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Kornbrand, also known as korn, is a traditional spirit from Germany which is distilled from fermented rye, or sometimes from other grains like barley or wheat. Kornbrand has a long tradition in German cities like Berlin, where it has been drunk by the locals for hundreds of years and can be found on sale in every supermarket and liquor store.
But you've probably never seen kornbrand on sale in Britain, as it is rarely exported outside of German cities like Berlin. So what is it, and why should you drink it? To answer that, let us introduce you to Berliner Brandstifter, a Berlin-based distiller who make gin and vodka as well as the traditional kornbrand.
Berliner Brandstifter make small-batch spirits including kornbrand
Berliner Brandstifter are a producer of artisinal, small-batch spirits who work out of the German capital city, Berlin. They grow herbs, flowers, and other plants for flavouring their spirits on a small farm in Seisegut, which is just outside the main city of Berlin. They use local plants for flavours the spirits to give a distinctive flavour which is unique to the Berlin area.
To make their kornbrand, Berliner Brandstifter use high quality wheat which is grown in Germany near to Berlin and is of quality class 1, so you can be sure that it's the most flavourful and high quality of cereals. In fact, more than 15,000 grains of wheat are required to make a single bottle of kornbrand!
The wheat goes through a complex distillation process before being filtered seven times, for an incredibly smooth drinking experience. The filtration makes the kornbrand more pure by removing any lingering impurities which might contaminate the flavour. The remaining liquid has the distinct Berlin taste of clean, sweet wheat.
How to drink Berliner Brandstifter's kornbrand
Perhaps you fancy picking up a bottle of Berliner Brandstifter's kornbrand, but you're not sure how to drink it. Well, let us help you out with that. The way it's drunk in Berlin is simple – chilled, in shots, and with good company! Some people in Berlin also like to mix it into a long drink, by adding a shot to ice and topping it with cola, lemonade, or tonic water.
Or, for a real taste of Berlin, see if you can find a bottle of Club Mate. This sparkling, caffeinated soft drink is based on Mate tea from South America and is something you'll see being drunk on the street and in every bar and club in Berlin. It's a favourite among the party crowd thanks to its ability to keep you up and dancing! It's also a favourite among locals for mixing with spirits. If you enjoy a vodka with Red Bull on a night out, then try kornbrand with Club Mate for a German take on this energising party drink.