Ever since I tried it at a recent beer event I’ve been obsessed by the humble radler. What is it you ask? A radler, is a low alcohol beverage made 50/50 of lager or pilsner and sparkling lemonade. After a quick google search i found it dates back to 1912 and originates from Germany. However, as the story goes it was created by an Inn Keeper in 1922, Franz Xaver Kugler, who realised he didn’t have enough beer to serve to his regulars who were cyclists. He mixed his remaining beer stock with fresh citrus lemonade and they loved it. Probably for the same reason I do, its thirst quenching ability.
This type of drink is more commonly known here in Ireland as a Shandy. Growing up I remember my Father drinking this. To this day my Father in law would be a fan of it. Our version would be half a pint of Heineken or Carlsberg mixed with 7up.
The beer event I mentioned was an introduction to an Austrian Brewery, Stiegl , that are being imported by O’ Haras. You can read more about that here thanks to SimonSaysBeer. I fell in love with their grapefruit radler. It was so full of flavour and so easy to drink at 2% abv. I’ve been hoping we’d see more of this by now.
More recently, on a shopping trip to Lidl I noticed they sell Perlenbacher in cans and bottles. We purchased a few to see what it would be like. We were pleasantly surprised. It was light and refreshing with a zingy lemon punch to it. My Sister happened to visit and I gave her some to try and she enjoyed it too. Since then I’ve been hunting down a grapefruit one. It wasn’t until Wayne mentioned it, that i made my own! He found this recipe and off I went.
I had all the ingredients already so I was set. The first step was to make the fresh grapefruit soda:
- Juice one whole grapefruit (room temperature) pour into a seal-able container and refrigerate.
- Cut up juiced rind into chunks, place in a large plastic mixing bowl, add sugar and cover tightly with clingfilm.
- Let this stand at room temperature stirring every 45 minutes until sugar is dissolved. I’d plenty of time so i did this over 4 hours. You can leave it up to 12 if you prefer. I didn’t start it early enough for that.
- Measure reserved grapefruit juice, and juice remaining grapefruits to get 300 ml
- Add to sugar mixture with lemon juice and mix well
- Strain through a fine mesh strainer or piece of muslin cloth into a glass container. this can be stored for up to a week.
I of course didn’t wait that long and used it immediately. It was a hot sunny Sunday after all and we were thirsty. So to make the radler:
- When ready to serve, add soda water to the fresh grapefruit syrup. Adjust to taste. I made mine quite tart.
- For each radler add your chosen beer to a glass and mix with the grapefruit soda. I served mine in a pint glass.
It was great fun experimenting with this recipe. I had two different styles to work with. The first was Cotton Ball Brewing Mayfield 5 lager. This working incredibly well. The lager is really refreshing and crisp and carried the grapefruit syrup really well. The oohs and the gasps from Wayne confirmed it was indeed a success. The second was a bottle of Stiegl wheat beer. This was still nice but lacked the refreshing thirst quenching character of the lager. Have a go yourself and see what you come up with.
Movie Night is a very popular activity in any household.I was feeling very nostalgic the other day, reminiscing about my childhood and the snacks we used to enjoy while spending time with my family during a movie. Whether it was a movie at home or going to the cinema, the highlight was always the treats involved. From popcorn covered in melted butter to sweets and chocolates we all had our favourites. My father was heavily involved in these memories. He spoiled us with bowls of mixes, different crisp flavours and nuts, popcorn with chocolate, ice cream bowls over flowing with sweet treats. Needless to say this sparked some research into some “adult snacks” cooked with beer!
So after browsing through endless amounts of recipes I decided on three different treats to make. All recipes I chose came from The Beeroness Website. I’ve been a huge fan of hers for quite some time. Wayne bought me one of her cookbooks “The Craft Beer Cookbook”. I’ve had much fun recreating some of the recipes in it. I think Wayne enjoys being my guinea pig.
The first recipe is Beer & Sriracha candied nuts. During movie night there’s always a bag of cashew nuts devoured in Snob HQ so I decided to make them interesting. For this recipe I chose four types of nut; cashew, Brazil, hazelnut and pecans. After recently reviewing Brewdogs Neon Overlord on our podcast, which you can listen to here, I chose this for its spicy but sweet flavours. We’re both big fans of spicy foods so these were a no brainer. They took little time and hardly any effort required but the outcome was irresistible. Once you start snacking on these its very difficult to stop. Next time I attempt these I’ll up the sriracha levels. The only change I made was sprinkling salt all over them before they went into the oven and again half way through. I’m also lucky I saved a portion for my father. They were such a hit I’ve already received orders for Christmas.
Every weekend chicken wings are on our menu either as Friday night dinner, Saturday afternoon snack or post Sunday evening podcast recording. Wayne was king of cooking them, until I intervened. We usually use franks hot sauce but I chose grilled beer & brown sugar wings. The beer I chose was a little closer to home, an Irish porter called Dark Arts Porter by Trouble Brewing. This is one of our favourites. I’ve often used it in a batch of brownies. I marinated the wings in the beer brine for approximately five hours before cooking. Instead of grilling them I baked them at 200 degrees for fourty minutes, basting them every ten and turning them half way through. The were deliciously sticky, juicy and very tasty. Give them a try!
What movie night is complete without nachos? There’s nothing more satisfying than scooping up cheese dip or salsa and stuffing your face. So you guessed it, I made a dip! I love strong flavours so chose mature Gouda and Mature red cheddar cheese to make foolproof beer cheese sauce. To compliment the strong cheese flavours I used Francis big bangin IPA. It was recently released by Mc Gargles in cans and Simon of Simonsays beer blog and their beer specialist gave us some to try. I couldn’t resist using it in this recipe. The sauce was so good I could’ve drank it all. Next time I cook cauliflower I’ll whip up a batch of this to pour all over it.
I hope you try these super easy recipesyourself, hell if i can cook them anyone can. Oh just in case you are wondering the movies we watched were Independence Day: Resurgence & The Huntsman: Winters War.
**Neon Overlord was supplied to us by fourcorners & Francis Big Bangin IPA was given to us also**
Trouble Brewing Dark Arts Porter was purchased in our local O’Briens branch.