While walking along the river toward Spitz, we smelled something sweet all around us and realized that apricot trees lined the walkway. Finally, it dawned on us that the "marillen" we'd seen advertised in every form imaginable were apricots. Marillen strudel, Frische Marillen, Marillen Saft. The Wachau region is as proud of their apricots as they are their grapes. I would argue, more so.
A father-son pair from Krakow who camped next to us two nights ago described a farmstand "selling apricot everything" and shared their bounty with us: chocolate covered bits of apricot pit and jam. Our own grocery store-bought sampling of the local fruit swayed in a more adult direction. Bailoni apricot schnapps is produced in Krems an der Dauner, the largest town around here. We bought some fresh apricots at the Spar and set out to create a Wachauner cocktail.
Naturally, the perfect mixer for the schnapps was local wine. Grüner Vetliner and Bailoni were poured into a Klean Kanteen and our two little orange globes were cut up and dropped in to marinate. A few hours later, we poured the mixture over some frozen blueberries, which acted as our ice in a country (continent, really) in which it's impossible to buy any cubes. We purchased some tonic to top it off, but never wound up using it. The sangria was just sweet enough without it. As our new friends Andrej and Patrick tucked into their tent, Merlin and I sat on the sand and toasted the Danube.