Spirited Traveler: Moving beyond beer in Munich

NEW YORK Tue Jun 19, 2012 5:08pm IST

Pictures shows Munich's famous hotel Bayerischer Hof, May 22, 2006. REUTERS/Alexandra Winkler

Pictures shows Munich's famous hotel Bayerischer Hof, May 22, 2006.

Credit: Reuters/Alexandra Winkler

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - From a tippler's point of view, Munich is best known for Oktoberfest, the annual celebration of beer referred to by some as "the world's largest keg party."

But there is more to Munich than beer and BMWs. As a noted financial and publishing hub, the economic centre of southern Germany is recognized for its prosperity and high living standards, as well as its Bavarian grandeur and love of "Gem├╝tlichkeit" (coziness).

Altogether, this means that Munich has much to toast.

For starters, the city has a remarkably sophisticated cocktail circuit. In addition to the expected wide range of beers, travelers can sample drinks at an array of cocktail-centric bars ranging from classic tippler haven Barista Bar (Kardinal-Faulhaber-Strasse 11) to Mauro's Negroni Club (www.maurosnegroniclub.de/).

At each of these outposts look for drink menus that rival professional publications, often bound and packed with historical references, glossy photos and hundreds of spirits and cocktails from which to choose.

But perhaps the best-known personality in Munich's cocktail scene is Charles Schumann, a male model, cocktail book author and owner of American bar Schumann's (www.schumanns.de).

The bar has developed a reputation for celebrity sightings as well as impeccably made cocktails such as the Swimming Pool. For business travelers in particular, Schumann recommends his Schumann's Tagesbar (bit.ly/LClrje) outpost, located near the downtown hotels.

Although Schumann declined to steer tipplers to rival cocktail bars, he recommends a handful of grand hotels with bars as "always good bets" for business travelers.

These picks include any of the six bars within the Hotel Bayerischer Hof (bit.ly/4x5gU5) or the English-style Jahreszeiten Bar within the Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten (www.kempinski.com/en/munich). Both hotels date back to the 1800s. Schumann also points to the more contemporary Hotel Cortiina (www.cortiina.com/).

In addition to substantial cocktail and wine lists, travelers here can also find excellent selections of Munich's favorite beverage: beer.

RECIPE: Swimming Pool Cocktail

Adapted from the book "American Bar: The Artistry of Mixing Drinks" by Charles Schumann

This exotic blue drink was created in 1979 by Charles Schumann and it is arguably still the drink for which he is best known. 25 ml coconut cream 50 ml pineapple juice 25 ml vodka 50 ml white rum 10 ml Blue Curacao 1 cherry, for garnish 1 piece of pineapple, for garnish

Combine coconut cream, pineapple, vodka and rum in a shaker with ice. Shake well, and strain into a hurricane glass over crushed ice. Slowly pour the Blue Curacao into the glass (this will create a light blue, swimming pool-like effect). Garnish with cherry and pineapple, and serve with a straw.

(Kara Newman is the author of "The Secret Financial Life of Food", Columbia University Press; publication date autumn 2012. Any opinions expressed are her own.)

(Editing by Peter Myers)

(Created by Paul Casciato)

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