I had a new summer crush this past year, and I’m hoping to extend the relationship into the colder months. As I wrote in my previous article, Beer Cocktails, mixing things up is a fun way to experiment with flavors and find new ways to love beer. Beer cocktails swept me off my feet and left me wanting more. I decided to take things to the next level by finding recipes that work well with fall beers and winter temperatures. So, polish up those fancy cocktail glasses and get ready to fill up with some heartwarming libations!
Best for early fall when pumpkin ale is in season, this decadent blend is a real treat! It reminded me of a creamy glass of boozy eggnog. I couldn’t get enough!
1 ounce rye whiskey
1 ounce apple brandy
½ ounce maple syrup
2 ounces pumpkin ale
Freshly grated nutmeg
Fill a cocktail shaker ¾ full with ice. Add whiskey, brandy, maple syrup, and egg. Shake vigorously. You’re going to have to shake it for a while to get the egg to a nice, frothy consistency. I ended up using my immersion blender to whip the ingredients up before adding to the cocktail shaker. This worked much better for me.
Pour the pumpkin ale into a tulip glass and strain the contents of the shaker over it. Carefully stir, then sprinkle with the fresh nutmeg.
This next cocktail is a collaboration with Bitters Lab. The local maker of cocktail bitters has an array of flavors available to elevate any cocktail and give it a little extra depth and complexity. The owner, Andrea Latimer, and I spent an evening mixing and tasting a variety of different beers, spirits, liqueurs and bitters combinations. What we came up with is a refreshing beverage for a day on the snow.
½ ounce of Beehive Distilling Jack Rabbit Gin
½ ounce Campari
½ ounce Cocchi Rosa (or dry vermouth)
¼ ounce honey simple syrup (= parts honey and water)
Juice of ½ a blood orange
4 dashes Bitters Lab aromatic bitters
Uinta Yard Sale Winter Lager
Add all ingredients, except for the beer, to a mixing glass. Add ice and stir. Strain into an old fashioned glass over a large ice cube. Top with Uinta Yard Sale Winter Lager and garnish with a dehydrated blood orange slice (or fresh blood orange peel).
Oh, how I love a hot, boozy drink on a cold day! This recipe makes enough for four, so gather around the fire with some friends, and sip this steaming spiced citrusy grog made with Samuel Adams Boston Lager. The 5% ABV brew is now available in Utah at your local grocery store!
12 ounces Samuel Adams Boston Lager
4 ounces apple cider
3 ounces freshly squeezed orange juice
2 ounces cream sherry
2 ounces orange liqueur
1 ounce amaretto
1 orange, sliced
4 whole cloves
2 star anise pods
In a medium saucepan, heat all ingredients over low heat until warm.
Remove the orange slices and set aside to use as garnish. Strain the liquid into four Irish coffee mugs, removing star anise and cloves. Add orange slices and serve warm.
Sure, you can drink a stout year-round, but for me, the rich, roasted malt flavors are best when temperatures are on the cool side. What better companion for a stout than the lush, sweetness of ruby port? I tried several beer cocktails made with stouts, and this was my favorite! I included a bit of local flavor by adding some of the seasonal Bitters Lab Plum & Oak bitters into the mix.
2 teaspoons simple syrup (= parts sugar and water)
4 dashes Bitters Lab Plum & Oak bitters
12 ounces stout (a dry stout works best)
2 ounces ruby port
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch of ground cinnamon
In a chilled beer mug, add simple syrup and bitters first, then pour the stout into the glass so you end up with a nice, foamy head.
Float the port on top of the foam pouring it slowly over the back of a spoon. Top with a sprinkling of cinnamon and nutmeg. Bottoms up!
If you’d like to experiment more with beer cocktails, I recommend the book, Beer Cocktails by Howard and Ashley Stelzer. Three of the cocktails I shared with you – Sleepy Hollow, Lager Grog, and Stout Sangaree – came from this book. It has a lot of great information and a variety of recipes for all seasons. I would also suggest checking out the workshops hosted by Bitters Lab. They will help you learn the fundamentals of creating interesting, well-balanced cocktails, and occasionally they include beer! Be sure to visit the Bitters Lab pop-up shop inside the Trolley Square Mall this holiday season.
I hope I’ve inspired you to give beer cocktails a try, and maybe even make some at home! I can’t seem to get enough, so stay tuned to our social media. There’s a good chance I’ll be sharing more in the near future. Stay warm, drink well, and embrace the sweater weather. Cin cin!