Much of German cooking is based on the need to make crap ingredients palatable. There’s your Sauerbraten, for example, which originated as a way to make a big, stringy, tough chunk of meat edible by marinating it for a week in a vinegar & spice bath before cooking it. Since the Middle Ages, Germans have been eating French Toast, too…only in Germany it’s called “Arme Ritter” (Poor Knights), presumably because it was a way for poor folk to turn stale bread into a dinner.
Now, as a beer-drinking people, Germans had to come up with a way to turn substandard beverages into something drinkable as well. You may invade a country and find that the local brew is not fit for a German to drink in its pure form, so you have to find a way to make do with it until the natives can be taught to brew a proper beer.
Here’s one way to turn crappy beer into an acceptable summer beverage:
Literally “dirt bag” because of the dirty appearance of the beer foam after the mixing process, the Drecksack is prepared as follows:
–Take a pint glass.
–Fill it halfway to two-thirds of the way with beer, according to taste.
–Top it off with the cola of your choice. (I use Pepsi One, or Diet Pepsi.)
The Drecksack looks barbaric to a beer lover at first glance, but it’s actually a pretty good, refreshing summer drink. It’s mixed with all kinds of good beer, too, and it’s readily available in German pubs under various names. Drecksack is used in Westphalia, around Cologne, and in the Ruhr area. Around Hannover, it’s called a Diesel. Mixed with Altbier, it becomes a Krefelder. In Bavaria, cola mixed with Weissbier is called a Neger (negro), Mohr (moor), or Colaweizen (cola wheat). The generic term for a beer-cola mix in most other parts of Germany is “ein Dreckiges” (a dirty one).
So there—now you know something about Germany you probably didn’t know before, and you can order a beer mix in a German Gasthaus with confidence and cultural awareness. You won’t even get strange looks for drinking the excellent German beer diluted with cola. The Drecksack is a common and perfectly acceptable drink choice, although some people consider them what we’d call “cheerleader beer” here in the U.S.—suitable for lightweights, designated drivers, and womenfolk. To the less traditionalist, the Drecksack is a good drink for a slow summer day, because it won’t knock you upside the noggin like a Pilsener will when it’s ninety and sunny outside.