For many Americans, nothing is better than a good ol’ beer.
I remember once asking if people ever mixed beer like they do hard alcohol, and the responses I received ranged from incredulous to disgusted. Apparently such a notion was unheard of, and I closed my case there. It was only when I began traveling to other countries that I realized mixed brews were actually quite common, not to mention delicious and nothing to be ashamed of. Tired of drinking your usual brews? Here are five delicious beer-tails that make plain old lagers dangerously drinkable.
The first time I saw cider on a bar menu, my American brain immediately thought apple cider (the virgin kind, of course). With one sip, I learned that a cider in Europe is actually a cross between a beer and apple soda. Called Snakebite in the UK and in parts of Ireland, this adult apple juice is a light, upbeat alternative to your everyday brewski.
This perky beer-tail has its roots in Mexico, and is traditionally made with Mexican beer, salt, lime, and a variation of chili sauces and spices. The mix of distinctly Latin American flavors is perfect for those who like a punch of heat in their drinks, and some variations even call for Worcestershire sauce—Bloody Mary lovers take note.
3. Clara, Shandy, Alster, or Panaché
My first sip of a “clara,” which in Spain is generally a mix of beer and lemon Fanta, was perfect after a long day in the Barcelona sun. The combination of lemony soda and beer, which is served under different aliases depending on the country, makes for a refreshing thirst quencher with a kick. Serve alongside a fresh batch of calamari for the ultimate afternoon comfort snack.
This glamorously named concoction comes from none other than the French. Think “clara” with a shot of grenadine, the sweet pink syrup they squeeze into cocktails and Italian soda. Chic and luxurious, a Monaco is the Shirley Temple of beer.
5. Shandygaff, aka Ginger Beer
Popularly known as shandygaff in the UK, this drink is ginger ale with an even bolder taste, without all the empty sweetness. Though made in the UK, I first tried Crabbie’s Ginger Beer in the states, accompanied harmoniously with a delicious burger. Add a generous squeeze of lime to a chilled glass of Crabbie’s, and you’re one step closer to nirvana. Oh, and don’t think you’re done at just one.
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