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3 must-make holiday beer cocktails

Looking to make your hosting duties easier this holiday season? Consider mixing up one of these three signature beer-based cocktails. Easy and adaptable, they work for all sorts of occasions, from casual open houses to sit-down dinners. There’s no ice and no fuss — just festive drinks that are guaranteed to make your parties more delicious.

  1. Holiday Pilsner Pitcher Punch
  2. Throwing an office bash or a big neighbourly get-together? A refreshing, beer-based pitcher punch always satisfies a crowd. To make this festive version, start with well-chilled ingredients. (If you don’t have enough room in the fridge, try the classic Canuck cooler: chill bottles in the natural frigidness of your garage, backyard or balcony.) Pour two parts crisp pilsner, one part ginger ale and one part cranberry juice into a pitcher. Add a splash of lemon or lime juice, sliced oranges and a handful of frozen cranberries to keep the punch nice and cold. For a spicy kick, substitute ginger beer for the ginger ale, and if you have a bottle of Angostura bitters in your bar, shake in a few dashes — they’ll give this crimson punch added complexity and a hint of holiday spice.

  3. Pomegranate Radler
  4. You’ll find a wide selection of ready-to-drink radlers at your local branch of The Beer Store, but you can make a custom version at home by mixing equal parts fruit-flavoured soda and beer. Since pomegranates are in season over the holidays, stir up a batch using pomegranate soda, light lager and a squeeze of lemon juice. Serve the drink in tall flute glasses (perfect for New Year’s Eve!) and float a few pomegranate seeds on top. If you have a zester with a channel knife, cut a long, thin strip of lemon zest for a pretty garnish. To make another delicious, seasonal radler, sub in blood orange soda for the pomegranate and garnish with a thin slice of juicy blood orange.

  5. Black and Tan
  6. For the purists who don’t like their brews mixed with…well…anything, serve up this classic all-beer cocktail. Fill a pint glass halfway with English-style pale ale. Then, pouring slowly over the back of a soup spoon, top it up with your favourite stout. The spoon trick produces a layered, two-tone effect and is a guaranteed conversation starter. The layers remain mostly separate as you drink, so you start with rich, creamy stout and finish with malty, hoppy ale. Known as a “half and half” in Ireland, it’s the best of both worlds in one glass.