Happy Victoria Day! Or is that May 2-4?
The May long weekend holiday (which takes place May 17 to 19 in 2014) is officially known as Victoria Day, after the long-reigning British monarch. But in recent years (decades?) Canadians began calling the weekend the May Two-Four weekend, after the copious amounts of beer that gets drunk on the first (fingers-crossed) summery weekend of the year.
Toronto-based illustrator Kinnon Elliott (who you might remember from her entertaining Valentine's Day infographic) has come up with a infographic that looks at the historical roots of the holiday.
Who the heck was Queen Victoria? Why are we still celebrating her birthday more than 100 years after her death?
Why don't we have a national holiday for beer? Her graphic tries to answer these questions. Happy May Two, er, Victoria Day everyone!
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This cocktail from Perch in Los Angeles is a variation of the classic Dark ’n’ Stormy and involves dark rum, lime juice, Belgian beer, simple syrup, and ginger beer. Find out <a href="http://www.thesavory.com/drink/hybrid-cocktail-kicks-mule.html" target="_blank">how to create it at The Savory</a>.
It doesn’t get much easier than a shandy: half beer, half lemonade. Try customizing this one with lime juice, or make your own take on raspberry lemonade by using a raspberry ale <a href="http://www.beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/995/" target="_hplink">like Kawartha’s Raspberry Wheat</a>. <a href="http://formalfringe.com/2011/07/29/summer-shandy-beer-cocktail/" target="_blank">Get the recipe at Formal Fringe</a>.
Classic cocktails like Manhattans are having a moment right now, and this variation is the perfect way to introduce the drink to a beer fan — with the addition of a bitter IPA <a href="http://www.blackoakbeer.com/" target="_hplink">like Black Oak’s 10 Bitter Years</a>, preferably. <a href="http://food52.com/recipes/1399-bubbly-manhattan" target="_blank">Learn how to create this from Food 52</a>.
A classic michelada — beer with lime juice — is delicious enough, but why not take it up a notch with some spice? You’ll want to use both <a href="http://www.crownimportsllc.com/ourbrands/negramodelo.htm" target="_hplink">Mexican beer like Negro Modelo</a> and Mexican hot sauce for this one. <a href="http://www.esquire.com/blogs/endorsement/cinco-de-mayo-drink-ideas-050509" target="_blank">Learn how to create this at Esquire</a>.
Here’s another cocktail that uses Mexican beer, but this time you’ll want to go light with a Corona. It’s the perfect complement to the margarita flavours. <a href="http://cookingstoned.tv/recipe/frosty-mexican-bulldog-margarita/" target="_blank">Find out how to make this at Cooking Stoned</a>.
Champagne is bubbly — and so is beer. That means that you can recreate champagne-based cocktails with beer and get something completely new. We like this take on the mimosa, which uses grapefruit juice instead of the typical orange. Use a wheat beer with this in order to keep it light. <a href="http://www.aidamollenkamp.com/2014/01/last-friday-grapefruit-beer-mimosa-cocktail/" target="_blank">Learn how to make this recipe at Aida Mollenkamp</a>.
This is a perfect beer cocktail to pair with some meat off the grill. It also gives you a great excuse to try mezcal, which is becoming increasingly popular. <a href="http://beermixology.com/2013/02/21/smokin-hops/#more-1632" target="_blank">Find out how to make this at Beer Mixology</a>.
If you’re a Mad Men watcher, you’ve probably heard of the Moscow Mule, which is a lighter take on the Dark ’n’ Stormy that uses vodka instead of dark rum. Try making it with an alcoholic ginger beer for a modern take. <a href="http://gigglesgobblesandgulps.com/2013/07/03/moscow-mule-beer-cocktail/" target="_blank">Get the recipe at Giggles Gobbles And Gulps</a>.
<a href="http://www.bluemoonbrewingcompany.com/" target="_hplink">Wheat beers like Blue Moon</a> are often served with a slice of orange, so why not play with those citrusy flavours? This cocktail is similar to a screwdriver, thanks to the vodka and orange juice. <a href="http://www.foodiemisadventures.com/2013/01/drink-dish-citrus-beer-cocktail-with-video.html" target="_blank">Find out how to make this at Foodie Misadventures</a>.
Save this recipe for the fall! With rye, apple brandy, maple syrup, and <a href="http://www.drinkpropeller.ca/beers/13-Pumpkin_Ale" target="_hplink">a pumpkin beer like Propeller Brewing Company’s Pumpkin Ale</a>, it’s perfect for crisp weather. <a href="http://www.harvardcommonpress.com/dont-lose-your-head-sip-on-this/" target="_blank">Learn how to make this at Harvard Common Press</a>.
Here’s another beer cocktail that uses Blue Moon (or another wheat beer) — this time the addition of peach schnapps is the twist. If you really love peach flavours, try it with peach juice instead of orange — or even a beer with peach flavours, <a href="http://www.beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/4047/44592/" target="_hplink">like the Peach Cream Ale</a> from the Tin Whistle Brewing Company. <a href="http://www.maplespice.com/2013/04/peach-moon.html" target="_blank">Learn how to make this at Maple Spice</a>.
Have you jumped on the bourbon craze? Here’s another way to try the southern spirit, one that we approve of even if the Kentucky Derby is already over. <a href="http://beermixology.com/2012/08/13/honey-basil-beer-julep/#more-1578" target="_blank">Find out the recipe at Beer Mixology</a>.
Did you ever drink a concoction of cheap beer, cheap vodka, and powdered lemonade at a college party? We promise that this is a lot better. With real lemons, a hint of ginger, and decent ale, this is a refreshing drink for barbecues that you can mix up by the pitcher. <a href="http://www.tablespoon.com/recipes/spring-beer-cocktail/dd9c3318-a7a0-44e3-abbf-bf4598757222?nicam4=SocialMedia&nichn4=Pinterest&niseg4=Tablespoon&nicreatID4=Post" target="_blank">Learn how to make it at Tablespoon</a>.
This one is a cross between a Michelada and a Margarita, but with tequila and grapefruit juice instead of lime and salt. Elderflower liquer adds a little extra something. <a href="http://www.mensjournal.com/expert-advice/six-beer-cocktails-where-brews-meet-booze-20120720/costa-rhode-island" target="_blank">Find out the recipe at Men's Journal</a>.
Take advantage of in-season produce and make this beer cocktail with fresh strawberries — or give it a try with your own favourite berry. <a href="http://honestcooking.com/5-summer-beer-cocktails/" target="_blank">Check out the recipe at Honest Cooking</a>.
Enjoy the flavours of the islands, even if you can’t take a vacation right now, with this combination of beer, spiced rum, and tropical fruit juices. <a href="http://www.cosmopolitan.com/food/cocktails/beer-cocktails#slide-7" target="_blank">Learn how to create this at Cosmopolitan</a>.