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Mix Beer And Juice For A Fun New Flavor Adventure

Orange shandy in pint glass
Orange shandy in pint glass - Pavelkant/Getty Images

The Zac Brown Band was onto something when they said there's nothing like a cold beer on a Friday night. Unless, of course, you're not a beer person. For some people, beer leaves a hoppy, dry taste in their mouth -- not exactly the refreshingly intoxicating sip you deserve after a long week. However, whether you're a beer buff or a stout skeptic, mixing juice into a brew is an uplifting way to infuse it with adventurous new flavors.

Often referred to as a shandy or a radler, this half-boozy, half-juicy drink is a common bar order in the U.K., Germany, and New Zealand. But if you're not privy to this beer cocktail's thirst-quenching qualities, here's all you need to know. Combining beer and juice culminates in a pint-drinking experience like never before. From bitter IPAs to refreshing lagers, juice can bolster the best flavors of your favorite beers. Although it can enhance the subtler notes in a beer, juice can also curb, mute, and cut through flavors that don't sit well with your palate for smoother drinking. Luckily, both beer and juice come in many different varieties, ensuring that you'll never run out of fun, funky, and fresh blends for patio sipping and poolside feet dipping.

Read more: 10 Of The Healthiest Beers You Can Drink

Hot Tips For Cold Juicy Beer

Various juices in bottles
Various juices in bottles - Fortyforks/Getty Images

Whether making one from home or ordering one at your state's best dive bar, knowing what goes into making a great shandy will help you make informed purchasing and ordering decisions. If you're not a mixologist or a cocktail-making enthusiast -- don't fret -- shandies, radlers, or whatever else you want to call them aren't complex drinks and a few basic notes will ensure you get the most out of your drinking experience.

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First, you need to find your purpose. Are you adding juice to reinforce or restrain flavors in your beer? If you want to strengthen the flavors of your brew, opt for juice that shares a similar flavor profile to your beer. If you want to quell any undesirable notes in your beer, select a juice with a contrasting flavor.

Next, you'll want to consider what type of juice speaks to your preferences. Fresh-squeezed juice can give your mixed beer drink a pungent hit of juiciness that's pointedly refreshing. On the other hand, a sugary juice drink can give beer a sweeter and more approachable taste. A carbonated juice will retain and enhance the natural bubbles in beer, while flat juices mellow out the effervescence.

One part beer and one part juice is a good place to start, but you can adjust accordingly if a 50/50 ratio is too heavy or too light. When mixing beer and juice, use a spoon to stir gently so you don't agitate the beer bubbles to the brink of explosion.

Perfect Pairings

Cherry beer and whole cherries
Cherry beer and whole cherries - photosimysia/Shutterstock

Now that you're craving a juicy beer drink, you'll need some recipe ideas. Instead of thinking too hard, read on for some tried-and-true juice-infused brewskis.

Starting with combinations for muting beer flavors, acidic citrus juices squeezed from oranges, grapefruits, or lemons can temper the drying bitterness of an IPA. Similarly, sugary-sweet juices can also curb the acrid taste of pale ales. If the creamy richness of a stout is too much for your tastebuds, combine it with a tart beverage like cherry juice or cranberry juice to uplift the beer. Not into sour beers? Use sweet (but not tart) juices like floral pear juice or delicate peach juice to inspire the brew with fruity yet grounding flavors.

Next up is a batch of concoctions designed to bolster the flavor of various beers. Just as acidic juice can tame bitter IPAs, other beer blends are enriched by acidity. For example, apple or pomegranate juice can complement the creamy caramel undertones of amber ales, while pineapple or mango juice can bolster a wheat beer's citrusy layers. If a lager is too neutral, you can zhuzh it up with ginger or jalapeno-lime juice to give it a sharp shadow of spice.

Pairing food and beer can be tricky, but pairing beer and juice is guided by intuition. Listen to what your tastebuds tell you and build your shandy accordingly.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.