Drink this: a refreshing cider radler is a perfect summer drink

Updated: July 8, 2019

Photo courtesy of Brickworks

The pick: Brickworks Lemonade Cider Radler, a drink inspired by European “bicycle beer” traditions.

Now that the summer’ first great long weekend is behind us, it’s important to find ways to take a beat here and there and still pace ourselves for the rest of the season. And there’s no better drink for that than a refreshing cider radler—the perfect middle-ground between an overly-sweet spiked lemonade and a potent apple cider.

Backstory: The radler (a.k.a. bicycle beer) is said to have been invented for cyclists by Franz Kugler, an enterprising beer garden owner who, in 1922, built a cycle path to his bar through Munich’s Perlacher forest. A possibly apocryphal story has it that, one day, so many cyclists fell for his ploy and wheeled into his establishment that he had to start watering his beer down with lemonade—hence inventing the radler. The concept has caught on in Canada only recently, but we’re making up for lost time, by experimenting with all sorts of twists on the radler, including this version from Toronto’s Brickworks, which uses cider in place of beer.

Why you’ll like it: The Kugler radler story might not have a full “Verified” check next to its name just yet, but cyclists are known to favour radlers over other drinks, because they’re low in alcohol (often under four percent) and genuinely refreshing. This Lemonade Cider Radler version has an especially high drinkability factor—potentially dangerous if it weren’t so low in alcohol (3.3%). Serve ice cold, straight up, or over ice if you like a good chill.

Since cans of radler are just about always around $3 or $4, it’s perfectly affordable to try a few different ones. If you can’t find Brickworks, look for Ace Hill Lime Radler in Ontario; Strathcona in B.C., and, available in most markets, Stiegl, an import from Bavaria.