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Panache, a Swiss Mixed Beer

Next to our daily coffee fix, we Swiss really enjoy our 'Feierabendbier'. This literally means 'quitting time beer' and refers to a beer drunk in the after-work hours. Maybe we're not quite like the Irish who are said to go straight to the pub after work but many of us still like to enjoy a good cold beer when we get home.

Much like with coffee, where people usually like it either strong or not, there are Swiss people who don't like their beers to be strong. Especially so after a long day of work. This is when we usually opt for a typical Swiss mixed beer called 'Panache'.

Panache Beer - KFM  /
Mixed beers or beer drinks are a great alternative to 'real' beers. I'm not talking about pre-mixed beer that is sold in supermarkets. Those suck! Good mixed beer is made on the spot with beer and a soft drink, syrup, liquor or other interesting ingredients.

The most famous of all Swiss mixed beers is the Panache, pronounced 'Pah-nash'. It is a mix of beer and lemonade. It tastes fresh, a bit sour and sweet. You have to make sure the beer and lemonade are cold though - nothing is worse than a lukewarm Panache!

Swiss Mixed Beers & Soft Drinks

Panache is not the only mixed beer we drink in Switzerland. There are plenty of other options for beer drinks:
  • Panache: Beer and Lemonade (Sprite, 7up, etc.)
  • Diesel: Beer and Coke (Coca Cola, Pepsi Cola, etc.)
  • BMW: Beer and mineral water 
  • Monaco: Light beer with grenadine syrup
  • Schwuchtel (vulgar: 'gay guy'): Beer and apple juice
  • Uboot ('submarine'): Beer and liquor (a big beer glass with small liquor glass dropped inside)
If you are not much of a beer drinker, you might like some of the popular soft drink mixes we drink in Switzerland:
  • Spezi: Cola and orangeade or orange juice
  • Skiwasser: Sparkling water with syrup
  • Schorle: Sparkling water and apple juice
There are probably many more tasty combinations for mixed beer or mixed soft drinks. If you prefer a regular soft drink, you can try Rivella, a popular Swiss soft drink.  If the weather is cold, hot drinks like punch or Ovomaltine chocolate drinks are a great alternative to cold a beer! 

A few side notes:
1) In southern Germany a Panache is called a 'Radler'. Just in case you want to order one while visiting over there.
2) If you are looking for good Swiss beer try one of the smaller breweries. Feldschlösschen is probably the best known beer in Switzerland but not necessarily the one that tastes best. You can find an overview of over 500 Swiss beers and 100 breweries on the website Schweizer Bier.

Wikipedia on Beer Drinks / Mixed Beer



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