Sunday, July 20, 2014

They call it Schorle or G'spritzt

Everyone knows that apple juice is delicious (ok, nearly everyone, some would be allergic, have some quirk about the taste or not having tasted it as yet). It has nearly - as taste is concerned - the strength of wine, yet it is non-alcoholic. However, on a hot day, you might want something a bit thinner.

Sure enough, in Germany they would call it Apfelschorle, in Austria Apfelsaft G'spritzt. Half a glass of apple juice, half a glass of sparkling water. Or whatever proportions you prefer.

Before going on, as we are on terminology, yes, the German language is decentralised, fortunately. For instance, in some parts of the area one would call blackcurrants Schwarze Johannisbeeren and redcurrants Rote Johannisbeeren (Saint John's berries), in other parts you would say Schwarze Riebisl and Rote Riebisl (confer Ribes, the Latin word for them). If I did not get the terminology wrong in Vienna, you need not bother to say "schwarz" or "rot" since the black ones are Johannisbeeren, like Cassis in French, and the red ones are Riebisl, like groseilles in French. German has no one linguistic centre which decides every question of standard terminology, precisely as English has at least two main centres - Oxford and New York (or whatever) and a lot of subsidiary ones. But back to Schorle/G'spritzt.

And the same is true of wine, a hot day. Weiße or Rote Weinschorle in Germany, or Weißwein G'spritzt or Rotwein G'spritzt in Austria continue the ancient custom of adding water to wine.

It is very good for the taste and comfort on a hot day. And, since it means less alcohol per sip, it slows down the intake of alcohol. Not meaning you should drink too much of this drink any more than of wine unmixed, of course. "Who's this moderation you should drink alcohol with?" as they joke in France, that is a question that can be seriously answered: a side of yourself, if you are as you should want to be.

Hans Georg Lundahl
Bpi, Georges Pompidou
Sixth Sunday after Pentecost