My first beer was a mixed beer drink on a warm summer day in Austria. My uncle filled a glass with half Pilsner and half Almdudler (a Sprite-like, but more flavorful, soda). Oh, it was delicious and my love of beer began! Ever since I’ve been more than willing to experiment with beer drinks and cocktails. And it seems to be catching on here in the U.S., as well. I’ve noticed more than a few restaurants featuring flips and other beer concoctions on their menus.
One of the oldest beer drinks was probably the flip, dating back to the 1600s, when early mixologists served a heated mixture of beer, sugar and rum. I can imagine that was a popular drink in a time with no indoor heating! Today, bartenders are mixing up all kinds of beer cocktails based on traditional favorites, like the Harvey Wallbanger. We’ve pulled together 10 easy-to-make beer cocktail drinks that you can try in the safety of your own home.
There are many versions of this cocktail floating around and we call ours the Skull Smoker because we made it extra spicy! The great thing about it is the ability to make it as hot or mild as you like.
Make it: To 6 ounces of chilled stout beer, add 1 ounce of chilled rum, 1/8 tsp of cayenne pepper (more or less depending on your taste), and 2 tsp chilled lime juice (no pulp). Stir and serve with a wedge of lime.
This was my intro to beer when living in Austria as a teen. To this day, I love the flavor and the fact that it’s easy to drink in warm summer weather. Radler, translated, means cyclist and I’m sure there’s a story in there somewhere about thirsty bikers in the Alps.
Make it: Fill a chilled glass or beer mug 1/2 full with lemonade, then top it off with a cold Pilsner (lagers and ales work fine, I’m sure). You could vary the ratio (1/3 lemonade and 2/3 beer if you like). Stir and enjoy!
Pink Raspberry Beervia A Cup of Mai (adapted from Southern Living)
Refreshing, pretty, pink…need I say more?
Make it: Stir together 1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries, 4 bottles of beer (corona), 1 thawed container of frozen raspberry lemonade concentrate, and 1/2 cup vodka. Served in chilled mugs (we love the Mason jars A Cup of Mai used!).
You can toast history with this drink, said to have been created in the 1800s to commemorate the death of Prince Albert, Queen Victoria’s main squeeze. The dark color was supposed to symbolic of black worn by mourners. The champagne lightens the rather heavy stout and makes a very bubbly, festive drink.
Make it: To 6 ounces of chilled stout beer, slowly add 3 ounces of chilled champagne and stir (gently!). Serve in a chilled champagne flute or collins glass.
There’s a sweet interplay with the dry, bitter of a light ale in this drink. This is one of my favorites for summer days.
Make it: To 6 ounces of chilled light ale, lager or pilsner, add 1 ounce of chilled black currant liqueur (cassis). Stir gently and serve in a chilled beer mug or tall glass.
Black and Tan
Another well-known, traditional beer drink sometimes also called a Half and Half. The drink combines two different types of beer, in equal amounts. You can make it with any contrasting colored beer (light and dark). Always start with the lighter colored beer and make sure they are well chilled.
Make it: Slowly pour 6 ounces of lager or pale ale into a chilled beer glass (you don’t want foam), then slowly add 6 ounces of stout.
The Stout Diplomatvia Epicurious
Yanni Kehagiaras of San Francisco’s Nopa restaurant created this dessert drink for a beer-cocktail competition. “The rum is in there to give this short beer cocktail a bit of a punch,” he says.
Make it: To 6 ounces of chilled stout beer, add 1 ounce of chilled dark rum and 1/2 ounce of chilled sherry. Stir and serve.
Fifth Crownvia Jon at Ednbrg
Want to celebrate Cinco de Mayo with a beer cocktail? Then this one you’ll want to mix up.
Make it: In a shaker filled with ice, shake 1.5 ounces tequila with 1/2 ounce Creme de Mure or Creme de Cassis, and 1 ounce fresh lime juice. Strain into a tall chilled glass (or you can choose to leave the ice in the drink). Top it off with 4 – 6 ounces cold Corona (or other light beer).
Jacob Grier’s Averna Stout Flipvia Jacob Grier
Flips are often warm, but this beery take from Jacob Grier is made cold and served cold.
Make it: Shake 2 oz. Averna, 1 oz of a smooth stout, and 2 dashes of bitters in a cocktail shaker. Stir in 1 egg, add some ice, and shake well. Double strain the flip into a wine or cocktail glass and garnish with nutmeg. (Averna is a sweet, thick Sicilian liqueur with a gentle herbal bitterness.)
This is a drink we concocted out of our love of the classic Negroni (Campari, Gin and Sweet Vermouth). It gives the beer a nice “bite.”
Make it: Shake 1/2 oz Campari and 1/2 oz Gin with ice in a shaker. Strain into a chilled tall beer glass and top with 6 oz chilled lager or pilsner. (For an extra nice touch, garnish with an orange twist.)
Got some favorite beer cocktails or drinks you’d like to share? We’d love to hear them.
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