- Holiday Pilsner Pitcher Punch
- Pomegranate Radler
- Half and Half
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.
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.
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. It’s the best of both worlds in one glass.