Have you ever been to a bar or night club in Berlin and wondered why bar tenders are serving mouth wash? Well, after many hours of partying until the early morning, this might not even be such a surprising thing to you. However, Berliner Luft is part of a different kind of morning routine despite its refreshing taste.
The originally clear liquid is a traditional peppermint liqueur invented in Berlin during the times of the socialist GDR. The spirit made from water, pure alcohol, sugar and peppermint essences is very smooth and slightly syrupy with a strong, fresh mint flavor. You will find Berliner Luft as a shot in pretty much any bar or night club. Of course, “Luft” – as Berliners lovingly call their favorite liqueur – is also a staple at any supermarket or “Späti” late-night kiosk. Like this, you can easily enjoy it either at home or wherever else you feel like it.
The Revival Of Berliner Luft
After its former boom in the GDR during which almost 200 million bottles were sold per year, Berliner Luft experienced a minor crash when Germany was reunited. Today, the smooth spirit is very much en vogue again. It has become a common sight at parties or any kind of nightlife venues. Probably the only other drink that can rival the prevalence of Luft is Club-Mate, another Berliner favorite. The production of the peppermint liqueur now happens right in Berlin. The Schilkin manufactory uses a very traditional way with a mainly manual process!
With the drink’s recovering popularity, the company keeps introducing new variations. Among these are adventurous combos like pineapple-coco or chocolate-cherry with a chili note. Especially popular are the latest limited editions that come with a special visual surprise, further enhancing their delicious taste. Look out for the green “Glitter Nights”, the red “Glitter Kiss” or the purple “Kinky Queen” and get your hands on them before they sell out. The bottles may look unspectacular at first. But as you shake them, tiny particles create a stunning pearlescent effect. You won’t be disappointed!
Here is an overview of all available Berliner Luft variants:
- 40 Strong
- 50 Super Strong
- Schoko (chocolate)
- Persico (cherry)
- Chilleoké (chili & chocolate-cherry flavor)
- Holunder (elderflower)
- Bratapfel (christmas roast apple)
- Ananas-Cocos (pineapple & coconut)
- Bangarang (energy)
- Glitter Nights – Limited Edition
- Glitter Kiss – Limited Edition
- Kinky Queen (cassis) – Limited Edition
Useful Info For “Luft” Newbies
Now that you know what kind of deliciousness is awaiting you, one question remains: where to get that good sh*t?! Luckily the availability of the sweet peppermint liqueur is not limited to Berlin anymore. Supermarkets across all of Germany now carry Berliner Luft in their assortment due to the wide-spread popularity. Though Berlin is always worth a visit. And you may argue that a shot of “Luft” in one of the capital’s traditional pubs simply tastes twice as good.
Matching modern Berliner’s eating habits and dietary intolerances, Berliner Luft is vegan, gluten-free as well as lactose-free. But not only these attributes or the flavorful taste convince the masses. The affordable price has surely contributed to the new popularity of the mouth freshener. While a litre of the classic usually costs 6.50 Euros, limited editions sell for around 10 Euros. And even in bars or clubs, you can enjoy a shot of the minty liquid for as little as 1.50 Euro. So, thanks to Berliner Luft, you won’t have to file brankrupcy when buying a couple rounds during a wild night.
Suitable for every occasion, Berliner Luft comes in many different sizes form the tiny, shot-sized bottle to a 3-litre mega flask. And as a special souvenir, you can even buy bottles in the shapes of the iconic TV Tower or the Brandenburg Gate, two of Berlin’s most famos landmarks.
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How To Mix Berliner Luft
Although Berliners usually consume the popular peppermint liqueur with its smooth 18% alcohol content in its plain form, “Luft” almost screams to be mixed to refine other things. There are basically no limits to your imagination. The Berliner original can simply serve like a substitute for Creme de Menthe. Whether for desserts or cakes or as an ingredient in cocktails and mix drinks, the peppermint flavor will add a refreshing touch to any food or drink.
For inspiration, we chose a Berliner Luft cocktail. And so we will turn a real classic, the Cuban Mojito, into a special taste experience. Quick and easy with our delicious recipe below:
Pfeffi from Germany
Do you know of anything similar from other countries? Let us know!