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Two pink summer drinks

Katie enjoys a French Monaco cocktail at a cookout. —Patricia Gay photo

Katie enjoys a French Monaco cocktail at a cookout. —Patricia Gay photo

Summertime, and the drinking’s easy, or at least it should be. While my summer drink of choice at a bar is usually a Mojito with its cooling rum, lime, and mint, at a cookout or barbecue I prefer something lighter that I can consume easily with food, and usually grab a beer.

But why settle for a plain old beer when you can quickly turn it into a refreshing cocktail? Here are two of my favorite beer cocktails, quick, simple, and super easy to drink, and on top of it, they’re pink.


1. Briar Patch

Briar-Patch-Wt-BkIf you like raspberries and haven’t discovered fruit lambics, do yourself a favor and buy a bottle now! Lambics are beers by definition, but do not taste like beer, per se. Lambics are fruity with a slight fizz. There are a number of brands and flavors of lambics (peach and cherry, for example) but my favorite is raspberry.

According to The Drinks Business, lambic refers to beers that are produced in the Pajottenland region of Belgium and are produced by spontaneous fermentation, which gives the beer a distinctive dry flavor with a sour aftertaste. Click this Drinks Business link for a recipe for Lambic Sangria.

Lindeman Raspberry Lambic

Lindeman Raspberry Lambic

Whoever created lambics, thank you and bless you.

Lambics are not only refreshing and great on their own, but they make lovely cocktails too. This Briar Patch cocktail, from Chilled Magazine adds a citrus zip to raspberry lambic and goes down real easy.

NOTE: Most good liquor stores carry lambics in the imported beer aisle. Lindeman makes a very nice, affordable Lambic Framboise (raspberry).

Briar Patch
1 ounce Cointreau
1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
3 raspberries
4- 5 ounces Raspberry Lambic Beer

Add Cointreau, lemon juice, raspberries and ice to a mixing glass. Shake and fine-strain over ice in a highball glass. Top with beer and garnish with a toothpick of raspberries.

2. French Monaco

French-Monaco-fiThis recipe is adapted from Helen Rosner and Saveur magazine.  The ingredients are simple, beer (lager like Stella Artois), pomegranate syrup and lemonade syrup (Super EASY to make).

I made a couple adjustments, increasing the amount of beer to a full bottle, adding more pomegranate syrup, and adding a squeeze of fresh lemon juice rather than lemon syrup, to cut down on the sweet factor. It works! Pairing nicely with bbq chicken and hamburgers, the French Monaco is my go-to cookout drink right now.

French Monaco
One bottle of pale lager, such as Stella Artois
2 ounces pomegranate syrup (recipe below)
Squeeze of half a lemon (or to taste)

Add pomegranate syrup and lemon juice to an ice-filled shaker, shake vigorously and strain into a chilled beer glass. Top with beer.

Pomegranate Syrup
1 cup unsweetened pomegranate juice
1/2 cup sugar
Bring juice and sugar to a boil in a one-quart saucepan. Cook, stirring until sugar is dissolved, about one minute, let cool. Store covered in refrigerator until needed.

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