While beer being used as an ingredient in modern cocktails has gotten a lot of press as of late, this is not a new trend. Beer has played a historical role in mixed drinks for centuries. For example, it can be found in Colonial drinks like the Rumfustian, Porter Sangaree, and Ale Flip. While many of these drinks are not seen in modern bars save for craft cocktail establishments, other beer drinks are though, including the Boilermaker, Black Velvet, and Michelada. And present day mixologists are utilizing beer with great success including Kelly Slagle’s Port of Funchal, Jacob Grier’s Averna Stout Flip, and Emma Hollander’s Word to Your Mom. Bartenders are drawn to beer for a variety of reasons including the glorious malt and roast notes from the grain, the bitter and sometimes floral elements from the hops, the interesting sour or fruity notes from the yeast, and the crispness and bubbles from the carbonation. Beer is not just for pint glasses, so let us honor beer of all styles as a drink ingredient.
When I heard about this month’s Mixology Monday, it sort of put me off. To be honest, I’m not much into “Beer Cocktails”, as to me beer is already pretty much a perfect beverage.
However, when I was thinking more about it…
The two main impetus for distillation were to first preserve fermented beverages from spoiling and second to reduce the volume.
Usually, you talk about these things with regard to how much beer the English Royal Navy or other expeditions had to bring along to satiate their crews and passengers. As in, many people speculate the real reason the pilgrims decided on Plymouth Rock wasn’t so much choice, as they had run out of beer and needed to get to land for provisions to make more. If they ran out of alcoholic beverages for long on ship, they would be facing a mutiny.
So with Punch, what you were doing was, essentially, re-adding to the distilled spirits, what had been lost in the process of distillation: fruit flavor, sweetness, and water.
OK, that is easy to do with Brandy, distilled from fruit, but what about spirits distilled from grain?
How do you turn whiskey back into beer?
Here’s my idea:
A Silver Fizz made with hop infused white dog sweetened with barley syrup.
Hop infused Whiskey
1/4 cup well toasted rye or barley
1 Cup Unaged Whiskey
1 Tablespoon Hops
Add toasted grain to whiskey, let stand to infuse 2 days. On the second day add the hops and let stand another day. Filter out solids and bottle.
Industrial Pale Fizz
2 oz Hop Infused Whiskey
1 Teaspoon Barley Syrup
1 Egg White
Add Whiskey, Syrup, and Egg White to mixing tin. Dry Shake to emulsify. Add ice and shake well. Strain into a Fizz Glass and top with Soda Water.
The question I have, though, is citrus.
The balance of beer is pretty much entirely between bitter and sweet flavors, most often without sour. Do we want to introduce citrus to the drink to make it a Lambic Fizz?
Unfortunately, I didn’t get this much beyond the conceptual stage by the deadline for the MxMo. Stay tuned this week for more details regarding the cocktail.