Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Noch ein Radler, bitte!

My problem last night: I had the bases loaded and I was down a run, and the best hitter in the major leagues was available to pinch hit, yet for some reason, I didn't ...

Wait, no. Sorry, that was Tony La Russa's problem last night, and he should be sending out personal refunds to everyone who paid good money to see two teams made up entirely of stars play each other and yet was forced to watch Aaron Rowand (whose name La Russa had to spell for umpire Bruce Froemming when he was putting him in the game) fly out to end it. Yep, this one totally counted.

Anyway, my real problem is that the heat makes me discursive. Also, I wanted a beer, but it was way too hot to have one. For a solution, I looked to other cultures.



The Radler: I learned about this last summer, during my excellent European adventures. It's a German thing, and when temperatures were in the high 80s in Munich, I was happy to be aware of it. It's basically a mix of fizzy lemonade and beer, and supposedly was invented so bikers could have beer without getting all loopy (although after observing the beer-drinking habits of Germans, I'm amazed that surgeons and pilots don't have specially designated spots for half-liter steins at their workstations. In Germany, you'd make it with a Helles, or light, clear lager. But because I'm in the States, I chose a Corona and one of those Limonata things that comes in the green can.

Holy shit, was this thing good. I know Americans are averse to mixing stuff with beer, but really, I'm happy to be a radler evangelist. I had two of them, and I didn't get all beery and uncomfortable the way I would have even after one Corona (let alone something like Brooklyn Lager). I'll have another, please.

The Michelada: A Mexican tradition combining beer, lime juice, and salt. I believe ice, and hot sauce are optional. Yes, I know, we're getting close to "OMG, but beer and tomato juice is GOOD" territory. But honestly, I've had a Michelada before, and it had too much salt on the rim and too much hot sauce in the mix. So I made my own by squeezing limes into the glass, tossing in a bit of kosher salt and adding a Corona (no ice). And, well, I learned something. You know how bubbles in beer or champagne form on tiny imperfections in the glass? Yeah, kosher salt works that way, too. Basically, if you ever need to provide a nucleation site to get all the dissolved gass out of a liquid in a hurry, adding some undissolved kosher salt to it should do the trick.

Conclusion:
In the end, my salt fuckup precluded an accurate assesment of the michelada. But the flavors work for me, so next time I'm using more lime juice, leaving the salt to the rim of the glass, and will consider adding one drop of hot sauce to taste. I think I like the idea of the michelada more than I actually like the michelada for now. The radler (or Radler if you like your nouns Teutonically capitalized) fucking rules, but it's an outdoor, daytime, warm-weather drink, not a standby.

Of course, when it fucking cools off, this will all be moot and we can go back to drinking our beer unadulterated.

12 comments:

CrimeNotes said...

Why is Steve Spurrier chasing beer on a fishing pole?

Middle East Bureau Chief said...

In the Middle East, we refer to such beers as a "Mexican", made either w/Amstel or, if you're in Lebanon, Almaza, the local brew.
http://www.almaza-beer.com/

Cock D said...

I think you can get yourself an authentic radler down at Zum Schneider down in Alphabet City.

A little pricy, but very tasty.

flop said...

By "authentic" do you mean one of the bottled ones (like Coach Spurrier seems to covet) or one made with real helles?

I've had the bottled ones, but I like the ones mixed on the spot better.

flop said...

Question for the bureau chief: Are these "mexicans" worthwhile in brutal heat of the kind that, from time to time, descends on some parts of that area of the world.

double entendre said...

I've never had this drink with Helles, but it sounds good. The Brits who are designated drivers have been pounding these for decades, too. They call it a Shandy and it is often made with Stella. Good European Stella.

Cock D said...

By authentic I mean whatever they have there (your choice) plus the limonade.

(good god: i drank like a fish tonight and amde it through that last sentence with no typos (softball team won our first in 5 weeks woo00t!11!!))

for what its worth, last i tippled there was 2003 - i am now old, lame, and midwestern (if pittsburgh is indeed midwest)

crimenotes said...

Zum Schneider's German-beer dominance has been thwarted by Loreley's beer garden. I'm lucky that both are a ten-minute walk away from my couch.

blythe said...

you've just saved my summer. thanks.

dmbmeg said...

i love loreley. just throwing that out there. Except last time I was there, I saw, coincidentally, a mouse running all over the place.

CrimeNotes said...

They've got rodentia issues out back, if you're in the far back by the bamboo after dark. You hear scurrying and spot creatures. I've learned to love nature and don't mind.

I spent all of last weekend there. Been going since it was empty and they closed at 10 p.m.

Anonymous said...

This beer is Austrian and the man on the ad isn't Steve Spurrier, it's Franz Klammer, a (in Austria) famous Skier.
Regards