100 + degree weather in Reno this week! Trying to beat the heat and relax on the deck after a long shift behind the bar, this came to mind…
1.5 oz Tru Organic Gin
.75 oz Fruitlab Hibiscus Organic Liqueur
.75 oz Simple Syrup
.5 oz Pink Grapefruit
.25 oz Lemon
Shake and strain into a tall glass on the rocks
Top with Lagunitas IPA
Garnish with Grapefruit Zest
Refreshing, zesty and goes down so quick on a hot night. Give it a try…
Snow White inspired, this refreshing cocktail is the perfect libation before you head to the movies this summer. It is light with a subtle complexity that fuels your summer fever. Drink them on the patio. Careful though, they are not for the faint of heart. Continue Reading
Spring is upon us with a plethora of sunshine and warmth, demanding a new focus on more refreshing and bright beer cocktails. One of my favorite warm weather sippers has always been the gin fizz — bright, citrusy and effervescent. My rule of thumb with beer cocktails is: any drink that calls for soda water, tonic or juice can easily be substituted with beer. Case and point: The Gin Fizz.
This cocktail is loosely based on the Silver Gin Fizz, which calls for gin, citrus, sugar, egg whites and soda water. Inspired by Bison Brewing’s Honey Basil Ale, I chose to shake “spanked” basil with honey, fresh lemon juice, lime juice, egg whites and one of my all time favorite gins — St. George Spirit’s Botanivore — and top the concoction with beer.
The result is a tart, fizzy cocktail with hints of caramel sweetness, notes of clover honey, and a whisper of basil. Absolutely perfect for this time of year!
I was recently challenged to make a Belgian Wit inspired beer cocktail for an upcoming event with Maui Brewing Company. When I think of pale malt beers that boast fruity, floral and slightly spicy esters — I always gravitate towards Gin. The botanical nature of gin is an excellent match for the lighter Belgian ales, such as wits and saisons.
The recipe inspiration came from the classic “Silver Fizz” — a gin based cocktail with lemon juice, sugar, egg whites and soda water. In an effort to add more flavor, I substituted the sugar with Elderflower syrup and the soda water with Maui Brewing’s La Perouse Belgian Wit-style Ale.
In order to incorporate more botanicals into the mix, I went with one of my favorite gins, St. George Spirits Botanivore. The result is a bright and refreshing, moderately tart and slight floral beer cocktail perfect for the hot spring and summer months. Continue Reading
One of the best things about using beer in cocktails is that the possibilities are endless. There are thousands of beers out there, each with its own flavor profile. In addition to just using beer on its own as an ingredient, beer can also easily be turned into a flavored syrup or liqueur, opening up new avenues of creativity for beer cocktails.
I think that the use of beer syrups in cocktails is a fantastic way to incorporate the flavors of a beer without adding carbonation to your drink, because lets face it, not every drink needs to be bright and sparkly. Sometimes you need something stronger that is going to linger in the glass a while.
It seems as though every other person is drinking an IPA these days so it’s a natural extension to move the IPA category into the realm of the cocktail. The goal of the Albatross was to pick up and compliment the citrus notes of an IPA, while adding an aromatic pine note and amping up the alcohol a bit. What really makes this cocktail unique is the use of dried hops muddled with simple syrup. So let’s get to it.
Albatross Continue Reading
This is the cocktail that I submitted for the Bols Cocktail Competition, so cross your fingers for me.
I love these beer syrups, the honey is amazing with Lindemans Gueuze Cuvée René. The sour and sweet blends harmoniously and opens the floral components of the beer nicely. The cocktail is delicately sweet and surprisingly refreshing. Plus, blood orange makes for a stunning color.
When I first started constructing this cocktail, I had no idea it would be the first in a libation line up dedicated to my friends and their x-rated alter egos. If you aren’t familiar with this fun and hilarious game, this is how you name your character or alter ego: combine your first pet’s name and the name of the street where you grew up. Giving credit where credit is due, my comedian friend Garet Webb came up with the idea for the line up while helping me name this particular cocktail.
I chose Nolet’s Silver gin because of its incredible floral notes, and it is one of my personal favorite gins currently on the market. Nolet’s Silver has been distilled in The Netherlands for over 300 years. Historically, the Nolet family became famous for their distillate known as Ketel One.
When tasting this beautiful gin you will perceive Turkish rose, peaches, and berries, not only on your tongue, but also in your olfactory. There are also several other background botanicals that you will encounter, such as coriander and citrus peel.
Adding blackberries to this libation was a no brainer, but the rosemary was the particular ingredient that sealed the deal. Going against the grain of traditional gin cocktails, I chose lemon juice. Agave is the sweetener because of the binding abilities that this natural substance posses. The beer in this cocktail is a Belgian white called Blanche de Bruxelles. This is my favorite Belgian white, hands down. Since the beer and the spirit have similar ingredients, this cocktail goes down super smoothly and pairs well with spicy charcuterie or a shellfish dish. Continue Reading
Photo Credit: Mike Condie
One thing that truly differentiates beer and spirits from wine, apart from the obvious, is that both allow for the addition of non-traditional ingredients. Although there are style guidelines and “rules” for both beer and spirits, innovators in both industries tend to bend them, if not completely break them.
As with most artisan creations, cocktail recipes are often inspired by one specific ingredient, whether it be a particular brand of spirit of a specific beer. A Sazerac would not be a Sazerac without, yep you guessed it, Sazerac.
The Mad Botanist was inspired by Bison Brewing’s “Saison de Wench” — a Belgian-farmhouse style ale brewed with botanicals (rose, hibiscus, lemongrass & pink peppercorn), and St. George’s “Botanivore Gin” — an artisan spirit distilled with 19 different botanicals.
I have found that one of the best ways of incorporating beer into cocktails is to use it in place of champagne or soda water. By utilizing beer in this way, you open up a simple cocktail to all sorts of variations. If you were to add a nice Belgian ale, you would be gaining some sweet malt and yeast flavors to your cocktail, but if you used an uber hopped IPA instead, you would add a fantastic bitter/citrus dimension to your drink.
The thing to keep in mind when using beer is balance. Some beers, especially Belgians can be fairly sweet, so make sure that you are adjusting your cocktail accordingly. This next drink pairs one of my favorite spirits with one of my favorite styles of beer.