Is alcohol allowed in Darjeeling?

ALTERNATIVES TO ALCOHOL : Liquid for the dry season

It will be a wine and we will never be. That's what it says in the Wienerlied. In the meantime, it has been the other way around: It can't be wine, especially not with food. People have to work or drive, they watch their lines or take medication, they are dry alcoholics or they are pregnant. But what do you drink with a good meal if you cannot or do not want to drink wine or beer? Some suggestions to start Lent.

You are on the safe side with single-origin fruit juices. Romana Echensperger, head sommelier at the Grand Hotel Schloss Bensberg in Bergisch Gladbach, recommends elderberry juice with meat, "Quince juice goes well with tart dishes such as cod or veal foot". Every evening she has at least two guests who don't want to drink alcohol, anyway at lunchtime. Apple juice is suitable for starters because of its acidity, tart, fruity currant juice is a good substitute for red wine. Fruit juice made from concentrate is taboo for Echensperger. “It's one-dimensional and sweet as a card.” Also unsuitable: freshly squeezed orange juice. Unless you want to commit an acid attack on your menu.
Who drinks them: people who want to do everything right.

Tea is the new wine. While the most sophisticated tea blends used to be vanilla, yogi or women's tea, you can now buy thousands of teas in Germany, black, red, green and white, varieties such as Nilgiri, Oolong, Gyokuro, Matcha, Yunnan or Lung Ching. And first of all the vocabulary that connoisseurs can throw at their ears. First or second flush? Dimbula district or the southern slope of the Himalaya? Tea is the ideal alternative for people who order wine in a restaurant because they would otherwise have no topic of conversation. Especially since there is a suitable tea for almost every meal, Assam or Darjeeling with meat, jasmine tea with fish, fruit teas with dessert.
Who drinks it: people who can wait.

There were times when drinking water was forbidden by the authorities. In the cathedral of the 17th century, for example: the water was dirty and contaminated, the wine was so cheap that you mixed the mortar with it. Today, water is filled into bottles that look like perfume bottles or crystal vases. It is extracted in the Fiji Islands ("Fiji") or bottled when the moon is full ("Aqua Luna"), and it is so expensive that one wonders why mortar is not mixed with wine again. Many top restaurants now have their own water menu. The one on Berlin's “First Floor”, where Gunnar Tietz, Sommelier of the Year 2008, works, lists 34 different types of mineral water, from Norway, Argentina, New Zealand and South Africa. Sommelière Echensperger can't do much with that. “Transporting Fiji water halfway around the globe is absurd.” Beware: bottled water could soon be as ecologically as ugly as sports cars and low-cost airlines.
Who drinks it: Bottle fetishists who preach water and drink water.

Anyone who serves lemonade with their meals either owns a fast food chain or is a particularly hardened supporter of molecular cuisine. However, there are definitely top restaurants where people think about Bionade. The chefs at “Zum alde Gott” in Neuweier could imagine the litchi variant for a sorbet because of its mild sweetness. The David-versus-Goliath-Effect comes with it for free. A German company that threw the Coca-Cola group off and is still successful - Bionade is an economic stimulus package for drinking.
Who drinks them: People who show bottled water drinkers their ecological footprint.

Yes, you can drink vinegar. Not the salad vinegar from the discounter, of course, but special drinking vinegars. Ursula Heinzelmann, a trained sommelier and author, recommends the matured vinegars from the Doctorshof. They are made from noble sweet wines that contain a lot of sugar. This softens the acidity of the vinegar and complements it at the same time. Drinking vinegar goes well at the beginning and at the end of a meal. Mixed with mineral water for an aperitif, it is a substitute for sherry or champagne.
Who drinks it: Only those who do not have to remember that Jesus was once served vinegar on the cross.

The hangover is part of the intoxication like the guilt of the atonement. Drinking and wanting to stay sober - that's presumptuous. The penalty for this is the taste of non-alcoholic wine. It alternates between fermented apple spritzer and sweet and sour nothing. Alcohol is a flavor carrier, and what is left out of it in the laborious distillation process has to be made up for with sugar. Incomprehensibly, 15 million liters of non-alcoholic wine and sparkling wine are produced in Germany every year, some of which goes to the Arab world.
Who drinks it: Everyone who also likes fat-free pizza and cream cake light.

A steak and a glass of whole milk - generations had this combination in mind when it came to growing up and being strong. Today experts say that milk is not a drink, but a food. Nevertheless: cold milk to eat has something to offer. With sweet casseroles or with pies and cakes. Or with creamy soups.
Who drinks them: children, kittens.

Sausage, cake and a bottle of wine are on the table of the bad Friederich from "Struwwelpeter". Today there would be apple spritzer, the drink that everyone can agree on, from toddlers to old people. Tastes like something, but is also not too intense, fits in both summer and winter. Just like the color beige. And apple spritzer is just as boring.
Who drinks them: People who want to drink you over your thirst.

Coffee with dinner - you feel like you're in an American diner, where buxom waitresses ensure that the filter coffee never runs dry. Coffee is the drink of the economic miracle, a wealth that everyone can afford. With the emergence of latte macchiato and co. Coffee became a luxury product, the democratic filter coffee, which everyone could pour into themselves at any occasion, is a dying species like full employment and secure pensions. Only in Scandinavia, as is so often the case, is the world still in order. The world champions of coffee consumption also live here: Finns drink an average of nine cups a day.
Who drinks it: residents of still functioning welfare states.

In Italy or France a carafe of water is on the table, in a Viennese coffee house the waiter brings a glass without being asked. In the meantime, tap water has also found its way into upscale restaurants. Berlin can turn on the tap immediately: in a comparative test among 270 German cities with more than 40,000 inhabitants, the tap water received the rating “good plus”.
Who drinks it: Families who hold hands before eating and say “Bon appetit” in unison.

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