Beer cocktails are hard to ignore lately. Not that we can figure out why you’d ever want to ignore the beautiful marriage of delicious beer, inspired spirits, and other choice mixers.
Want to stay up-to-date on the drink world’s hottest trend? Here’s eight of our favorite beer cocktail recipes, served with a dash of history.
The origins of this drink are pretty cloudy – much like the mind of someone who’s consumed a few. Laurie Ricie from the Art of Cocktails tells us, "its roots are most likely found in the dark halls of a fraternity basement or in a Winnebago at a river camp."
It kind of sounds like something that would bring us back to our early twenties – and those kind of drinks are always refreshing.
1½ oz peach vodka
2 tbsp bourbon
2 oz lemonade
1½ oz triple sec
1 dash grenadine syrup
Orange peel, for garnish
In a pint glass, combine the pilsner, vodka, bourbon, and lemonade. Hit the mix with the triple sec and grenadine, then stir for about 10 seconds. Garnish, hop, skip, strip, and enjoy!
The origins of the Michelada are murky. Some claim the drink came about after the Tecate Brewery first introduced its tin can. To diminish the metallic taste, consumers rimmed the edge with a lime and sprinkled it with salt. Others believe the drink was made famous by a French family, the Mitchels, who threw infamous parties that were known around town as "Mitcheladas." The spicy drink they served was somehow dubbed the Michelada – which makes us slightly concerned about what happened to the "t."
Yet another story credits General Augusto Michel, who fought in the Mexican Revolution, with enjoying a zesty tipple similar to the Michelada after battles. No one knows exactly which tale to believe but this delicious drink is regarded as a sure-fire cure for a hangover, and an excellent way to spice up an evening.
1 oz tequila (optional)
¾ oz fresh lime juice
2-3 dashes Worcestershire sauce
2 dashes Tabasco sauce
Pinch of salt
Pinch of pepper
1 lime wedge, for rimming
Rock salt, for rimming
Rim the edge of a chilled beer mug (or pint glass) with a lime wedge and dip it in rock salt. Fill the glass about two-thirds of the way with cubed ice and add the fresh lime juice. Hit the ice with the Worcestershire and Tabasco, along with a pinch of salt and pepper. Add the tequila (if you so choose), then the beer, and mix well for about 5-10 seconds with a bar spoon.
If you’re looking for a twist on the Michelada, the Cocky Rooster is sure to put a little extra spring in your strut. The drink was created by Tuan Bui, owner of the An Choi restaurant, a Vietnamese eatery in the Lower East Side of NYC. He’d often end long nights with a Michelada from the Mexican joint across the street, until one night, while sipping on his favorite nightcap, he had an epiphany and he set out to close the gap between Mexican and Vietnamese cuisines. The name comes from the bird logo on the bottle of Huy Fong Sriracha hot sauce that’s added to the drink in place of the Tobasco used in Micheladas.
1 oz fresh lime juice
3 dashes Maggi sauce
2 dashes Sriracha sauce
1 lime wedge
Kosher salt, for rimming
2 jalapeno slices, for garnish
Rim the edge of a pint glass with the lime wedge, and coat the rim with the kosher salt. Fill the glass about half-way with cubed ice, then add the lime juice, Sriracha, and Maggi sauce. Add the beer last, garnish with the jalapeno slices, stir for about 5 seconds and enjoy!
This one is simple but sweet – easy to make and marvelous to taste, especially in the summer time. According to legend, after biking became a popular hobby in Germany, a bartender named Franz Xaver Kugler had created a bike trail through the forest straight to his establishment 12 miles outside of Munich. One hot day in the summer of 1922, thousands of cyclists came to his bar for refreshments, and after a while, his supply began to run dry. With thousands of thirsty men demanding their beer, Kugler had to think fast. Although the beer was low, he had plenty of lemonade, so he started combining the two. The Radler was born and the rest is history. People often confuse Radlers with Snakebites, which are similar, but made with cider instead of lemonade. In the UK, the term "shandy" is often used interchangeably with "cocktail" or "alcoholic beverage."
