August 11, 2011

 

I’m not a beer girl. But I have a lot of guy friends who are total beer snobs. They love their microbrews and beer tastings and have a complete vocabulary for how a beer feels.  And they want me to be a part of it. They want me to love beer, too. But I can’t.

No matter what beer they slide across the bar to me—be it a chocolate stout or watermelon wheat—it just tastes heavy and gross.

It’s an amber carbonated mess.

But then I went to France last summer and discovered the beer mixed-drink Monaco. It’s a splash of grenadine, two parts Heineken (doesn't have to be a specific beer, that's just what was usually available in rural France) and one part lemonade. It’s cute and light and it has pink foam.

Beer can be girly.

Lemonade with beer may sound gross but it’s actually refreshing. And there are some variations that use lemon-lime soda instead of lemonade.

The best part about a Monaco is how it’s enjoyed in France—at cafes with friends. I watched many sunsets over the Luberon Valley drinking a Monaco and listening to my beer snob friends complain about the “so-so” French beer Kronenbourg.

If only they would have tried a Monaco. Still, they accepted me because I was, at least, having a beer, too. 

Now, back in the states, I’ve tried to order it a few times at bars. But it’s just different. Most bartenders think I’m insane and when a bartender can make it, people around me think I’m drinking a Shirley Temple.

Awkward.

But on a hot summer afternoon or at a cookout, it’s a perfect way to drink a beer with the beer snobs. 

 For more new ways to drink beer, see Editors' Favorite Beer Drinks.