I have been patiently waiting for this day to arrive, I finally get to share my new favorite drink. And it's something unusual, a beer cocktail! Last summer I went to a comedy show with some girlfriends to see Amy Schumer, who is hilarious by the way. Afterward we wanted to have some drinks, and revel in our girls night out, so we went to a restaurant I had never been to before Double Dragon. The food was excellent, we had some cold spicy peanut-y noodles, and we got a pitcher of a beer that the server recommended, a grapefruit radler. A radler is the same thing as a shandy, it's a fruit beer, made from a mixture of beer, fruit juice and soda. A shandy is an English term, and are usually lemonade and beer. Radler is a German term, and it usually done with grapefruit. The beer was amazing, and so was the atmosphere- cafe lights and picnic tables in one of the best outdoor seating experiences I have ever had.
So, when I heard we were doing a BBQ theme for memorial day, I knew this was what I wanted to make, because that meant I would have to revisit the original grapefruit radler that I had, and then try to make my own homemade version.
So that's just about exactly what I did. I headed out to my local specialty beer store, and found gold.
The original is delightful, just as I remembered. Sweet and crisp, and wheaty. Have i mentioned that i barely even like or drink beer?! So for me to be excited about this, is a pretty big deal!
My first thought was to make a fancy redo- fresh squeezed grapefruit juice and club soda, you can't go wrong right? I used a ruby red grapefruit and a fancy lager from Germany.
You want to make these with about 50% beer, 25% soda and 25% juice. Very scientific!
Then I decided to make a cheap redo, my thought was something that you could grab at a convenience store and whip together in your friends back yard.
That's right folks, Miller Lite and Squirt. Half and half, and you are ready to sip!
You can see from the picture, that the two on the left are the same color, these are the homemade versions, the one on the right is straight out of the can and is dyed to have a richer, more grapefruit-y color. This is done with cochineal- which is totally a bug- GROSS! But this beer is so good, I'll drink it, bug juice and all!
Now for the taste test, I'm going to be honest here- the fresh squeeze grapefruit one was less than awesome, what a let down! But the good news is, the squirt and cheap beer alternative, was just as delicious as the original. So the next time you are feeling like a fruity beer drink, go by any convenience store and make yourself a grapefruit radler! All your friends will be stoked to learn a new drink and think you are oh so exotic!