On Christmas Day 2019, Mrs Pint and I decided to recreate something of a cheesy British tradition and make ourselves some Bucks Fizz. Armed with a huge sack of Mildura oranges, a small juicer, and some decent Aussie bubbles, the 50/50 mix of the two proved a revelation once we returned from a couple of hours at the beach: uber-refreshing and delicious in its simplicity.
Fast forward the best part of a year and memories of the day came flooding back as I put a glass of Molly Rose's Blue Skies – one of two festive collabs they've created with Blackhearts & Sparrows in 2020. And it turns out this was no coincidence: the beer is a festive brekkie sour based on Mimosas, a cocktail sibling of Bucks Fizz with a greater proportion of OJ to bubbles. In the beer, the citrus sweetness intensifies over time on the back of Blue Skies' relatively full body, while there's a definite vinous aftermath, albeit one laced with the hit of a citrus reduction. An experience best shared, and a beer best kept chilled, and maybe even worth pouring over ice if Christmas Day ends up being a hot one.
The other collab is designed for later in the day. Local Horizons is a spiced red saison that looks to recreate your post-main meal dessert treats. The spices are present but very much as part of a wider bouquet of saison yeast-derived characters. The cinnamon myrtle contributes to dryness of the finish too, while a sharp carbonation gives the beer a cutting quality if you're pairing it with something hearty. Not as rich as a Christmas pudding by any measure, instead reminiscent of the topping on baked goods from a Christmas market, with flashes of marzipan in the mix too.