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Originally published Wednesday, June 11, 2014 at 6:03 AM

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Recipes: Beer Cocktails

A well-conceived, well-made beer cocktail can be a wonderful thing. Light in body and low in alcohol, it’s well suited to summer. Its effervescence can add lightness and length, creating a drink you can linger over.


The New York Times

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A well-conceived, well-made beer cocktail can be a wonderful thing. Light in body and low in alcohol, it’s well suited to summer. Its effervescence can add lightness and length, creating a drink you can linger over.

Beer cocktails are not new. But until recently, they were pitiably simple. There were the Shandy (beer and lemonade or ginger ale) and the Black Velvet (stout with sparkling wine). The Michelada, beer’s answer to the Bloody Mary, was about as complicated as things got. The craft cocktail movement changed that; many new beer drinks have complex structures and unexpected ingredients.

Take the Slow Clap, a cocktail invented by Ivy Mix at Clover Club in Brooklyn, N.Y. It combines Green Flash West Coast IPA with Old Tom Gin (a sweeter form of gin), the Italian digestive Cardamaro, camomile syrup and lemon juice. “If you have a really very robust beer, you can use that as a backbone,” Mix said of the Green Flash. “I find that more interesting, personally.”

The soothing camomile and mild Cardamaro manage to calm down the hyper-hoppy beer into an unexpectedly fruity and floral whole.

Then there is a drink called the High Five, at Third Rail, a new bar in the Dogpatch neighborhood of San Francisco. Jeff Lyon, an owner there, surprised himself a few months ago by successfully compounding what he called “an alcoholic kind of cola” by mixing the thick, citrusy Italian amaro Averna, the gingersnap-flavored liqueur Snap, lime juice, sugar and Old Brick Bitter, an English-style beer made by Linden Street Brewery in Oakland, Calif. “It’s the first beer cocktail I’ve made that seems to be a little more than the sum of its parts,” Lyon said. “It’s not just beer and some flavors.”

There are more: the Jardin Fresca, with elderflower liqueur, and the Fade to Black, with rum, mezcal and the baking-spice-flavored Italian amaro Ramazzotti, both at Mayahuel, a tequila and mezcal bar in the East Village of New York that has had a dedicated beer cocktail section on its drink list since it opened in 2009. Mayahuel also has an unlikely beer cocktails — the Yukon Cornelius — an oddball cast of characters including peach liqueur, mezcal and aquavit.

These may sound a bit fussy, the syrups, liqueurs and all. But they come together. Find a flavor you like, master the recipe and relax. It’s summer, after all. And that half-bottle of brew left over? Hand it to your just-plain-beer-loving pal.

HIGH FIVE

Makes 1 drink

1¼ ounces Averna amaro

1 ounce fresh lime juice

½ ounce simple syrup (see note)

¼ ounce Snap liqueur

3 ounces Linden Street Old Brick Bitter or Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale

1 orange wheel, for garnish

In a cocktail shaker three-quarters filled with ice, combine all ingredients except beer and orange wheel. Shake until chilled, about 30 seconds. Strain into a Collins glass filled with ice. Top with beer. Stir briefly with a bar spoon to integrate ingredients. Garnish with orange.

Note: To make simple syrup, warm 1 cup sugar in 1 cup water in a saucepan over low heat until dissolved. Cool to room temperature before using. (There will be extra syrup; refrigerate if not using immediately.)

— Adapted by The New York Times from Jeff Lyon, Third Rail, San Francisco

SLOW CLAP

Makes 1 drink

1½ ounces Spring 44 Old Tom Gin

¾ ounce fresh lemon juice, plus lemon wheel for garnish

½ ounce camomile syrup (see note)

½ ounce Cardamaro

3 ounces West Coast Green Flash IPA

In a cocktail shaker three-quarters filled with ice, combine all ingredients except beer and lemon wheel. Shake until chilled (30 seconds). Strain into a pilsner glass filled with ice. Top with beer. Stir briefly with bar spoon to integrate ingredients. Garnish with lemon wheel.

Note: To make camomile syrup, make a strong camomile tea, using 2 to 3 tea bags to 1 pint hot water. Let steep for 20 minutes, or until strong. Remove tea bags. Warm 1 cup sugar in 1/2 cup tea in a saucepan over low heat until dissolved. Cool to room temperature before using. (There will be extra syrup; refrigerate if not using immediately.)

— Adapted by The New York Times from Ivy Mix, Clover Club, Brooklyn, N.Y.

FADE TO BLACK

Makes 1 drink

1 ounce mezcal, preferably Del Maguey Vida

1 ounce Ramazzotti amaro

¼ ounce navy strength Jamaica rum, preferably Smith & Cross

½ ounce agave syrup

1 egg

Pinch of salt

2 dashes Bittermens mole bitters

2 ounces Negra Modelo beer

In a cocktail shaker, combine all ingredients except beer. Shake 30 seconds. Fill three-quarters full with ice; shake for another 30 seconds. Strain into an 8-ounce highball glass with no ice. Top with beer and stir briefly.

— Adapted by The New York Times from Jeremy Oertel, Mayahuel, New York

JARDIN FRESCA

Makes 1 drink

1 ounce jalapeño-infused blanco tequila (see notes)

½ ounce Cynar

½ ounce St. Germain

½ ounce fresh lemon juice

½ ounce simple syrup (see notes)

2 cucumber slices

1 dash celery bitters

Salt

4 ounces Victoria beer

In a cocktail shaker three-quarters filled with ice, combine all ingredients except the salt and beer. Shake until chilled, about 30 seconds. Moisten the rim of a 12-ounce highball or pilsner glass with salt, and fill with two sizable ice cubes. Strain contents of mixing glass into salted glass. Top with beer. Stir briefly with a bar spoon to integrate ingredients.

Notes: To make jalapeño-infused tequila, combine 1 pint blanco tequila with only the white membranes and seeds of 1 jalapeño pepper, and let sit for 10 to 20 minutes, or until it is mildly hot. Strain liquid and store in a glass container.

To make simple syrup, warm 1 cup sugar in 1 cup water in a saucepan over low heat until dissolved. Cool to room temperature before using. (There will be extra syrup; refrigerate if not using immediately.)

— Adapted by The New York Times from Philip Ward, Mayahuel, New York

YUKON CORNELIUS

Makes 1 drink

¾ ounce aquavit, preferably Krogstad

¾ ounce mezcal, preferably Del Maguey Vida

½ ounce peach liqueur, preferably Giffard

½ ounce ginger syrup (see note)

½ ounce fresh lemon juice, plus lemon wheel for garnish

2 ounces Modelo Especial beer

Candied ginger, for garnish

In a cocktail shaker three-quarters filled with ice, combine all ingredients except beer, lemon wheel and ginger. Shake until chilled, about 30 seconds. Strain into 10-ounce highball glass half-filled with ice. Top with beer. Stir briefly with bar spoon to integrate ingredients. Garnish with lemon wheel and piece of candied ginger.

Note: To make ginger syrup, combine 1 cup chopped ginger with 1½ cups water in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for two minutes. Remove from heat and let sit, covered, for two hours. Strain off ginger, making sure to press all the juice out of the ginger. Warm 1 cup sugar and ½ cup ginger solution in a saucepan over low heat until dissolved. Let cool. (There will be extra syrup; refrigerate if not using immediately.)

— Adapted by The New York Times from Natasha David, Mayahuel, New York



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