Beer Shaken and Stirred

By Yashodhara Datar | March 12, 2010 | 2 Comments |
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I am a beer lover. I think it's the most perfect self sufficient alcoholic beverage. All you need to do is chill it (if appropriate) and you are ready to gulp it down. Occasionally you do like to wedge in a lime wedge (give your beer bottle a lemon wedgie) and sip it. Nothing tastes better than a cold beer on a hot summer afternoon.

While I was busy living my beer fantasy with blinders on my eyes, people out there were doing crazy things with this perfect drink of mine. After a probing a bit in that direction this is what I found: there are actually millions of things you can do with your beer and turn it into an awesome cocktail. GASP! Wait, did we say mix your precious beer to form a cocktail?? Yes-just let go, experiment, and you might end up with a customized beer cocktail…

But before you experiment, it is important to know that this is not just one of those fads which comes into fashion and then everyone forgets about it. In fact, you guys must be familiar with a drink called shandy which has been around since the 17th century. It's a pretty simple drink to make and there are in fact variations of shandy as well:

  • In the United Kingdom, shandy or shandygaff is beer mixed with ginger beer, ginger ale, or carbonated lemonade. It is a Fizzy Pop.
  • In France, a panaché (meaning "mixed" or "motley") is beer mixed or flavoured with limonade (French-style lemonade), which is lemon-flavoured soda or soda water. Adding grenadine to the mix makes a Monaco.
  • In South Africa, Zimbabwe and Namibia, a Rock Shandy is made up of 50% soda water and 50% lemonade, optionally with a few dashes of Angostura bitters for flavor.
  • In Southern Africa, a popular variation is the Malawi Shandy, which is made from 50% lemonade, 50% ginger ale, and a few dashes of Angostura bitters.
  • In Germany and Austria, the Spezial, or Spezi is a non-alcoholic drink with 50% orange lemonade and 50% cola. It is a traditional drink that is very popular among children.

Okay, enough with the kid stuff a more potent variation known as a Turbo Shandy is made from mixing lager with a citrus-flavoured or lemonade-based alcohol (e.g., Smirnoff Ice or Mike's Hard Lemonade). If this too is too weak for your taste just add another shot of the base alcohol and you are ready to rumble or maybe tumble!!!

In Germany, a beer based mixed drink , Biermischgetränke, is very popular. A common ingredient in these drinks is German-style lemonade. The German language uses two terms for such drinks: Zitronenlimonade, a lemon-lime soda, and Brauselimonade , a fizzy lemon-lime soda water. (You can make a drinking game from these words, first one to fumble drinks).

In Northern Germany, a half-and-half made of pilsner beer and lemonade is known as an Alster (short for "Alsterwasser"). Usually, a lemon-based soft drink is used for both Alster and Radler; the use of an orange-based soft drink is very uncommon. In Berlin and eastern Germany the Potsdamer, a 50%/50% mixture of light-colored beer and flavored soda, is a popular drink. The soda used in a Potsdamer is flavored with a shot of raspberry syrup, giving it a red color. (To follow custom and control the size of the head, one should fill a 0.5 L glass halfway with the soda first, and then pour the beer.)

The Whizz Peach, made by the private Wilhelm Rummel Brewery in Darmstadt, is made with 50% Kristallweizen (filtered wheat beer) and 50% peach-flavored lemonade. The Berliner Weisse mit Schuss is made from a light Weißbier (white beer) mixed with a Schuss ("shot") of sweet syrup instead of soda. It comes in three standard varieties: the Grün ("green") with Waldmeistersirup, a Woodruff flavored syrup; the Gelb ("yellow") with a shot of Zitronensirup ("lemon syrup"); and the Rot ("red"), with a shot of Himbeersirup ("raspberry syrup"). In France, a Demi-peche combines French beer and a shot of peach syrup.

However the one drink that really got me all kicked about is the Radler (meaning cyclist) it is a Biermischgetränk with a long history in German-speaking regions. It consists a 50%/50% or 60%/40% mixture of various types of beer and German-style soda pop. Forget the soda pop, mix any 2 beers and you have got the Snakebite.

