residual sweetness in the beer. Today, alcohol-free beer tastes more real, if you will, because the beer is left to ferment and the alcohol is then removed using more expensive processes such as reverse osmosis, dialysis or vacuum evaporation.
“In addition to varieties such as pilsner, wheat beer or shandy, more and more regional specialties such as Kölsch and Alt or types of beer such as India Pale Ale are being brewed as non-alcoholic versions,” says Eichele. These are now lifestyle drinks. “Today, alcohol-free beer is no longer perceived as a substitute, but as a refreshing alternative. Many alcohol-free beers are mineral and isotonic, so that the body can process and use the ingredients particularly easily – an advantage that athletes in particular appreciate.”
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“Mixology” editor-in-chief Nils Wrage sometimes finds this marketing a bit too trying, almost absurd. “With all due respect to the possibly good ingredients, but also non-alcoholic beer should be perceived as a luxury food – not as a Gatorade substitute.”
Nevertheless, the cocktail expert Wrage finds it “nice” that many small, young breweries also offer non-alcoholic beers such as Pale Ale. “Alcohol-free beer is increasingly turning from an emergency solution into an independent segment that gives the connoisseur a lot of freedom.” Another trend is also “session” beers. “The English term here means that these are beers that are brewed with less alcohol, but are still aromatically dense and complex. Just for longer sessions, during which you would like to drink a few more glasses without enjoying the full alcoholic impact sense.”