The terms sounds oxymoronic; a beer is a beer, after all.
Kyle Fleischfresser, beverage director for Western Concepts, a metro restaurant group, said “cocktail” has morphed in terms of its meaning.
“A cocktail used to refer to a mixed drink with spirits, water, sugar and bitters,” Fleischfresser said. “Now it usually means a mixed drink, including beer cocktails.”
The original beer cocktail is probably the boilermaker, he said, which combines beer and a shot of whiskey or some other spirit. At The Lobby Bar, 4322 N. Western, it’s typically made with Fleischfresser’s preference: rye whiskey.
Traditionally, the whiskey (tequila and vodka are permissible, also) is
poured into the beer or the shot glass dropped into the beer, much like an Irish car bomb.
Irish car bombs are popular choices at McNellie’s, 1100 Classen Drive, and Tapwerks, 121 E. Sheridan. The drink is something of a ritual, and might as well come with a disclaimer: Ruckus ahead!
A mixture of Bailey’s Irish cream and an Irish whiskey — Jameson is a popular choice — is dropped into a Guinness. If you drink it fast enough, it tastes like chocolate milk; any hesitation, and you’ll have chunks of curdled cream.
Another variation is the Guinness cream soda. Combine ginger liqueur (Canton is excellent) with a vanilla liqueur and soda to the halfway point of a pint glass. Float Guinness over the mixture to create a remarkably creamy and surprisingly refreshing cocktail.
Variations on the boilermaker make for refreshing summer drinks. Combining bourbon with a cold beer works well, depending on the beer’s weight. Ludivine, 805 N. Hudson, used Coop’s Zeppelin wheat and Bulleit bourbon to make its “beerbon.”
“When we were designing the beverage program for Flint, we felt that beer cocktails would be something the local community would find intersting,” said Mario Rivera, Flint general manager. “The House Mule is our take on a Russian Mule. We use vodka, ginger syrup, fresh-squeezed lime juice and lager-style beer.”
One of the more common cocktail variations is the beergarita, a take on the perfect margarita. Chow.com, an excellent source of recipes of all kinds, recommends a margarita made with aged tequila, fresh lime and orange juice, Grand Marnier and light Mexican beer like Dos Equis or Tecate.
As with the beerbon, however, light beers with citrus flavors will complement the tequila and fruit juices.
You can get your hands on one of these at Fuzzy’s Taco Shop, 208 Johnny Bench, and La Luna Mexican Cafe, 409 W. Reno.