Sunday, June 15, 2014

Beer Hack Number 1 - The Radler

Totally rad..er...radler?
There was a time when I would have totally turned my nose up at the idea of making a "beer cocktail". Why adulterate and/or pollute a perfectly fine beer? Heck, I generally disapprove of mixing hard liquor with anything, too. Keep it clean has always been my motto...well, when it comes to libations, anyway. Yup, I like my booze like I like my women...simple and straight up...uh, that didn't come out right. Never mind. In any case, even an old, set-in-his-ways codger like me can change. That's a good thing.

Today, I'm talking about the Radler, also known as the Shandy in some parts. The Radler is a very easy to make beer cocktail. Not much too it, really. All you need to do is mix a light lager, pilsner or hefewiezen with some citrus soda or lemonade. Easy breezy.

I prefer San Pellegrino grapefruit soda. I make mine with a mix of 50/50 soda vs. beer. However, you can make it to your own taste. No rules here! According to Wikipedia (I spare no expense in my research) the Radler was officially "invented" in 1922 by Munich gastronomer Franz Xaver Kugler. Okay, but I really wonder how much credit can be given to one man for mixing beer with lemonade. Huh, seems like it could happen almost by accident anywhere (think "you got chocolate in my peanut butter").

As for the beer, you could probably use any popular adjunct lager to get the job done. That sweet citrus soda will likely knock the heinous, corny, filler flavor out of anything you mix it with, but why? Yesterday, I utilized Orlison Brewing's Havanuther Light Lager. It was delicious in the Radler and on it's own. How could you go wrong with a tasty, NW craft beer? You can't!

A Radler makes a perfect BBQ or yard work beverage. Light, refreshing and totally thirst quenching. There are several "pre-mixed" Radlers available on the shelves of your local markets. Leinenkugel Brewing makes a bunch of different flavors and 10 Barrel Brewing's Swill is a mighty fine "American Radler". However, a drink this easy to make calls for some home experimentation. I recommend you give it a shot the next time you're pushing that lawnmower around in 90 degree heat. You won't be sorry!

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