Saturday, August 12, 2017

Depth Charge

The Depth Charge is intended to flavor your beer in some unnatural way. Europeans are very adept at this, choosing a flavored schnapps to give an uninteresting beer more flavor and alcohol. It's almost unnecessary in this age of craft brewing. Not to mention that flavored schnapps get a bad reputation.

I can see taking a PBR and adding peach schnapps, but I don't want to drink that. And in an earlier entry I used Kolsch and Absolut Ruby Red vodka to make a beer cocktail. But grapefruit vodka goes great in an IPA. Deschutes has an incredible hoppy IPA with more bitterness than citrus flavors. Throw in ruby red vodka and you have a cool beer drink.
  • 1 bottle of beer 
  • 2 oz. schnapps of your choice 
Add both ingredients to a frosted mug.

Apricot Sparkler (Non-Alcoholic)

This is a pleasant mocktail that reminds me of an Apricot Brandy Fizz or something like that. Very light and refreshing. Getting the apricot nectar can be a challenge, so buy fresh apricots, remove the pits, and cook them down in water until they are soft enough to mash. Then strain to remove the pulp and add sugar. Return to heat and reduce.  (I don't really follow a recipe with these drinks, I just go by texture that I am looking for. But as a rule, I use nearly equal parts fruit and water. The sugar is really a matter of taste.)
  • 2 oz. apricot nectar
  • 1 oz. lemon juice
  • sparkling water
  • lemon peel
Pour apricot nectar and lemon juice in a Collins glass full of ice. Top with sparkling water and stir. Garnish with the lemon twist.

Beer Buster

I can't believe I've never done this one before. It seems so simple: and it is. Just a double shot of 100-proof vodka in beer and Tabasco sauce. Not to be taken lightly, though; this drink will knock you over with potency and spice. It's best to enjoy it with a heaping portion of enchiladas or some filling Tex-Mex food that pairs well with the chili sauce. You'll notice the alcoholic wallop sneaking up on you about halfway through the mug of beer.
  • 1 bottle of cold beer
  • 2 oz. frozen vodka (stored in the freezer)
  • Tabasco sauce to taste
 Add vodka and beer to a chilled beer mug and dash Tabasco sauce to taste. 

Sparkling Peach Melba (Non-Alcoholic)

This is a top-notch mocktail! It calls for pureed raspberries with the seeds strained out. But if you have a shaker with a built-in strainer, just add fresh raspberries to the shaker with, of course, peach nectar, and shake pretty hard to break up the berries. Strain through fine mesh, and you should have a nice pink raspberry and peach juice blend. Pour it directly into the glass over ice.
  • 4 oz. peach nectar
  • 1/4 cup fresh raspberries
  • sparkling water
Shake raspberries and peach nectar in a shaker with ice. Double strain into a Collins glass full of fresh ice. Top with soda and stir. Recommended garnish: one peach slice. 

Shandy Gaff

If a Shandy is lemonade and beer, then the Shandy Gaff is also a near-beer cocktail that uses ginger ale. A good spicy ginger ale like Q is a good idea for this one. You don't want to water down flavor when weakening your beer, which is what this drink is intended to do.

What you get is a nice foamy ginger ale with some alcoholic content. I recommend using a dark lager like a dunkel or Negro Modelo because the roasted malt sweetness goes well with spicy ginger.
  • ginger ale
  • beer
Pour equal parts ginger ale and beer into a pint glass at the same time.

Knicks Victory Cooler (Non-Alcoholic)

Don't know the story behind this mocktail, but it obviously has something to do with a certain New York team. It is a non-alcoholic version of a Bronx Cheer that uses apricot brandy. Apricot nectar is the substitute and the raspberry soda and raspberries are par for the course.
  • 2 oz. apricot nectar
  • Raspberry soda
  • orange peel 
  • fresh raspberries
Pour apricot nectar in a chilled Collins glass filled with ice. Top with raspberry soda and stir. Garnish with orange twist and raspberries. 

Friday, August 4, 2017

Ginger Beer

I'm glad I trusted my instincts with the selection of Negro Modelo for the dark beer needed for the Ginger Beer. This beer cocktail is really delicious, but you don't want to use a stout like Guiness or a porter. It's not really a dessert drink.

Rather, it is a way to make a beer taste like ginger beer and give it a strong ginger brandy kick. It's actually amazing!

Negro Modelo is a dry and slightly malty dark beer. Other dunkels will work. I suspect that a dark beer is called for so you don't see the brandy in the drink causing discoloration.

You can use Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur, which is brandy based, for the ginger brandy. But it is pretty easy to make the ginger brandy yourself with fresh ginger. I used D'Usse cognac and several slices of fresh ginger in an infusion that rested for about two days. It was brilliantly spicy and silky at the same time. I really recommend doing this over buying a bottle of such a specific spirit.
  • 2 oz. ginger brandy
  • dark beer
Fill a beer mug 3/4 full with dark beer and drop the ginger brandy in the mug.