BEER COCKTAILS, A NATURAL PROGRESSION FOR CURRENT DRINKMAKERSWhen you bring up the idea of a beer cocktail, many turn up their nose at mixing things with beer. What they don’t often realize that beer cocktails are one of the largest selling categories (at least in our state) out there. Pretty much all of us have tried Leinie’s Summer Shandy in all its assorted flavors, as well as the other brands that are trying to get in on that market: Sand Creek Lemon, Potosi Shandy etc. These are all beer cocktails. So….why limit yourself to what you can purchase every day in a can or bottle? Better ingredients make better drinks so use some fresh squeezed juices and mix it up with your favorite beers. The possibilities are endless! Here are a few ideas to get your creative mixologist juice flowing. First on the list is the classic Black and Tan and all its variations. Guinness and Harp layered in a glass. [caption id="attachment_4494" align="aligncenter" width="542"] It’s a thing of beauty and tastes great, too![/caption] Second and one of my favorites is the Beermosa. Any lighter beer mixed with Orange juice. I like Hoegaarden, but any of the Kreik Belgians are good as well for a fruit flavored Mimosa. [caption id="attachment_4495" align="aligncenter" width="294"] A beermosa is perfect for brunch![/caption] Here are a few that I found when researching this article that I will be trying soon. El Matador (and classic Micheladas in general) Red Rooster Harlem’s El Matador is a flashier version of a standard beer cocktail from Mexico: the Michelada. As the New York Times points out, a traditional michelada is generally a savory experience that includes hot sauce, tomato juice, soy sauce and Maggi seasoning among its ingredients. The El Matador, however, blends sweet, savory and heat with chili pepper, salt, strawberries, basil and lime juice as some of its ingredients. You can watch a demonstration of of how to make an El Matador at homehere. Featured Beer: Pilsner. Pilsners are best paired with chicken, avocados, egg dishes and mild cheeses like gruyere. Red Rooster uses the German Radeberger Pilsner (4.8% ABV), but we’d recommend substituting Pilsner Urquell (4.4% ABV) or Victory Prima Pils (5.3% ABV). Ingredients: 2 oz. Herredura Blanco 1 oz. Fresh Lime Juice .5 oz. Agave Nectar 2 strawberries and 4 basil leaves Victory Prima Pils How To Make It: Muddle strawberries and basil leaves. Shake and strain through a sifter into a rocks glass full of ice. Top with pilsner. Garnish the rim with chili pepper and salt. Add a whole strawberry and basil leaf. Black Velvet Another simple two-ingredient beer cocktail. It’s just a stout (usually Guinness) and champagne. According to the Guinness Storehouse, this cocktail was invented in 1861 at London’s Brook’s Club soon after the death of Prince Albert. The story is that the club’s steward, in his grief over the the prince’s death, declared that “even the champagne should be put into mourning” and mixed it with the inky dark Guinness. It’s been a popular beer cocktail ever since. Featured Beer Type: Guinness’ Extra Stout (6% ABV) or other stout. Stouts are often paired with chocolate, oysters, New York-style cheesecakes and heavier meats such as steak. Ingredients: 1/2 glass Stout 1/2 glass Champagne How To Make It: Fill 1/2 a collins glass with a stout and gently top with champagne. Start mixing and try a beer cocktail!