PHEW – okay, enjoy with the random German / French / European names! The above mentioned beer variations are like an initiation into the beer mixing world, there is a whole world of beer based cocktails just waiting to be exposed. Here are some recipes that I think we as beer lovers at beer universe should try (even for the diehard, you got to try something at least once).

  1. Michelada - Pour your beer into a glass filled with ice and add the juice of one small lemon. Add a dash of soy, Tabasco and Worcestershire. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. For some, a true Mexican Michelada is not complete without a shot of Tequila mixed in.
  2. Orange Spiked Lager - An ounce of an orange liqueur mixed in with your favorite lager the Peach Spiked Brew; would be an ounce of peach flavored liqueur mixed in with a cold beer.
  3. Black Velvet - Mix stout and champagne, half and half.
  4. Beer Bloody Mary - Mix beer and tomato juice, half and half. Add a dash of Tabasco and a dash of Worcestershire.
  5. Red Eye - Add a shot of tomato juice to any ale or lager (this cocktail is also known as Tomato Beer or a Red Rooster). If you add a splash of Tabasco, the drink becomes a Ruddy Mary
  6. Liverpool kiss - Mix a dark beer with Cassis.
  7. BeeSting - Dark beer and orange juice.
  8. Skip and go naked - Combine beer, lemon juice and gin, with a dash of grenadine.
  9. South Wind - Beer with a shot of melon liqueur
  10. Boilermaker - Beer served with a shot of whiskey, tequila, or vodka.
  11. Down Low - A shot of bourbon topped with 7 oz. of beer.
  12. Hangman's Blood - porter combined with brandy, gin and rum
  13. Irish Car Bomb - Irish stout with a mixed shot of Irish Cream and Irish whiskey.
  14. Meltdown - A shot glass of Everclear dropped into a glass of beer. (we don't necessarily recommend this one, just had to list it)
  15. Mussolini - 12 oz of Beer (preferably Peroni) mixed with 2 oz Campari served in a pint glass.
  16. Lunchbox - Half beer and half Orange Juice with a shot of amaretto dropped in.
  17. Poktanju - A Poktanju (Korean for "bomb drink") is made by dropping a shot of whiskey or soju into a pint of Korean beer. It is sometimes called a Soju Bomb by English-speakers.
  18. Porch Crawler - Equal parts of beer, vodka, and frozen lemonade mix.
  19. Tom Bass - Bass ale with one shot of Jägermeister served in a pint glass.
  20. Brazilian Submarine - A shot glass of Steinhaeger dropped into a glass of beer.
  21. Chumbawumba - Pour a basic snake bite of half cider and lager in a pint glass. Then add to the top a shot of whiskey and vodka. Stir and then drink.
  22. Flaming Dr. Pepper - Take a shot glass, fill 3/4 with Amaretto, 1/4 with high proof alcohol and drop into a glass half-filled with beer.

Guess these recipes are enough to keep you occupied for at least a couple of weeks, and as you gain confidence you might just hit upon a brainwave and mix something on your own with some pretty potent results. Although in spite of so many options, I still do love my beer neat and wouldn't want to ruin it but that's just me with my blinders. However I am warming up to the idea of combining some leftover kahlua with a pint of Guinness.

Your Choice. Your Beer. Drink Up.
-Beer Universe



2 Comments · Beer Shaken and Stirred

  • Great comprehensive list! My favorite is Frühstückweisse or "breakfast wheat" which is wheat beer and OJ. Yum!

    Also, do you know the story behind Radler? It goes that back sometime ago there was a beer garden on the route of a bicycle tour. All of the cyclists stopped for a beer but the supply was low. So the clever bartender mixed beer with lemonade, stretching it longer and making it more refreshing!

  • Thought that may of started with the classic Shandy , beer and lemonade for the oldies before light alcohol beer was in fashion ... Any beer you need to add a fruit too means there is something wrong !

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