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Blushing Beer at the White Horse Pub

‘I don’t like beer,’ is a common refrain heard by bartenders the world over. At the White Horse Pub, located at 10221 North Oak Trafficway, bartender Katie Fruetel has created a gateway drink: a beer and a cocktail rolled into one.

The beverage, which she calls the Blushing Beer, utilizes a local favorite, Boulevard Wheat beer and two products from across the pond, Strongbow Apple Cider and Ribena, a black current flavored squash or non-alcoholic cordial. The balance of fruitiness from the hard cider and the earthiness of the wheat beer make for a very palatable base for the hit of sweetness from the Ribena.

This drink also brings a bit of history with it. While you could use any berry or grape liquor for the recipe, Ribena is a distinctly British concoction. Formulated from black currants, the soft drink was touted during World War II as a great source of vitamin C, especially during the U-boat blockades when fresh citrus fruits from the U.S. were hard to obtain. While the drink does have quite a bit of sugar, as a flavoring, it hits all the right notes.

Fruetel says that the beauty of this beverage is the ease of customization. “You can adjust the sweetness very easily and if even half the beer is too much, you can add more cider too. It’s a great introduction to beer for a lot of people.” While there are many iterations of a fruity beer, this particular mix is unique to the White Horse Pub.