Traditional Swiss Drinks


Apart from the lots of tasty dishes invented by the Swiss people, there are also some traditional Swiss drinks you might want to know about. For example, could you ever imagine that back in the 17th century the Swiss people had a reputation of quite heavy drinkers? There was even a saying “to drink like a Swiss.” So let’s find out what the Swiss drank at that time.

Naturally, wine has played an important part in the Swiss culture and is considered, deservedly, to be one of the traditional Swiss drinks. Drinking wine has been especially popular in the French-speaking cantons, located on the border with France. Unlike the French wine, traditional Swiss wine produced around the Lake of Geneva has the best taste when it is newly produced. By the way, you should keep in mind that, at that time, drinking was one of the ways to celebrate national holidays. Many researchers say that such festivals, where people had been heavily drinking, helped the then-vulnerable Swiss state to become stronger.

In the 19th century, the industry of wine has been extremely damaged by a phylloxera bug that ravaged the grape fields. This prompted the German-speaking parts of Switzerland to be heavier on drinking beer. Moreover, the Swiss brewers borrowed the techniques of producing beer from their German competitors (at that time, the so-called “Beer Gesetz” had already been valid), thus making a far better beer than ever before. Though, the tradition of drinking wine in the Western part of the country mostly remained. “Helles” Bier is a light beer, whereas “Dunkles” is dark.

Another drink that we know very well nowadays and that also derives from Switzerland is Liqueur. Basically, the creation of this drink was somewhat similar to Schnapps – it also was just a home infusion. Among the most popular sorts of Liqueur nowadays, there are such drinks like Pflümli (produced from plums) and Kirsch (it is a high-alcohol drink made from cheery pits and juice). Träsch – yes, sounds like “trash”, but it is actually brandy – is produced with the help of cider pears. Williamine is made of Williams pears, which are very fragrant.

traditional drinks in Switzerland

Liqueur is one of the traditional Swiss drinks

By the middle of the 18th century, such drinks as tea and coffee appeared in Switzerland as well. Right then, the first coffee and tea shops started to appear in the country. Indeed, such beverages cannot be called as traditional Swiss drinks, but they played an important role in the development of the country. At that time, however, only rich people could afford to have a cup of coffee in the morning or sit back, relax, and relish a cup of Indian or Brazilian tea.

After the Second World War, the Swiss people focused their efforts on producing Cola-like drinks. There was even a drink called Vivi-Cola. However, the Swiss people were more successful at inventing other drinks. For example, Nestle invented the first soluble coffee ever. Ovaltine, a milk flavoring product with chocolate, also derives from Switzerland and has had an incredible success. Even at the present time, the Swiss people seem obsessed with both sugar beverages and milk drinks.


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