Call me a traitor, but here I go.
Though it might look like pink champagne, the apéro of the summer is a beer, and not one for the faint of heart.
Cantillon’s Kriek 100% Lambic is an eye-popper that will stand your taste buds happily on end.
It’s also a dive into the deep end of Belgian beer vocabulary. In short, lambics are natural fermentation beers that are aged for at least three years in oak barrels. A kriek, is a lambic (or a gueuze) made with sour cherries known as griottes.
While some companies have turned kriek into a sweet and sticky mess, those worth their salt are bracingly sour.
Cantillon’s kriek has just a hint of creamy suds on top and gets its cooked cherry color from the griottes. Poke your nose into the top of a glass and you’ll get a blast the grapefruit smell that is the hallmark of many good lambics, along with a hint of green apples. If your salivary glands haven’t kicked in by now, blow your nose.
Take a sip and you’ll get a kick of that fantastic sour and acidic grapefruit flavor.
If you can find any way to get your stomach and taste buds more ready for a meal, the comment box is one click away…
P.S. In Paris, I found my bottle at Pommier inside the Marché Beauvau - the covered market at Marché d’Aligre in the 11th arrondissement.
Cantillon has a handy place to start your quest with a partial list of wholesalers and places to buy your bottle here.
Globe travel correspondent Joe Ray writes his own blog, Eating The Motherland and contributes to the English language version of Simon Says! the French food and lifestyle blog run by French food critic Francois Simon.
Photo by Joe Ray for The Boston Globe