Mixology is all about being adventurous. It’s what birthed amazing cocktails like the Corpse Reviver and why we run into unexpected refreshers like cocktails made from Marsala. Simply put, trial and error can get you to some really tasty new frontiers.
For most, beer is considered something you enjoy on its own, preferable in a cold pint glass. Well, there’s some truth to that but it sounds a little stuck in tradition to us. After all, there are so many beers out there, from light and refreshing lagers to winter-ready stouts. Beer can be enjoyed neat but it can also be mixed into some delicious, suds-based concoctions. Here are a few recommendations.
Juice (or Soda)
In 2007, Wisconsin’s Leinenkugel Brewing Co. released Summer Shandy, a mixture of lemonade and traditional German Weiss beer. Both the beer and the style became hit a across the U.S. — nine in 10 shandies sold in America are Leinenkugel, and the brewery has since released orange, grapefruit, and berry varieties.
You can experiment with shandies — or radlers, as they became known as in Germany — at home by mixing lemonade, limeade, or lemon-lime soda to give your brew a sour punch. Wheat beers and saisons meld well with the lemon- and lime-forward drinks.
However, flavor palates vary, so try different types of beers with different types of juices. Grapefruit juice meshes well with citrusy hops in IPAs and pale ales, while other IPAs and pales might have more tropical hops that would go with pineapple juice.
Bloody Mary Mix
Love a Bloody Mary? A michelada is a good way to start off a morning at the lake house. Simply mix a bottle or can of your beer of choice with the desired amount of tomato juice or Bloody Mary mix and doctor it up however you would a cocktail — add some hot sauce, a pickle, loads of lime juice, whatever! Salt the rim as you please.
Most light beers will work — Anheuser Busch and Modelo even make canned versions — but micheladas are usually made with Mexican lagers, like Modelo or Corona. A ‘chelada subtracts the tomato juice, focusing on lime juice and spices.
To really amp up the beer and the party, combine beer and a Margarita.
A bottle — again, preferably a Mexican lager — can be profitably tipped into a glass of Margarita. If you’re serving more than one, make a pitcher by blending the beer with the tequila and margarita mix or limeade. Not a fan of tequila or don’t need the strength? Go ahead and subtract the liquor.
Adding a little bit of sparkle to a beer can make it even more refreshing. The Black Velvet is traditionally made with Champagne and a stout, so if there are some extra heavy beers lying around in the fridge that need to be lightened up for the warm weather, this is a great way to do it. Of course, a bit of dry sparkling wine can add a nice touch of refreshment and effervescence to any style of beer.
Putting anything with beer can make some brew enthusiasts shake their heads, but Coca-Cola might be one of the weirder suggestions. It’s a trendy mixture in Germany, where it is called Colabier.
Again, as with all beer cocktails, different amounts will lead to different results. A 50/50 mixture of beer and Coke will be extremely sweet, so suggest a ratio that uses less soda. As for the beer, keep it simple and not hoppy — try light lagers or caramel-like brown and amber ales.
Black and Tan
That’s right, mix your beer with other beers. It’s the reasoning behind the rather famous Black and Tan, a British blend of one part pale ale, one part stout or porter. In Ireland, it’s simply called a half-and-half and it’s not only a tasty drink, but looks cool in the glass, especially if you later the darker beer on top (pour it over the back of a bar spoon to get a proper fade).
But don’t stop there. Try mixing some of your favorite sour beers with hoppy options like IPAs. Think about complementary flavors, like chocolate and berries and use your imagination. A nice stout can do fine split evenly with a huckleberry or raspberry wheat ale.
Now you know, and that’s just part of the adventure. Get to mixing and when you do, don’t overlook beer as the backbone of your beverage.
- The surprising states that drink the most wine, beer, and liquor
- How to make limoncello: Everything you need to know
- The 10 best cheap beers money can buy in 2023
- The best kegerators for keeping your favorite beers cold and fresh
- Is erythritol harmful? What a dietitian says new data means for your Keto diet