Ask BDR: Garnishing Beer with Fruit
Dear Brew / Drink / Run,
Recently, I was in a bar and saw a beer garnished with an orange slice. Is this okay? It certainly didn’t look normal. Is this something I should do at home as well?
Dear Weirded Out,
What you most likely saw was a Blue Moon or (possibly) a Hoegaarden White Ale. Belgian whites (or witbiers) and some wheat beers are often served in bars with fruit as a garnish. To clarify, we’re talking about a slice of citrus (orange, sometimes lemon) cut and placed on the rim of the glass, like you might see a lime on a margarita or some other girlie drink.
Fruit has enjoyed a long history with beer. Fruit-flavoring adjuncts have been used for centuries in lambics. It’s easy to find beers infused with cherry, peach and even apricots at your local bottle shop. It’s perfectly acceptable to enjoy a good framboise made with raspberries from time to time. However, would you slice up a raspberry and put it on the edge of the glass while sipping on the back patio with the guys? No, you wouldn’t.
There’s one exception to my no-fruit rule: Lime with Corona when enjoyed at Mexican restaurants. A little extra refreshment never hurts when you’re choking down a double El Hefe Gordo, you guys.