Thursday, June 27, 2013

Fun Summer Drinks (Part 2)

*Just in time for the Canada Day long weekend, here's Part 2 of some alternative summer drink recommendations by my libation-loving-alcohol-connoisseur-fabulous-friend Laura*  Missed Part 1? Get caught up here.

Let's clear the air: beer and cider are not the same thing! Beer is made from fermented malted barley or wheat whereas cider is made from fermented fruit.

While most ciders are made from apples, more brands are starting to incorporate many different fruits such as pear, wild berry, blueberry, peach, and elderflower. Since last summer, ciders have been stepping out from behind the shadow of beer and have become a staple drink to have on standby in the fridge. Ciders are a great substitute for the non-beer drinkers: dry, sweet, light or heavy, there seems to be a cider that fits the bill.

1. Magners Pear Cider 4.5% alc/vol. My personal favourite, this cider has a delicate balance of carbonation and light sweetness with a smooth pear flavour. 

[Sidenote from Danielle: Magners is my favourite cider too! Very nice for a casual drink.] 

Image via Cake Group
2. Rekorderlig Wild Berries 7% alc/vol. Heavier on the alcohol content, but lighter on the sweetness. Strawberry, cherry and raspberry flavours with lots of bubbles!

3. Alexander Keith's Original Cider 5.5% alc/vol. One of my favourite apple-based ciders, this one's crisp with a slight tartness and loads of apple flavour.

Image via Jump Branding and Design
4. Somersby Apple Flavoured Cider 4.5% alc/vol. Sweetened by the addition of a little apple juice post- fermentation, this cider goes down just like juice and you barely notice the taste of alcohol.

It's difficult to write a small blurb about beer since there are hundreds of styles and thousands of flavours. So to keep it simple, let's talk about wheat beer and flavoured beer, two of this season’s hottest trends.

Wheat beer - it's not a new style or beer but to me it screams patio season! Weisse, Wit, Hefeweizen... there are so many different types yet they all taste unique.

American wheat is a spinoff of the primarily European (German, Belgium) wheat beer. It's a subtle brew in flavour and in weight and makes for an easy transition for non-beer drinkers. Also, because wheat doesn't do much for flavour, it's a great base for fruit or flavoured beers - a trend many brewers are following this season.

Here are a few of my favourite wheat beers and a couple flavoured lagers I love:

1. Kronenbourg Blanc 1664 5% alc/vol. The French did it right with subtle flavours of peach, citrus and coriander, summer in a glass. 

Image via Dorsett Grand Subang
2. Shock Top Belgium White 5.2% alc/vol. No need to add the orange slice to this Belgium style wheat, smooth and easy.

3. Hacker- Pschorr (hefe) Weisse 5.2% alc/vol. Text book German Hefeweizen style, no added flavours here but you'll get subtle orange, citrus and spice.

4. Steigl Grapefruit Radler 2.5% alc/ vol. Real grapefruit juice added to crisp lager, low in alcohol but so damn refreshing. Makes the old lime n lager seem a little boring, plus it's only 70 calories per bottle!

Image via The Purveyor
5. Melville 's Craft Lager 4.1% alc/vol. Starting with a simple lager, each batch is flavoured with real fruit: Jubilee strawberries, Glen Ample raspberries or fresh stem ginger (no artificial flavours and no additives).

It's an inspiring time to experiment and try something new. So put down the rum ‘n coke you've been drinking since high school and keep an eye out for these products the next time you're shopping.


I'm so looking forward to kicking back this holiday weekend and trying out these recommendations. Thank you Laura for taking over my blog... oh yeah and for finally explaining the difference between beer and cider! Cheers everyone! Hope you have a wonderful, happy, and (kind of) healthy long weekend. Happy Canada Day!
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  1. This sounds great, I've never try one before!!!

  2. If only I was of legal age to drink *wink wink* haha

    xx Donald

  3. My family is currently obsessed with the Steigl Grapefruit, so refreshing! If you fancy a Belgian style wheat beer in the U.S., try Blue Moon Belgian White. It is my favorite over here. As for the Rekorderlig Swedish ciders, look out for more flavors, in Australia they have more varieties including my favorites strawberry-lime and mango-raspberry. The Aussies also taught me to fill your cider cup with ice on a hot day, this helps to take down the sweetness level so you can enjoy more!

    1. That sounds wonderfully refreshing, thanks for sharing Carly! I'm currently loving Steigl Grapefruit too, which is funny coz I normally *hate* grapefruit-flavoured drinks!


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