A Cicerone's Favorite Ways To Dress Up A Beer, German-Style

beer cocktails radler
beer cocktails radler - Static Media/Shutterstock/Getty

Getting creative with your alcohol is a huge part of drinking culture, but beer doesn't get nearly as much attention in this way as spirits do. But just because it's not receiving attention doesn't mean there aren't ways to spice up your beer game. Tasting Table recently had a chance to talk with Lindsay Jo Whirley, Newfields Assistant Director of Culinary Operations and certified cicerone.

There were two beer cocktails that Whirley recommended. "The first is a radler," Whirley told us. "A traditionally German or Austrian style of drink that 50/50 mixes lager beer with a citrusy soda, typically lemon or sometimes grapefruit... I like to use a Munich Helles as the base beer." If you've never done it before, mixing other drinks with beer will probably feel odd but that's just because it's not as common in the U.S. That's starting to change, though. You might not see very many people ordering a radler at the bar but there are canned beers that are similar in flavor profile such as shandies. Fair warning, your entire summer may revolve around radlers once you try this dangerously sippable concoction.

Read more: The 40 Absolute Best Cocktails That Feature Only 2 Ingredients

Sweet And Sour Sippers

berliner weisse mit schuss
berliner weisse mit schuss - Donstock/Getty Images

"The second drink also comes from Germany," Whirley went on, explaining that the Germans use "their Berlin classic beer endearingly called Berliner Weisse, served with sweet syrup added to it to make a drink called Berliner Weisse Mit Schuss, which is a full pour of the beer plus a shot of waldmeister syrup (bright green in color, spring herbal yet sweet in taste) or raspberry syrup." This is a good option for people who don't like how bitter beer comes across since the sweetness cuts through the bite.

A Berliner Weisse beer isn't all that common outside of Germany but you can substitute it for a different style. The Berliner Weisse is a tart wheat beer not unlike the sour beers we've seen popping up all over the place. Out of the most popular beers you'll regularly find at breweries, sour beers, pilsners, lagers, and wheat beers (also called hefeweizen) are all great options to substitute. "The end result is a sweet and tart little treat, that is also low in alcohol content," Whirley said. "It is sometimes difficult to find the waldmeister syrup here in the U.S., but any raspberry syrup should do."

If anyone gives you smack for making beer cocktails, you can remind them that Germans are titans of beer and drink radlers and Berliner Weisse Mit Schuss -- so what's the problem? Beer cocktails are unlikely to overtake traditional cocktails in popularity, but they're certainly an underrated way of mixing things up.

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