The Hugo: Minty Memories of Berlin’s Best Drink

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The Hugo is also served in a highball glass, although I prefer the wineglass.

Visitors may flock to Germany for its beer, and I did enjoy a lovely warm afternoon in a cozy tree-filled beer garden on my last visit to Berlin. But my favorite drink was a Hugo, the “it” drink a few summers ago.

I left Berlin, but brought my appreciation of the Hugo back home with me after tasting several variations in bars across Berlin, part of the in-depth research I conduct in such endeavors.

My favorite may have been in the bar in our hotel, the 25hours hotel bikini berlin. (Weird name for a hotel, right? Not a bikini in site.) The bar at the top of the hotel is the Monkey Bar, named for its view of the monkeys in Zoo Berlin next door. I had my first Hugo here, and fell in love with its refreshing, minty taste.

But where to find elderflower syrup? I was certain it wouldn’t be in any aisle in my local Publix. A quick search led me to Ikea, where I bought a large bottle for $5. Buy fresh mint in the grocery store, or grow your own.

The Hugo

Makes one. But what’s the point of that? Go ahead and adjust it for a few servings.

2-3 parts Prosecco (100-150 ml)
• 3 parts seltzer water (150 ml)
• 1 Tablespoon elderflower syrup
• Juice of one fresh lime
• 4-5 mint leaves
• ice cubes

If you have a wooden muddler to mash the mint leaves in your cocktail glass, go ahead and use it. Otherwise, using a mortar and pestle would work, too. Or you can use a wooden spoon and a bowl – whatever method you come up with to crush the mint will work. Transfer the mint leaves to your glass and add the other ingredients. Stir and serve with a straw

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