My favourite drink in Germany is surprisingly not beer, but a Hugo Cocktail.
Don’t get me wrong, I like German beer, but the problem is I can’t drink most of it since I have celiac disease (a gluten allergy). Don’t feel too sorry for me though, because I’m quite happy with my new favorite drink – a Hugo cocktail. I had never heard of a Hugo cocktail until I moved to Germany, but now I’m addicted (well not literally).
A Hugo cocktail is actually not a German drink, it comes from the South Tyrol region of northern Italy. You can’t blame the Germans for wanting to take credit for it though! You will find it in many cafes and bars in southern Germany, Austria and in South Tyrol, especially in summer!
According to Mixology magazine, The Hugo was created in 2005 in the Italian town of Naturno by bartender Roland Gruber. It was invented as an alternative to spritz, and spread like wildflower through South Tyrol and into Austria and Germany.
A Hugo is made from Prosecco and with its fresh peppermint leaves it is similar to a Mojito. What gives it a distinct, yet refreshing flavour is elderflower syrup. I can’t think of any drink as refreshing as a Hugo! If you’re traveling in southern Germany. Austria or northern Italy this summer I highly recommend trying it. It’s mild taste is a crowd pleaser for almost everyone who tries it! In fact, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like the taste. It’s not like Trollinger, a wine produced from the Württemberg region in SW Germany, which let’s just….is an acquired taste that is not acquired by many people not from the region!
Alternatively, you can also make a Hugo at home and serve to guests. They’re incredibly simple to make, and you can whip one up in a matter of seconds.
Recipe for a Hugo Cocktail
- Splash of elderflower syrup to taste
- A few fresh peppermint or spearmint leaves rubbed to release their aromatic oil
- Top with a slice of lime
- Optional – add a splash of sparking water to dilute the alcohol if desired
You can also use alcohol Prosecco if you or your guests don’t drink. Note, if you order it in a restaurant or cafe, the alcohol version is served.