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Beer Cocktails

A Radler is perhaps the best known mix of soft drink mixed with beer. But the oldest beer cocktail is actually the Black Velvet from 1861- a mix of stout and champagne. We all know of the beer cola or the Snow White, or that dash of grenadine (something which I’ve never understood). But beer cocktails, or ‘beertails’, are of a different sort these days and of a far superior quality. Beer is an essential component of the cocktail, which makes for a surprising and intense taste experience.

Because of the rise of more extreme flavour profiles in beer, its versatility has become an enormous source of interest for creating cocktails. Strongly hopped, refreshing and fruity beers, complex barrel aged beers with whisky tones, or beers with intense toasted or smoked flavours. In a quality cocktail all ingredients have an opportunity to shine; the art lies in looking for the right balance between beer and other drinks.

How do you make a good beer cocktail?

By shaking of course! There are other techniques you can use to make a good beer cocktail as well. Blending with ice for example, which can thin out the drink by 40%. If you’ve chosen to stir with ice and strain, then stir the ice and ingredients until the desired consistency is reached, before straining the cocktail into another glass. With floating cocktails, multiple layers are created by pouring the drink carefully over the curve of a spoon (see our Black Velvet recipe). Then you’ve got the muddle technique, in other words the bruising of fruit in a glass. Last but not least, you can always order a beer cocktail on the rocks - exquisite.

Beer cocktails recipes

Now you can create your very own beer cocktails. Here you’ll find the recipes for an Americano IPA and a spicy beer cocktail with tabasco.

One more tip: the quality of ingredients is crucial for creating a superior beer cocktail. So don’t scrimp on them!

Americano IPA

Bitter-sweet with vermouth and campari.

Ingredients for 2 beer cocktails

  • 30 ml Martini
  • 30 ml Campari
  • 1 bottle of IPA
  • 1 grapefruit for garnish
  • Ice


Fill two glasses with ice, pour the spirits and top with a cold IPA. Finish with grapefruit zest and garnish with a slice of grapefruit. An Americano IPA is the perfect cocktail to serve in a classic cocktail glass.

Download the recipe here.


Spicy with a kick of tabasco and worcestershire sauce

Ingredients for 2 beer cocktails

  • 2 teaspoons of honey
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • Half a teaspoon of smoked paprika powder
  • Juice of 2 limes + 1 extra lime for garnish
  • 1 bottle of light Mexican beer 
  • 2.5 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons of Tabasco
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Ice


Rim the two small glasses first with honey and then with a mixture of salt and smoked paprika powder. Place a few ice cubes in each glass. Fill the shaker with ice, lime juice, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco and beer, then mix.

Divide the michelada over two glasses (use a cocktail sieve for this), finish with black pepper and garnish with a wedge of lime.

Download the recipe here.

Other things to consider for beer cocktails

The right tools

To shake a beer cocktail you obviously need a cocktail shaker, which is an stainless steel beaker with a mixing glass on top. A strainer is a sieve and fine strainer is a finer variation. The measuring cup is known as a jiggers, while a muddler is used to crush ingredients such as mint. And don’t forget your bar-spoon.

Something to please the eye

From the well-rounded, elegant form to the robust and sturdy glass - the appearance of a beer cocktail is important, and the choice of glass an essential part of it. What’s more, different types of glasses serve different functions. A champagne glass has a tall stem and a narrow rim, which enables the cocktail to stay fresher and cooler for longer. A whisky glass is ideal for rolling, which slowly warms the cocktail. The garnish, or the finishing touch of the cocktail, also plays a culinary role - think of the refreshing kick of citrus peel, zest or fruit.

Ice tip

Ice is an essential component of many cocktails. The bigger the ice cubes, the more slowly they melt and the more ice cubes the better.

The beers for these cocktails

Available at Beerwulf