- Created on 09 December 2011
- Written by Brianna
It's an interesting proposition, taking a beverage that has already, arguably, been many different “cocktails” of ingredients along the way, and giving it yet again another opportunity to have new life breathed into it as a different drink altogether. The whole thing kinda smacks of the holidays, too – a time of year when we steep spices into booze-y cider and put back glass after glass of rum-soaked eggnog with cinnamon and nutmeg (I know I can't be the only one).
As you might expect, beer cocktails can use a lot of these same elements, especially during the holidays. Remember that special flavors and unique ingredients do an enticing cocktail make. What should you brew up that will stand tall and proud amongst another beer or even liquor? Spiced beers are a great avenue; think about a 3 Spice Lemon Weiss, a Pumpkin Lager, or, quite appropriately, a Christmas Ale.
As a brewer, you're already an artist, so I'm sure I don't even have to ask whether you'd jump at the chance to extend your palette (pun intended). Instead of paints, you're making a masterpiece with spirits. I've always been a proponent of coloring outside the lines, and I have to say I think that applies quite nicely in this situation. Don't worry about what's traditional, or what everyone else is doing. Break new ground! We can all take a hint hint from Brewing Up Cocktails – a group started in Portland, Oregon that celebrates the beer cocktail in all its glory. Portland is full of breweries – the most per capita in the US I believe, and I guess that kinda proliferation must really get the creative juices flowing, because Brewing Up Cocktails has some ridiculous looking cocktails on their menu for this year's event. One of the cocktails even has a freaking egg in it, and another is a mulled and spiced beer like you would do to a cider at Christmas – and named appropriately as well – they call it Wasail.
And if you really think about, I bet you'll discover that you already know of some pretty classic and winning beer cocktails. Michelada? No longer a native to just the Southwest, this spicy and refreshing cocktail is being mass produced even by Budweiser these days, probably available for you to pick up at your local gas station. Not that I'd recommend drinking that one. As we all know, making your own is always better, right? ;) Summer shandy? Yet another prolific brewery, Leinenkugel's, mass-produces one of those, but you don't have to go on a hunt for it – mix your home brewed pilsner or lager with some refreshing lemonade and sit back and enjoy.
Being based here in the Southwest, we have a unique perspective on a good Michelada, so I'll throw that recipe out there. But the rest, my friend, is up to you. Give it your best shot this holiday season. And then be sure to report back, because we wanna know what you come up with!
1. A Crisp clean pilsner or lager beer (however many ounces suits you)
2. Cholula hot sauce (add liberally and to taste)
3. (3-4) Small limes (squeezed)
Voila! Michelada goodness. Fantastic any time of the year. Although I bet you could come up with a lot more holiday-like cocktails. So what are you waiting for? Let's get brewin!