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My Kingdom for a Radi

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Can you be homesick for a place that’s not home?  Because I’m really missing Bavaria lately. And it has everything to do with my über-craving for a Radi (a giant white radish from Germany).  I keep twitching my nose while thinking Bavaria, but so far I haven’t left my kitchen.

I took this picture at the Munich Viktualienmarkt.  The Radis are the large white beauties underneath the artichokes.  I wish I could reach into this picture and pull one out.  Sigh.

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Bavarians eat Radis sliced VERY thin (they are often cut to resemble a slinky) and sprinkled with salt until the Radi “cries”.  Often, they are served with brown bread & butter with chives.  But my favorite way to eat a Radi is all by itself . . . mmmm.

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And what do you drink with a Radi?  Well, a Bier, natürlich.  Whenever I’m in Bavaria, I make a B-line for a Radi and a Bier.  Opa (my husband’s grandfather) knows this, so every time we sit down at a restaurant, a Radi & Bier appears.  I don’t even have to use my mangled German to order.  It’s glorious!

I can drink Bier in Germany for a few days, but then I have to switch gears.  And that’s when my  Radler binge begins.

I’m still in Radi & Bier mode here, though.


What’s a Radler? In Bavarian dialect, Radler means cyclist.  A Radler is the Bavarian version of a sports drink.  It’s an extremely refreshing, low-alcohol drink made with beer and limonada (a German lemon lime soda with less sugar than American Sprite).  It’s usually a 50/50 mix of beer and soda, but the proportions vary according to who’s making it.

The Winegetter recently wrote a wunderbar blog post about Radlers.  Oliver does a super job delving into the history of the Radler.  Fascinating stuff.  I’ve been craving Radis, Radlers and Bavaria ever since I read it.  And btw, Winegetter . . . I’m on a Stiegl Radler Grapefruit mission . . . I’m turning over a lot of stones around here trying to find some!

So where do you get these Radlers?  A couple of years ago, I was shopping for wine (shocker) at Wegmans and I saw a bottle of Stiegl Radler on the shelf.  I thought it was a mirage.  I immediately bought every bottle they had.  For those of you on the east coast, I’ve seen it at Total Wine, as well.

A friend of mine recently told me about the Sam Adams version of Radler called Porch Rocker.  I wish more American breweries would jump on the Radler bandwagon.  This is an untapped market for summer refreshment.

So, I did a side-by-side Radler tasting between the Stiegl Radler Lemon and the Sam Adams Porch Rocker:

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Stiegl Radler Lemon:  The Steigl is a half-liter bottle.  I prefer this size.  I’ve already started hoarding this for the H3 (hazy, hot & humid) days of a Virginia summer.  This is the perfect beer for people who don’t love beer.  It’s not very beer-like.  It’s more like lemonade with a buzz.  At only 2.5% alcohol, you could drink these all day.  You see?  It’s a sports drink.

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Samuel Adams Porch Rocker:  The Porch Rocker is a standard 12 ounce bottle.  I love the name — makes me think about those Bartles & Jaymes wine cooler commercials of the 80s.  Definitely more beer-like than the Stiegl.  And more alcohol, too, at 4.5%.  The Porch Rocker is good, the Stiegl is better.  I cut my teeth on Radlers in Bavaria, so I crave the taste of the German version.

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Here’s the two side-by-side.  Porch Rocker on the left, Stiegl Radler on the right.  On an ounce by ounce basis, they both cost about 14 cents an ounce.

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Bottomline:  The Stiegl is lemon with a slice of beer.  The Porch Rocker is beer with a slice of lemon.

Now . . . if I could just get my hands on a Radi.

Prost!

Armchair Sommelier Wine Tasting Guide

Spice up your next party with our FREE wine tasting guide! Learn what to look, smell, and taste for while appreciating your favorite bottle. We’ve also included a printable tasting notes template and a tasting wheel.

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