4 oz (carbonated) lemonade
Splash of club soda (if using non-carbonated lemonade)
1 oz fresh lime juice
2-3 dashes Angostura bitters
Lime wedge, for garnish
Fill a pilsner glass about one-third of the way full with cubed ice and pour in the beer. Combine the other ingredients along with a few ice cubes in a cocktail shaker and shake for about 10 seconds. Slowly strain the contents into the glass with the beer and stir for about 5 seconds. Garnish with the lime wedge and enjoy every sip.
Based partially off the classic Pimm’s Cup, the Table Tennis uses fresh citrus juice, Pimm’s No. 1, a bit of demerara syrup (although simple syrup will do), and a Belgian beer. The creator, Liam Deegan, says a wheatier beer is good for this drink because it will lend its citrus qualities to the crisp, refreshing mouthfeel. Deegan, who has been featured on BeerMixology.com, suggests using Hitachino Nest White Ale, as it has a touch of spice and plenty of citrus, both of which go well with the Pimm’s.
1½ oz Pimm’s No. 1
¾ oz fresh lemon juice
¾ oz fresh lime juice
¾ oz fresh orange juice
¾ oz simple syrup
Fill a pint glass about one-third full with cubed ice and pour in the beer. Place all other ingredients into a cocktail shaker and shake for 10-15 seconds. Strain slowly into the pint glass containing the beer and enjoy!
Often referred to as just a "Lunch Box," this fruity delight tastes similar to a Monaco. There appears to be no clear history, but going out on a limb, we assume it originated in Cincinnati and probably has something to do with the ingredients – kind of like a lunchbox, maybe? You got your bread (with the wheaty Hefeweizen), your fruit (from the orange and cherry), and a little dessert (with the sweet amaretto).
Freshly squeezed orange juice
1 oz amaretto liqueur (like Disaronno)
Orange wedge, for garnish
Maraschino cherry, for garnish
Fill a chilled weizen glass about three-quarters full with a hefeweizen of your choice. Hit it with the fresh orange juice and amaretto. Garnish with the orange wedge and cherry, then enjoy!
This drink was created by Yanni Kehagiaras, a bartender at one of San Francisco’s most highly regarded restaurants – Nopa [http://www.nopasf.com/]. Yanni’s resume is pretty impressive. While working at The Cheesecake Factory in San Francisco, he was awarded the corporate Commitment to Excellence Award for Bartender of the Year out of 130 national Cheesecake restaurants. He has also worked designing cocktails for restaurants across the country. The drink itself has been described as a dessert-like cocktail, and was originally created to help Yanni win a cocktail competition – which, needless to say, he won.
½ oz chilled Pedro Ximénez Sherry
6 oz chilled chocolate or regular stout
Combine ingredients in a chilled pint glass, stir for a few seconds and serve immediately, without ice.
If you’re the type to fight for your right to party, then the Brass Monkey is the one for you. You can drink it anytime, anyplace. If you want to get ill, just pour it on your face. It’s debatable whether or not we can actually consider this a beer cocktail, but in memory of the late MCA, we just had to include it. So tip one of these back if interested in honoring the late, great Beastie Boy.
6-10 oz orange juice
1 Beastie Boys album
Your party hat
Drink your bottle of malt liquor down to the top of the label. Fill the bottle back to the top with the orange juice, tighten the cap, and give it a little shake. Throw on your favorite Beastie album and put your party hat on – it’s going to be a long night.
The only thing even partially universal about these drinks right now is the consumption of them. Other than that, ingredients, preparation instructions, and glassware guidelines are all pretty subjective. So experiment and decide how you like them best. Take notes along the way, compare with others, and most of all, enjoy what you’re creating! And who knows, maybe someday you’ll be credited for a classic beer cocktail!