Beer can be a love or hate affair. If you're no fan of barley, hops and malt, try adding different things to beer until you discover a drink you can't get enough of. If your choice of additives is limited, squeeze a slice of lemon or lime into your glass of suds to give it a burst of citrus. Just remember that beer mixed with tasty ingredients is still alcohol, and is not safe to drink before driving.
Mix beer with different sodas for a light, tasty drink. Europeans enjoy a glass of half weiss (wheat) beer and half cola for a dark, fizzy beverage with a caffeine buzz. In Germany, no summer day is complete without a radler, also known as an alsterwasser. Made from equal parts lager and a soda like Sprite or ginger ale, the German Beer Institute says the radler was invented in the 1920s by an innkeeper who needed to serve thousands of thirsty cyclists.
Fight the bitter beer taste with a little sugar and spice. Make a porteree following Esquire magazine's recipe by mixing a quarter glass of chilled porter beer with a teaspoon of sugar syrup or superfine sugar powder. Throw in some ice and top it off with more porter, slowly pouring it in until the glass is full. Finally, give it a stir, add a little freshly grated nutmeg on top and enjoy.
Try a "Berliner weisse mit schuss," a sour beer mixed with a shot of flavored syrup. A traditional favorite in Germany's capital city, the drink is made using fizzy Berliner weisse beer sweetened with pink raspberry or green woodruff syrup, which has an almondlike taste. Home brewers can add special syrups in flavors like cherry, molasses and orange to their beer before it ferments, giving the finished product a sweet flavor.
Champagne and OJ
A classic cocktail, the black velvet makes a delightful evening or brunch-time tipple. Mix 1 part chilled dry champagne with 1 part stout beer, like Guinness, into a Collins glass or champagne flute. Pour slowly to prevent the mixture from foaming over and stir it quickly before serving. For a bee sting, blend equal parts orange juice and dark lager in a tall glass with ice and garnish with a slice of orange.
Hallie Engel is a food and lifestyle writer whose work has appeared in several international publications. She served as a restaurant critic for "Time Out Abu Dhabi" and "Time Out Amsterdam" and has also written about food culture in the United Arab Emirates for "M Magazine." She holds a bachelor's degree in communications and film studies from University of Amsterdam.
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