Not something I’d gravitate to, but one of the blog readers forwarded a link to another blog that runs a weekly cocktail contest. The theme for this coming week…Beer Cocktails. I’m a little conflicted about this one. Beer is where I started several years ago. The archetypal flavors in a glass of beer seem to express what the brewmaster wants you to taste – nothing more or less. The grains that were selected and their degree of roasting, the hop selection and timing of their addition conspire to make the drink. It isn’t meant to age or be messed with – the final product is what you get, just drink and enjoy.

That said, all cocktail mixing usually involves messing with the base drink to take it to another level. Even single malts aren’t immune from getting pressed into service for an occasional cocktail. We’ve done it with Champagne as well. What the heck, here goes.

I’ve been playing around a bit with rye whiskey, cherry brandy and juice, and sweet vermouth to try and come up with a Halloween cocktail. No final combination yet, but some of the ideas from that experiment were adapted to mixing with beer. Here’s what I came up with –

The Beer Heering

The ingredients shot

The ingredients shot

  • 12 oz Pale Ale
  • 1-1/2 oz Cherry Heering
  • 3/4 oz Orange curacao
  • lemon wedge

Add liqueurs to beer, squeeze lemon wedge into the glass and add as a garnish (or not). Stir gently and serve.

The amount of the liqueurs can vary to your taste, cut back the orange before you cut back on the cherry. The lemon helps cut down on the sweetness from the liqueurs. The beer is sufficiently bitter that you can skip adding another bittering agent. Remember that some pale ales are more hoppy (read: bitter) than others and the selection will affect the drink. I used Whole Foods house Pale Ale which is only mildly bitter.