Sometimes at the height of summer heat, I actually find beer can be too heavy to quench my thirst. I’m sure there are many beer drinkers out there who’d string me up for that statement. Kolsch might be one exception but they’re not easy to come across. So most of the time I go to a highball such as Gin & Tonic. It’s light, fresh, with a definite tart note so hits the spot. But as this is part of a series on beer and how versatile it is, I felt there was an onus on me to find cocktails that would satisfy difficult people such as myself. Turns out there are a lot of options.
Upon perusing the web looking for inspiration, I was reminded of some of the “youthful” beer cocktails shall we say. Entirely designed to get you drunk in a hurry, potentially make you sick and leave you in a sorry state the next day.
Irish Car Bomb – a pint glass containing half a pint of Irish stout with a mixed bomb shot of Irish cream and Irish whiskey. (FYI; if ever you go to Ireland, NEVER EVER ASK FOR ONE OF THESE!)
Flaming Doctor Pepper – a flaming drink made from a bomb shot of high-proof alcohol and Amaretto ignited and dropped into a pint of beer. Tastes like Dr Pepper. Quite honestly, flaming cocktails are for kids. You’ll look like a dick and the bartender will hate you.
Boilermaker – A glass of beer with a shot of whiskey dropped in. Right out of a cowboy western.
I’m not looking down my nose at anyone I just wanna say. I’ve consumed far too many of these to be casting stones at anyone. But let’s just say I avoid them now…
The drinks I have on offer here are far more agreeable than the above in my opinion. I also wanted to be sure that whatever I put forward was easy enough to make with ingredients found locally. Not always easy to do here on the Sunshine Coast. The other important factor was the drinks don’t require a line of credit to check off each item. Too often I see cocktail aficionados post what is unquestionably a cool and creative libation not taking into account that not everyone has a fully stocked liquor cabinet.
A Basic Guide for Choosing Beers to Mix
As per BBC GoodFood
“This all depends on how confident you are in your beer knowledge. Lager is a safe bet as it’s fairly neutral and has the kind of sprightly tingle that gives a long cocktail a boost. If you really want to keep things simple, go for a shandy – it is a blended beer drink after all. Start using a 50:50 ratio, blending your lager with cloudy lemonade, a combination of citrus juice and soda or blood orange aranciata.
Heavily-hopped IPA usually comes loaded with lots of different flavour notes, most typically citrus, herbal, floral or bitter. There’s no hard and fast rule here, so identify the strongest characteristic and match it with spirits accordingly – a citrusy IPA would work well with a lemon or orange-tinged spirit, while something herbal may work with a botanical gin. We really like American-style IPAs with tonnes of carbonation and body, so if you can, pick up something from a small, experimental craft brewery.
Treat hazy wheat beer in much the same way – it’s not hopped like IPA, but its flavour comes from aromatics, and you’ll usually find it tastes bitter, smoky, herby and lemony, so create your cocktail recipe accordingly. When it comes to dark and broody stout, with roasted and toasted flavours abound its best matched with flavours like rich chocolate and deep coffee when creating your blend”.
A wise rule to follow when making a beer cocktail; shake all the ingredients before adding the beer or you’ll need a mop to clean the mess up. Alternatively you can stir the drink once you’ve combined everything.
This is Mexican cocktail and is very similar to a Bloody Mary but the vodka has been substituted with beer. Serves 2
I found this version from “Nick” on a site Macheesmo.com
This is a “Canadianized” version as it uses Clamato juice in place of Tomato. And Clamato was created here and is often difficult to source outside our borders.
2 light lager beers
1 cup clamato juice (use Walters if you want to take it up a notch)
2 teaspoons pickle juice (yes pickle juice.important)
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
1/2 lime, juice only
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning (you can find this in the spice section of the supermarket)
1 teaspoon celery salt
Combine the ingredients for the salt on a plate and wet the mouth of a tall glass (Collins or similar). Roll the mouth of the glass through the spices.
Add several cubes of ice, pour in half the mix and pour in beer.
Cousin Funday Beer Cocktail
I found this on Food52’s site as contributed by Vanessas. Unfortunate name for the drink but very elegant, simple and easy to get the ingredients for.
1 2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and sliced into 1/4 inch pieces
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons orange liqueur (Cointreau)
2 bottles of lager
Combine the ginger, water and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, stir until all the sugar dissolves, and simmer over low heat for 5 minutes. Pour the mixture into a glass, ginger and all, and place in the refrigerator until cool.
When the ginger syrup is cool, strain it and divide it between two large glasses. Into each glass, add the juice of 1 lime and 1 tablespoon of orange liqueur. Fill each glass with a bottle of beer and stir. On a really hot day, add ice before taking it outside to the pool and enjoying.
This comes from BBC GoodFood. They really are a great site and source of inspiration. One thing about this recipe is it recommends “sparkling” orange juice. San Pellegrino might be the closest we see here. Straight OJ would likely work nearly as well. It’s the bubbles that are at issue here.
Take two rocks glasses and put 2-3 ice cubes in each one. Divide 50ml Campari between the glasses and top with 300ml IPA. Add a splash of sparkling orange juice and rub a piece of orange peel around the rim of each glass before dropping into the drink.
Bourbon & Honey Beer Cocktail
I found this recipe at the Bourbon & Honey Website. Straight forward, products people would typically have on hand and as the person who created it said, takes only slightly longer to make than opening a beer.
- 2 ounces bourbon
- 1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 2 dashes bitters
- 2 bottles (12 ounces each) lager beer (I used a pilsner)
- Lemon twist for garnish
Add bourbon, lemon juice, honey and bitters to a cocktail shaker filled with ice; shake well, until honey is dissolved. Divide between two pint glasses, top with beer. Garnish with a lemon twist.
I came across this very simple recipe on the Huffington Post but thought of a twist on it. Essentially it’s just watermelon puree with wheat beer but why not do it as a punch. I saw huge bins of watermelons at the supermarket this weekend and came up with the idea of cutting out the top and scooping out the melon. Use this to make the punch and serve it in the hollowed out watermelon. Great presentation for a BBQ.
1 watermelon, insides scooped out and seeded
8 – 10 White Beers or Wheat Beers
Place the watermelon chunks in your blender. Puree until smooth, then pour into a sifter over a bowl. Strain until only the juice is left and there is no pulp -chill for at least an hour. Fill the melon with the beer and watermelon juice and ladle into glasses.
Non-Watermelon Punch Bowl Version
1/4 watermelon, cut up into chunks
2-4 White Beers or Wheat Beers
Place the watermelon chunks in your blender. Puree until smooth, then pour into a sifter over a bowl. Strain until only the juice is left and there is no pulp -chill for at least an hour. Fill a glass with the beer and pour the watermelon juice on top. Serve immediately.
Watermelon Beer: Take 3
Another take on this drink was by Colleen Graham for the Spruce Eats
3/4 cup watermelon (fresh, cubed)
1/2 ounce vanilla syrup
6 ounces wheat beer (enough to fill)
Put a beer mug into the freezer in advance to get the glass fully chilled.
Over the strainer and using a spatula, gently press the watermelon to extract the juice.
Pour the vanilla syrup into the glass and then fill a further halfway with the watermelon juice.
Top it off with the beer.