German Word of the Week: Muttersaft


Germ ans, we are told, consume more fruit juice than any other nation on the face of the planet, except Canada and the United States (!). As you might expect, this daily activity has been subjected by German agencies to a great deal of careful scrutiny. Here's a chart (g) showing that more than 1/3 of Germans drink fruit juice at least several times a week. There's even an Ordnance on Fruit Juice, Certain Similar Products, and Fruit Nectars (g). Every bottle of serious juice comes with full information about the latest results of official testing designed to certify its purity and organic status.

And, as you might expect, Germans produce a lot of high-quality fruit juice. Sure, you can get Capri Sun and other objectionable fluids (g) here, but real Germans would never drink that syrup. Instead, they'll reach for any number of exotic fruit combinations, or naturally-cloudy apple juice, or the ubiquitous  Apfelschorle, the mixture of apple juice and carbonated water that is Germany's national summer refreshment.

Or, if they're hardcore like me, they'll reach for Muttersaft, which literally translated, means "mother-juice." I know what you're thinking (g). Stop it! Muttersaft refers to the pure, unfiltered, unsweetened first-press juice of a fruit or berry, as the organic-juice producer Rabenhorst (g) informs us on this website. It's thick and syrupy and not at all sweet. You could theoretically drink this stuff straight, but you might dissolve a few teeth that way. Instead, you might add a couple ounces of it to mineral water, or mix up some fabulously astringent cocktails with it. Mix up some linden-tree honey, blueberry and cranberry Muttersaft, mineral water and some ice-cold vodka, and have yourself a 100% organic merry old time!

4 thoughts on “German Word of the Week: Muttersaft

  1. I was prepared to be totally disgusted by this post, remembering your discourse on the word “Muttermundschleim”…


  2. To my ears, the word muttersaft sounds more like the invention of pubescent teenagers than a “real” word. I doubt this word really exists in German (you would have to make a survey among older people to be sure) and in my youth I have never heard that word. If I was in charge of marketing at Rabenhorst, I would seriously consider changing it because of the disgusting associations the word evokes.

    But even the more neutral synonym “direktsaft” didn’t exist until a few years ago.


  3. We – 44 and 36 and natives – never ever heard of Muttersaft. It is either regional in use or a very recent discharge of the bio-öko marketing machinery.


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