Cheers - September, 2015

Cheers is dedicated to delivering hospitality professionals the information, insights and data necessary to drive their beverage business by covering trends and innovations in operations, merchandising, service and training.

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Page 35 of 51 36 • September 2015 A ltough sell just a few years ago, beer cocktails have now caught on in many markets. Mixing beer with some combination of spirits, syrups, sweeteners, bitters, spices, fruit, botanicals or even with other beers often results in effervescent and highly innovative beverages. Some hardcore beer drinkers object to the idea of manipulating a beer that brewmasters have carefully crafted to be served as such. Likewise, there are cocktail drinkers who resist unconventional ingredients. But beertails are no passing trend: Mixing beer with spirits and fruit or botanicals is a time-honored method of making drinks. People have been mixing beer into cocktails and other concoctions for centuries. Combining spirits and ale was traditionally most popular during the holiday season. In Tasting Beer, expert Randy Mosher chronicles historical beer cocktails such as a Flip, a mix of strong ale, rum, sugar and spice that gets heated to just a simmer. The concoction then gets caramelized in a spectacular fashion—it's heated by the insertion of a red-hot fi replace poker. Eggnog can also be made with beer during the winter months. Hoptails today typically incorporate different styles of beer and spirits. Mixologists are recognizing that beer, like any other bottle behind the bar, offers fl avor and texture that can be tastefully employed to create something new. Master Cicerone Mirella Amato devotes an entire section of her book, Beerology, to beer cocktails. "The whole idea behind adding beer to a cocktail is to use the character of that particular beer to contribute an added dimension," Amato writes. "The beer should therefore be detectable in the fi nished cocktail, either as a distinct note or as an indefi nable component of the overall fl avour profi le." Beer should be carefully used as an asset to a drink, not an afterthought, Amato stresses. CREATING SIGNATURE BEER COCKTAILS Hops, specialty malt and yeast produce the most noticeable fl avors in beers. From smoky maltiness to piney bitterness and clovey yeast to funky sourness, you have an enormous range of fl avors to work with. To start playing with recipes, refer to a few guidelines that carry over from food and beverage pairing. When considering elements of the cocktail, such as which spirits and beer to marry, choose similar, complementary or contrasting fl avors. You want to achieve a balanced drink that's neither cloying nor overly alcoholic. Take advantage of a certain beer's strongest elements, which might be in the nose. The Lion's Share in San Diego makes a beertail called Hip Hops Diggity. Priced at $10, the drink mixes bourbon, Aperol, lemon and grapefruit, topped off with a foam made from local IPA The Apprentice, from Societe Brewing Co. The hoppy froth is pungent and enticing, the grapefruit note in the hops introduces citrus juice in the drink. COMPLEMENTARY AND CONTRASTING FLAVORS Borgne Restaurant in New Orleans, a casual coastal eatery, offers a beer cocktail called Breaking Cane ($9). The drink matches like fl avors—Canebrake, a local wheat ale from Parish Brewing Co. along with Sazerac rye, cane syrup and barbecue bitters. Balancing the cocktail's sweetness is essential, and the aroma from the peppery Sazerac and smokiness from the barbecue bitters do just that. Bitter hops can be another way to achieve balance. At 320 Main, a chophouse and seafood restaurant in Seal Beach, CA, bartenders use Stone Brewing Co.'s IPA in the Detroiter beer cocktail ($12). Thanks to a combination of Laird's Bonded apple brandy, Cynar bitters, lemon juice and honey simple syrup with the IPA, the sweet and bitter fl avors in this drink complement each other. Unique hoptails can brighten your beverage program By Erika Bolden THE BASICS OF BEER COCKTAILS

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