If you have been to Germany in the summertime you might have grown fond of what makes a German summer wunderbar: having a beer and a Bavarian Brotzeit at a biergarten or, if you are from Frankfurt like me, a glass of apple wine mixed with seltzer water called Gespritzter; a German barbecue (Grillabend); or scrumptious fruit desserts such as the classic red fruit pudding Rote Grütze, or the iconic spaghetti ice cream that you can find in virtually every ice cream parlor in Germany.
Thankfully a lot of these cravings, such as my newest favorite cocktail, Erdbeerlimes (recipe at the bottom of this post), can be satisfied in America.
As part of my participation in the The German-American Friendship Year, in February, I asked my readers to share photos of any German dishes they made on Instagram under the hashtag #AmericaCooksGerman. It brought together a nice collection of photos showcasing the diversity of Germany cuisine that you can view here.
Now it’s time for a summer edition of #AmericaCooksGerman. Food or drink, homemade or not, taken at a biergarten or German restaurant, hot, cold, or barbecued, fresh or canned, as long as it’s German or German-style and located in the United States, share away photos of your favorite German summer foods and drinks!
When sharing your photo(s) on Instagram, please indicate what’s in the photo and your location (city and state, or state only). And, very important, don’t forget to add the hashtag #AmericaCooksGerman and #WunderbarTogether (which is the hashtag of The Year of German-American Friendship). This is the only way your photos can be found.
If you are not on Instagram, and you cannot ask anyone else to post a photo on Instagram for you, you can email me your photo at spoonfulsofgermany[at] gmail [dot] com, or, if you are on Facebook, send me your photo via Facebook message and I will post the photo on Instagram for you. Please include the name you would like to appear with the photo, what the photo shows, and your location.
For inspiration I have compiled a list of my favorite German summer foods and with recipes below.
Also check out German Girl in America. Karen, the blogger behind it, has been a supporter of the #AmericaCooksGerman idea from the start. She writes about German customs and traditions such as what’s a biergarten, explains a German Schwenker Grill and tells you where to find it in the US. She also gives on an overview of the different German-style potato salads (yes, there is no one German potato salad, each region has its own) and Kaltschale, a chilled fruit soup for hot days.
My favorite German summer foods and drinks
With a few exceptions the recipes for most of these dishes are on this blog, and some are in my German regional cookbook, which is available as an ebook here. Click on each image to find the recipe.
This North German specialty is one of my favorite chilled fruit soups, and one of the most refreshing things you can eat in the summer. Note that like most chilled fruit soups, it is only lightly sweetened and eaten as a first course, not a dessert. The recipe is in my book.
You can make this any time of the year round but I like it best with fresh red bell peppers and tomatoes.
Frankfurt’s famous sauce loaded with fresh herbs. The recipe is in my book. Or, you can make your own Grüne Soße Mustard:
A twist on classic American cheesecake with a German topping.
Classic German cheesecake, made with quark or Greek yogurt (a great substitute for quark) and fresh peaches.
Strawberry Vodka Mixer (Erdbeerlimes)
This summer cocktail (shown in the lead photo) is so popular in Germany that you can even find it premixed in bottles. As always, homemade is best.
I prefer it moderately sweet but you can increase the amount of sugar if you like.
1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon (100 ml) filtered or bottled (non-chlorinated) water
½ cup (100 g) sugar
1 pound (450 g) ripe strawberries
1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon (100 ml) lime juice, from about 4 limes
1 cup (250 ml) vodka
- In a small saucepan, mix water and sugar. Bring to a boil and stir till the sugar is fully dissolved. Remove from the heat and let cool completely.
- Puree strawberries in a blender till smooth. Push them through a fine sieve into a bowl, extracting every bit of fruit pulp so that only the seeds remain. Discard seeds.
- In a bowl mix cooled sugar syrup, strawberry puree, lime juice and vodka and stir till evenly combined. Pour into a sterilized bottle and close with a tight-fitting cap or cork, Refrigerate and serve chilled. Keeps for 7 to 10 days in the fridge.
Makes about 3 cups