Spirited Traveler: Moving beyond beer in Munich

Tue Jun 19, 2012 7:38am EDT
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By Kara Newman

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At each of these outposts look for drink menus that rival professional publications, often bound and packed with historical references, glossy photos and hundreds of spirits and cocktails from which to choose.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

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