Along with the museum embankment and a skyline that slightly resembles that of Manhattan, the German city of Frankfurt is famous for its love of Apfelwein or, as it is known locally, Ebbelwoi. Similar to British cider, this popular drink can be found all over the city and enjoyed in a range of different ways.
The story goes that, following a long period of harsh weather and the onset of pests that destroyed grape vines in the state of Hessen, the local farmers turned to apples instead. The hardier apple trees could withstand the cold temperatures much better and people fell in love with the drink. The rest, as they say, is history.
So, here are some delicious ways you can enjoy Frankfurt’s official beverage.
Images courtesy of ©Tourismus+Congress GmbH Frankfurt am Main.
In Local Cider Taverns
This is where the drinking of Apfelwein started and is the perfect place for you to take your first sip. There are taverns all over the city that can offer the delicious drink but some of the most authentic are in the district of Sachsenhausen. Traditionally, it is served in large white jugs with a blue pattern – called Bembels – and drunk from glasses engraved with a diamond pattern known as Geripptes. This neighbourhood has a whole street dedicated to Apfelwein taverns but Adolf Wagner is often considered to be top of the list.
On Board The Ebbelwei Express
If you want to combine your Apfelwein drinking with a sightseeing tour of Frankfurt then the best way to do this is on board the Ebbelwei Express. This specially commissioned tram has been riding the rails since 1977 and has become a much-loved sight in the city. Tours take place at the weekend and on public holidays, and a full trip will take you from the Römerberg to the zoo, across the river to Sachsenhausen and then back to the Römer. Your ticket includes a bottle of Apfelwein and a packet of pretzels.
At The Christmas Market
Whilst the Frankfurt Christmas market still does big business with its gluhwein (mulled wine), it is Apfelwein that is drunk in the largest quantities during the festive period. Little stalls on the Römerberg sell it hot and in souvenir mugs that you can keep for a small deposit. It’s the perfect way to warm your warms and heart on a cold evening.
At The ApfelWein Festival
Every year, Frankfurt celebrates its favourite drink at a festival dedicated to its production. It’s not just traditional Apfelwein that’s on offer at the stalls though, as many producers like to push the boundaries with new blends, flavours and specially created cocktails. The event also includes live music, traditional poetry and activities relating to local folklore. The festival is due to take place again between the 10th and 19th of August 2018.
In Other Products
As well as the drink itself, there are many souvenirs you can bring home to celebrate the time you first discovered Apfelwein. From the jugs and glasses in which it’s traditionally served to soap and mustard that have this unique scent or flavour, they make a great reminder of your trip or gift for someone back home.
Apfelwein can be sampled all year round and we would love to help you plan your Frankfurt city break. Call us on 0800 988 3369 to speak to our friendly team.