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Julie Milne – Switzerland – Part 2

Julie Milne – Switzerland – Part 2
Julie Milne – Switzerland – Part 2

Beverages I have encountered.

The best part of my Junior farmer exchange is living with host families and getting to be a part of daily life here – which means I am having experiences I would never get if I came as a tourist, staying in hotels or Airbnb’s.

Apple Shorley, Rivella, Banana Milk, Coffee with Schnapps, 0% beer, 0% Cider, 0% cocktails and sparkling water these are a few of my beverage experiences.

Sparkling water – You have probably heard that in Europe you must specify if you would like ‘still’ or sparkling water. So, I expected Germans/Swiss to drink more sparkling water then I am used to… which doesn’t take much. But I was shocked to find my 1st host family only drank sparkling water. They have sparkling water delivered once a week in crates of 12×1 L glass bottles. For 7 people they would have about 10 crates delivered.

I don’t drink pop or bubbly drinks most of the time, so my body was not use to all the bubbles. *burp*. Thankfully the tap water is flat, so I stuck to that.

But I did find one way to enjoy sparkling water, the Apple Schorly –  “Germans favorite non-alcoholic drink”. A 50:50 mix of apple juice and sparkling water. You can buy it in individual bottles when you are on the go or make it yourself. Two of my host families have had apple juice made from their own apples in 10 or 5 L bladders (like boxed wine) so at the dinner table you mix yourself an apple schorly.

Ironically, my final host has a 10 acre apple orchard and doesn’t have apple juice with every meal like my previous hosts!

Rivella – this is a pop that you can only get in Switzerland, and it is a classic here. But it tastes like rockets (you know the Canadian candy, the little multi-coloured pills that were always the last ones to be eaten at Halloween?) I will be sending all my host families a bag of rockets so they can make their own comparison. Because it is very weird for me to drink rockets….

Banana milk is better than it sounds. Just put milk and bananas in a blender = banana milk.

Alchoholfree drinks – There are lots of 0% alcohol drinks, that come in cans. We have all been at a party where we were DD or not drinking for whatever reason and were stuck drinking water all night… not in Europe! 0% Cider, mixed drinks, radlers, and beers are readily available everywhere.

And Coffee with schnapps – a Swiss classic – popular after a meal when you are at a restaurant or have guests. Or in my case when you have just hiked up a mountain.

July 20, 2023 – Just like most mornings while on exchange – I had very little idea of how I am going to spend the day. I knew the family was going to try and harvest wheat, so I would likely be helping with that. But at breakfast my host-mother Evelin asked if I wanted to go hiking with the kids and their grandparents to go see their cows in the alps.

So a half-hour later I am in the back seat of a car heading to the mountains! (the only English speakers are the 10 and 12 year-olds (same ones who took me for a walk with their goats).

How long will this hike be? I don’t know.

I know we packed lunches and Evelin said we will be back in the evening, and it can’t be that hard, I am with children and two seniors. Right?

Thankfully I was right. We hike up the path the cows take to get to the alp. It is steep, but beautiful, and there are wild berries along the way to taste! After lunch we made it to the mountain hut where the cows are milked. And there is a cabin where the farmer normally stays but this week friends were using it as a holiday house.

Like many grandfathers do, they make friends everywhere! So, after a few minutes of chatting, the couple on holiday offered us coffee. Now I am not a big coffee drinker but the Swiss are! So, I accepted and after a few minutes I was handed a bowl of black coffee, A BOWL! Because the cabin didn’t have enough mugs. Then the man comes around with a clear bottle with a handwritten label that I can’t read.


Oh why the hell not, so I hold my bowl out like Oliver Twist and watch this man pour a large shots worth of a mysterious clear liquid into my bowl…

For the record, it tasted terrible, and I had a buzz for the remaining half of the hike….

A truly unforgettable day in the Swiss Alps!

I am working on a Daily Journal of my trip. I will share a link as soon as I finish it….. hopefully before October


Julie Milne

PTBO County Junior Farmers


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