If you’re not up to speed on drinking trends, then your jaw may drop the next time you’re at a trendy restaurant or lounge and you see a bartender adding juice or more liquor to beer. Sure, if you’re an old-school drinking pro then maybe you’ve added some tomato juice to your beer after a long day of partying. But adding other types of mix to beer? Is it possible? Oh, not only is it possible, but it can be a glorious thing.
Yes, if you don’t get out much or read up on the latest drinking “fashion,” then you’re probably unaware that consuming different types of delicious cocktails is all the rage. So much so that high-end restaurants and lounges are hiring people called “mixologists.” These bar chefs are there to invent, improve, or rediscover cocktails that the establishment’s clientele will enjoy. And beer is increasingly a key ingredient.
But can you go wrong with beer cocktails? Doesn’t adding mix to beer just ruin one of civilization’s greatest inventions? Although it may be hard to believe, beer cocktails are not only tasty and refreshing, but they can serve as a welcome change for even the most hardcore beer drinkers.
Why would you mix beer with other beverages?
While most beer lovers have a tough time accepting that anything needs to be added to their favorite lager, ale, or stout, the reality is that beer’s flavors can be accentuated by adding other types of beverages. For example, by adding a sweet-tasting juice to a bitter-tasting beer, you could wind up with the perfect blend of flavors. Or, if you’re drinking a beer that’s a little on the heavy side, then by mixing in some soda or cider you could create a refreshing beverage that’s great on a summer day.
Although more and more restaurants are adding beer cocktails to their drink menus, the reality is that certain types of these beverages have been around for decades. For example, adding lemonade or cider to beer is believed to have started in the mid-19th century, and the suspicion is that it was done so to mask the taste of skunky beer. After all, it would be a sin to just waste the beer!
Of course, your precious beer will go much further if you add mix to it. This is why, according to legend, a German innkeeper invented the popular drink called the Radler in the early 1900s. As the story goes, the inn was besieged by hundreds of thirsty cyclists and when the innkeeper realized he didn’t have enough beer to go around, he started adding lemonade to it so he’d have enough. Thankfully, it was a delicious beverage.
Will beer cocktails mess you up?
Of course, if you’re drinking beer cocktails that have been prepared by a professional, or someone who has taken the time to find good recipes, then chances are they’re going to taste really, really good. As a result, you probably won’t have much difficulty guzzling them down. In other words, if you’ve inhaled five or six drinks within the first hour, you could be in store for a sloppy and forgettable night.
In addition, if you’re drinking a beer cocktail that has extra hard alcohol added to it, then the alcohol content of your drink could be much higher than your typical beer. Here again, if you don’t pace yourself, things could get ugly in a hurry.
That being said, if you’re drinking a beer cocktail that is made with plenty of juice or water, then that juice or water will help your body rehydrate from the booze you’re ingesting. So, as long asyou don’t go overboard and watch how many you have, you might be surprised by the lack of a hangover the next morning.
What are some famous beer cocktails?
In addition to the aforementioned Radler, there is no shortage of beer cocktails and, by the time you’re done reading this, chances are several more will have been invented. Generally speaking, there are four types of beer cocktails.
The first type involves mixing beer and mix, such as juice or soda. Then there are beverages made with different kinds of beer together. Some beer cocktails are prepared by adding spirits to beer. Lastly, there are cocktails that combine beer, juice, and liquor.
One of the most famous and traditional beer cocktails is the Shandy, which typically involves mixing beer and cider. Sometimes it is also made by adding black currant syrup, which really takes up the flavor a notch.
Another famous cocktail, which often is consumed after a long night of boozing, is the Red Eye. This rustic beverage is made by mixing lager, vodka, tomato juice, and an egg. Yes, that’s right, an egg.
The Black and Tan is another renowned beer cocktail that comes from the United Kingdom, and is fairly simple in nature. All that goes into the tasty drink is Harp Lager and Guinness; however, it’s a bit of a tricky cocktail to serve right. A Black and Tan is supposed to be layered, so after filling a pint glass half full with Harp, the Guinness should be poured slowly over a spoon to make the stout stay on top. It looks super cool and tastes great.