Two hundred years ago, it was common to walk into a bar and order a 1, 3, 4 or a 2, 4, 7—a blend of beers from the barrels stored beneath the bar. Back then, beers were mixed to extend their shelf life—it was the birth of the cocktail era.
Fast-forward to 2014 and the rise of local, custom craft beers plus renewed interest in the art of DIY mixology and it’s no wonder we’ve entered the second golden age of mixed drinks—and beer is a key ingredient.
“Between the herbs and spices brewers use when making their beers, and flavors ranging from pumpkin to chocolate, beers are an ideal base for mixed drinks,” says Marc Stroobandt, master beer sommelier for NYC’s Belgian Beer Café NoMad. Just don’t call them beer-tinis.
The Winter Mai Tai
¾ oz almond syrup
¾ oz fresh lime juice
1 oz rum
1 dash Angostura bitters
1 12-oz can lager of your choice
1 lime wedge for garnish
Shake all ingredients except beer with ice. Strain into a chilled pilsner glass. Top mixture with the beer and garnish the glass with the lime.
The Ginger Shandy
1 ½ oz citrus vodka
¾ oz lemon juice
1 beer of your choice
Combine vodka and lemon juice in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled pilsner glass. Top mixture with equal parts beer and ginger beer.
The Black Velvet
Champagne or other dry sparkling wine, chilled
Guinness stout, chilled
Take a large cocktail glass (Collins style is perfect if you have one) and gently fill halfway with the Champagne. Fill the remainder of the glass with Guinness. Go slow so it doesn’t get too foamy. Stir gently before serving.
2 lime wedges
½ oz lime juice
2 drops Tabasco sauce
2 dashes Worcestershire sauce
1 pinch black pepper
1 pinch celery salt
1 12-oz can or bottle Mexican lager, chilled
Rub one lime wedge along half the rim of a pint glass and dip into a mix of equal parts salt and cayenne pepper. Add everything except the beer to the glass, then top with the beer and garnish with the other lime wedge.
The Apple Pie
1 ½ oz cinnamon whiskey
1 12-oz bottle apple-flavored beer
Pour the whiskey into a shot glass. Top off the glass with the beer and drink immediately.