How can you improve on beer, the nations favourite drink for more than a millennia, more prevalent an influence on society over time than, arguably, anything other than the pursuit of romance (which very often goes hand in hand with beer)? Well, it’s a tough call, but the Beer Expert is here to help, with the introduction of ‘Beer Cocktails’. Like other cocktails beer cocktails involve the blending of beer with other beer, other alcohols and other ingredients. Like cocktails in general, beer cocktails are best enjoyed at parties, where as the night progresses, the mixes get more ambitious and hands tend to slip a little and then , well… you’ve got a very strong cocktail that it would be rude to waste!
Beer cocktails vary from the simple to the more complex. The chances are you may have tried the more basic varieties like Lager and Lime (lager with a dash of lime), which goes down well on a hot day, and Snakebite and Black (half beer, half cider with a dash of blackcurrant) which can have trouble staying down; a bar in Hastings famed for its ‘pound a pint’ soirees on a Friday night would only sell Snakebite and Black with the proviso that if you puked over their furniture they would bar you! Shandy is a simple one (half lemonade, half beer) and good if you don’t plan on getting drunk fast.
OK, so you’ve tried the above, and either return to them regularly or never will again. Now to try something a little different. Here are a few to get you started… though not all at once:
Baltimore Zoo:Hailing from the U.S. this beer is for the ambitious drinker and includes Guinness, Gin, Vodka, Rum and Grenadine, and apparently goes down very nicely. Beer and Liquor:In New York lager mixed with flavoured liquors has become popular. This presents a wide range of opportunities and is well worth a try if you are holidaying in France, where supermarkets not only sell cheap beer, but also a wide range of syrupy liquors ideal for mixing, such as Crème de Cassis. Guinness with Cassis is called a Liverpool Kiss. Black and Tan:A black and tan is a stout mixed with a lager. This originates from the U.K. but is most commonly now enjoyed in Irish bars in the U.S. Dark and Smooth:Guinness mixed with Port, which, as a combination works as well as you know it should, the dark colours and smooth textures combining well. Mixery:A beer sold, canned, in Germany which is a combination of beer and cola. Germans also enjoy a mix of beer and Jagermeister. In Japan a popular mix of beer and Cola (mixed at the point of service) is called ‘Broadway’. Black Velvet:A half and half mix of stout and Champagne which carries the characteristics of both very well. If you don’t want to fork out for Champagne try Cava – the Spanish equivalent. Ruddy Mary:A beer with tomato juice and a dash of Tabasco. If you’re feeling adventurous you could add a dash of Vodkas too. Skip and Go Naked:Beer, lemon Juice and Gin with a touch of Grenadine. Try it, you might just!
These are just a few of the endless varieties of cocktails that you could try. One key to experimenting and inventing new recipes is to have many ingredients available close at hand. The more choice you have, the more variety you can come up with! It is certainly worth a try, and with the popularity of beer cocktails in the U.S. it may possibly catch on over here, leading to yet another change in the beer consuming market.