Home » Brew Time » Mix Up Your Game With a Beer Cocktail

Mix Up Your Game With a Beer Cocktail

With spring in full swing in Central New York, we open our sunroofs, dust off the flip-flops, and grill to our heart’s content. For me, nothing marks the season than sipping on lighter beer style – lagers, pilsners, and wheat beers are just some that come to mind.  Another way to enjoy beer during this time is via the beer cocktail – usually a combination of beer with other ingredients.  While it may sound like an oxymoron to purists who wouldn’t mix anything with their beloved brew – beer cocktails have been around for quite some time. My introduction to these interesting mixes was the Black and Tan, a combination of a stout and a light ale.  I then moved on to the Snakebite, a refreshing mix of a stout and hard cider.  Other common beer cocktails are the Black Velvet (stout and Champagne), the German Radler or British Shandy (lighter beer mixed with carbonated lemonade, ginger beer or ginger ale) and the Irish Car Bomb (a shot of Irish cream and whiskey dropped into a stout).  You don’t have to go to an Irish pub to get these drinks; most places that serve these types of beer will create the mixture of your choice.

The michelada hails from Mexico, mostly known for Corona with lime. Its name derives from the slang term for beer, “chela”.

I usually enjoy a craft beer on its own but on a warm day I like to have a michelada. Although it sounds like a car tire and not a beer cocktail, this concoction is a delicious drink.  The michelada hails from Mexico, mostly known for Corona with lime. Its name derives from the slang term for beer, “chela”. From there, the word michelada roughly translates to “my beer”. The first time I one was in the early 90’s in Mexico City.  I was hooked instantly. Ordering one made my mouth water in anticipation of this beer-lime-salt cocktail. In Mexico, there are different kinds of micheladas – original style (which is now simply called a chelada), or with Maggi seasoning sauce, tomato juice, and/or hot pepper sauce.

While you may sneer at this combination that sounds crazy, give it a try – it works. If you can’t find a restaurant or bar that serves it (at last check it’s served at Alto Cinco on Westcott Street), it’s easy to make one yourself. You’ll need the following: a chilled Mexican beer (such as Modelo, Pacifico, Corona, or Dos Equis), a lime, margarita salt, Tabasco sauce, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, black pepper, a margarita glass and a small whisk. Cut the lime in half and squeeze some juice on to the rim of the glass, dip the glass with the salt and set aside.  In a small bowl, add a dash of Tabasco sauce, a dash of soy sauce, two dashes of Worcestershire sauce, a pinch of black pepper. Add your beer to the spice mix and whisk gently.  Slowly pour into your margarita glass and voila! For an extra touch, you can also add a splash of tomato juice when mixing up in a bowl. Keep in mind that the michelada is an authentic Mexican beer cocktail, and what better way to enjoy Cinco de Mayo with a tasty, spicy drink instead of a lazy lime wedge into a bottle of beer?

While you may sneer at this combination that sounds crazy, give it a try – it works.

If you are a no-nonsense, straight up beer drinker, why not give a beer cocktail a try?  It’s so easy to order an old faithful, but with so many wonderful craft beer choices and cocktails, it’s a rediscovery of sorts for your taste buds.  If you don’t want to invest the time to make a beer cocktail, I don’t blame you.  It’s so much nicer to have one made for you at your favorite bar and easier to open a bottle at home and pour your beer in a glass.  In any case, I challenge you to at least try one beer cocktail this month, and who knows, you just may be inspired to run to the store to buy michelada ingredients.  Cheers!

Gloria Rakowsky
Craft Beer Crusader
Beer/Travel Writer, Founder of Syracuse Women of Craft Beer, and Craft Beer Crusader!