Bitter, sour, spicy, sweet and smokey — Smokin’ Hops was designed for those of us that like to live life on the edge.
Mezcal fills the mouth and nose with hints of smoke, while fresh serrano chiles tingle the tongue. The mouth slightly puckers from the combination of fresh lemon and hop bitterness. And then all is calmed by the crisp and refreshing carbonation of the beer.
Smoky and bitter with a hint of heat and slight tartness, this cocktail is both warming and refreshing. It will warm you up in the winter, and add a little kick to your routine in the summer. Smokin’ Hops is a perfect match for anything off the grill — especially smoked meats.
And beware, this drink will bite you.
The Bloody Mary has to be one of the most versatile cocktails out there – but very few people have the audacity to alter it much from its vodka roots. As it were, I am the queen of bastardizing classic cocktails. I love switching out the vodka for other spirits – especially tequila. And I also love adding beer.
This weekend, I found myself craving a Bloody Mary (with beer, naturally!) – but I didn’t have tequila in the house (insert sad face). But, I did have some Mezcal – which got the brain ticking. Why not mix-up a smoky almost BBQ-like Bloody Mary with the Mezcal?
But in order to get that straight off the grill, molasses BBQ flavor really narrowed down – I decided to use a stout in the recipe. The result? A bad-ass Bloody Mary hybrid worthy of being garnished with a slice of bacon. In fact, you better garnish this baby with bacon – if you truly want a flavor orgasm in your mouth!!! Continue Reading
Spring is launching into full on summer mode pretty soon and looking for fun and fresh cocktail ideas for your brunches and lunches becomes a priority. Last week I was playing around with lambics and got the idea of trying to make a milkshake flavored cocktail. So, I did a little experimentation and came up with this recipe featuring cake vodka and instead of tasting like a milkshake I thought it was more in the realm of a shortcake. My serendipitous recipe is as follow:
This cocktail has a base in a classic. The Pimm’s Cup. This variation uses fresh citrus juice, Pimm’s No. 1 a bit of Demerara sugar and a wheat beer that lends it’s citrus qualities to this refreshing drink. I like Hitachino Nest White Ale, it has a touch of spice that goes nicely with Pimm’s and plenty of citrus. The other go to is my local NOLA Brewing Co. 7th Street Wheat, which also has great lemon notes.
Genever (also know as junever, genievre, jenever or jeniever), or in the English-speaking world as Holland gin or Dutch gin, is the juniper-flavored and alcoholic traditional spirit of the Netherlands and Belgium, from which gin eventually evolved. Genever has been a protected spirit since 2008, which puts it in the same category as champagne, cognac, and Scottish single malts. Genever can only be made in Holland and a few surrounding areas. The triple distillate of Bols Genever – corn, rye, and wheat – give the mash-bill a whiskey like characteristic that the Dutch call maltwine. Bols (founded in 1575) is one of the oldest distilleries still making the same fantastic product today.
Photo Credit: Mike Condie
During San Francisco Beer Week, I partnered with the awesome people over at St. George Spirits on two beer cocktail events. On of the events was “The Unbirthday Beer Cocktail Party” — which featured three different cocktails using Bison Organic Beer and St. George Spirits.
Also known as the Vodka Vixen, Andie Ferman, the tasting room manager at St. George, whipped up a flip-style cocktail using Bison’s Chocolate Stout and Qi Black Tea Liqueur, a seductive spirit craft-distilled from rare fruits, exotic spices, wildflower honey, and cedar-smoked tea. The end result is a sweet and creamy beverage with hint of cocoa, spice, and smoke. It will most definitely leave you wanting s’more. Continue Reading
February is the great month for cultivating desires and ironing out wishlists. In many parts of the world you’re sequestered indoors by inhospitable climate, watching the weather assault your windows. In Southern California we may be enjoying milder conditions but there is a lot of thumb twiddling and staying home as we plan the events of the year to come.
February has me checking flight costs, plotting routes, compiling itineraries, and jotting down restaurants I can’t wait to visit. Right now I’m yearning for moules frites and a dubbel in Antwerp, and prosciutto and cheese in Parma. Tell me you don’t want to spend the rest of your day dreaming of drinking your way through the Trappist Brouwerijen, or dining your way through Emilia-Romagna? I don’t want to dream it, I want to live it. For now, close your eyes, take a sip, and soak in the beer of Belgium and the bitters of Italy.
While beer cocktails may seem like a novel new trend in mixology, using beer in cocktails is not actually a new concept. In fact, the earliest beer cocktails date back to 1695, with the mention of the flip in Oxford’s English Dictionary.
Although rarely seen on a cocktail menu today, a flip is a fantastic way to get into beer cocktails. In its most basic iteration, a flip is simply beer, spirit, and sweetener. Flips can also include egg, and may be served hot or cold.
Simple. Straightforward. Not fussy, not complicated, and definitely delivers the desired result. In spades.
Amaro can be one of those “acquired” taste kinds of things. Really? What the hell do people mean by that. Think Jagermeister’s more civilized Italian uncle, who will still make you drop your pants given the correct setting. Personally, I am a firm believer in there should be no middle ground. Love it or hate it, “ok” is not acceptable. Don’t think anyone really comes to truly enjoy “ok. ” I love it, especially the deeply bitter, slightly savory, a little dirty, and surprisingly minty versions.
The biggest flavors work best in this, shoot for the dark side of the moon. Pick out the biggest and most aggressive IPA, or other super hopped beer, you can find. Grab a bottle of some kind of Amaro, look around, experiment, Fernet Branca is always a good go to.
Thoughts of Christmas always seem to conger up memories of sitting by the fire, drinking winter warm
ers and spending time with friends and family. Those same holiday memories also tie strongly into some of our favorite flavors and aromas of the season. One classic combination that stands out for me around the holidays is the traditional Chocolate Orange that so many of us have found in our stockings over the years.
For this winter inspired beer cocktail I have combined Left Hand Nitro Milk Stout, Van Gogh Dutch Chocolate Vodka, and Combier Orange Liqueur in a rich and velvety take on a classic Christmas tradition.