Countless rainy days haven't stopped me from crafting, creating, and testing out easy cocktails to enjoy this summer. Weather be damned- I'm going to pretend it's summer if I have to! In that light I wanted to share with you a dead simple recipe for a Grapefruit Radler. The Radler or Radlermass, literally translating to 'cyclist's liter,' was invented in the 1920's by a German innkeeper who needed a solution to extend his supply of beer that eager cyclists riding in from Munich were quickly consuming. He mixed a 50/50 ratio of his remaining lager with lemon soda and marketed it as the perfect drink for cyclists- a thirst quenching beer 'cocktail' that wouldn't get you too drunk to ride your bike back home! It was such a hit that beer gardens all throughout Germany started offering this tasty mixture. And now you can enjoy this simple and refreshing beer-based "sports-drink" too! There are several German and Austrian beer brands that export their Radler to the States- Stiegl sells a tasty Grapefruit Radler that you can find at local bars and in better beer stores. It's also incredibly easy to make your own Radler, using your favorite pale lager and either a homemade fresh fruit soda or store-bought citrus soda. For additional flavor and an added kick to the alcohol content of this beer cocktail you can also play with adding your favorite gin or flavored vodka.
Whether you're cycling the alps or your local neighborhood, try a Radler this summer as refreshing pick-me-up! Cheers!
Grapefruit Radler Cocktail
makes (2) 12 oz. cocktails
(1) bottle of pale lager- I tried (2) different Ohio brews- Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold and Rhinegeist's Cougar Blonde Ale. For a more traditional version of this drink look for a nice German lager like Weihenstephaner's Original Premium lager.
12 oz. of Grapefruit soda- I used Squirt but you could easily make your own with fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice, simple syrup, and club soda. You can check out the steps to make your own here.
(optional but recommended) 3 oz. of Blueberry or Huckleberry Flavored Vodka. Stoli makes a nice blueberry vodka but I decided to give this 360 Huckleberry Vodka a go and it's quite tasty (and the bottle is very cool!)
In a 16 oz. glass filled with ice combine 6 oz. of grapefruit soda with 6 oz. (half the bottle) of the pale lager. Add 1.5 oz. of the blueberry vodka and gently stir to combine. Do the same with a second glass for a favorite friend. Garnish with a slice of grapefruit if you please and enjoy!!
Cheers to a fabulous weekend!