Beer cocktails can be dangerous! Mixing beer with hard liquor isn't for the faint-hearted, but get the mix right, and the results can be absolutely delicious.
Beer cocktails have been around for as long as beer and liquor have been available to bartenders. Russians mix vodka and beer, while Mexicans love a bit of tequila in their beer. There are some great cocktail recipes with beer, too, from the classic Michelada to an Espresso Stout - get the portions wrong, though, and you could find yourself with an annoying headache the following day!
Get ready to start mixing because here's how to master the art of mixing beer cocktails.
Can I mix liquor and beer?
Liquor-beer mixed drinks are surprisingly common, and there is a fantastic range of combinations you can try. Mixing liquor with beer can be as simple as pouring a shot of rum into your beer or as complicated as mixing up a beer-flavored Margarita - that's up to you!
However, the best beer recipes arealwaysgoing to be strong. You're mixing alcohol with alcohol, and if you're not careful with the quantities, you can quickly find yourself getting drunk quicker than you would by drinking beer or liquor separately.
Some people love beer cocktails, but others prefer to stick to the more traditional cocktails (without the beer.) If you've never mixed beer cocktails before and don't drink beer much, perhaps start with a simple beer and orange juice mixer before moving onto the hard stuff.
Are beer cocktails good for you?
Beer cocktails need to be mixed and consumed in moderation. As we mentioned already, over-mixing can lead to hangovers.
The beer itself, though, does have some nutritional qualities when consumed in moderation. Some studies show that moderate beer intake can help reduce heart disease, for instance. Beer is also surprisingly nutritious.
On the negative side, beers are full of calories, and when drinking in excess, beer cocktails are not the healthiest habit to maintain!
What beer should I use?
You can spice up beer cocktail recipes through the use of different beers, ales, stouts, lagers, and IPAs.
There are countless beer brands and craft brewers to choose from, but the first step is to find a style or type of beer that you enjoy best. If you like a heavy, dark stout go with something like Guinness; if you prefer lighter beers, then go for a Corona or Bud Light.
Many craft beers can have fruity or floral elements that will beautifully complement a simple fruity cocktail. Some classic beer cocktails do require particular beers, though. A Michelada needs to have a light beer (like a Corona); it just doesn't work with a dark stout!
As well as quality beer, make sure you have all the garnishes you need (lemons, limes, etc.) for a whole cocktail experience. We also suggest using an ice ball maker for the highest quality ice.
The best beer cocktails
Now to the good stuff! Let's take a look at the best spirit and beer combinations, as well as a few classic beer cocktails that you can try mixing at home.
Here are the best beer cocktails.
Beer and vodka
Beer and vodka is a classic Russian combination, and unsurprisingly, it's ridiculously easy to make. Just mix beer with vodka - it's that easy!
Russians are liberal with their vodka pouring, and the exact ratio of beer to vodka depends largely on how much you can stomach (there's no exact recipe.)
You can make this more of a 'cocktail' by adding a dash of soda water, garnishing with a few lemons or limes, and pouring over crushed ice.
Rum and beer
Beer and rum is another easy-to-mix beer cocktail. Again, it's super simple. Mix a light beer with rum. Compared to vodka and beer, there are more options here for alternatives and variations, though.
You can choose from light rum or dark rum to start. Then you need to select an appropriate beer to complement your rum of choice.
Dark rum goes well with a dark beer, such as Guinness. Light rum goes well with a light beer, such as Coors Light. Serve with ice cubes, and garnish with wedges of lime.
A more complicated beer and rum cocktail is a beer-based Mojito. This great recipe switches club soda for your favorite beer. You'll need to mix white rum with muddled mint, lime, and sugar syrup. Pour over crushed ice and top it off with beer.
Beer with tequila
Many a night has ended with pouring a tequila shot into a glass of beer. It makes the tequila go down easily, but is this really a cocktail?
Perhaps not, but there are plenty of classier beer and tequila cocktails you can mix, too. The most iconic of these is the Michelada. This Mexican mainstay is a mixture of beer, tomato juice, and plenty of Tabasco, chili, and Worcestershire Sauce. It's sort of like a beer-based Bloody Mary. To top off the Michelada, you can pour in a liberal quantity of tequila.
Making the Michelada is very similar to learning how to make a red beer.
Another great recipe is the beer-based Margarita. Mix tequila, lime, and orange liquor; pour over crushed ice and top it off with beer. This one is great for parties, especially if you can mix up a few pitchers or serve frozen!
Ginger beer cocktails
Ginger beer isn't technically beer in the traditional sense, but these cocktails are exceptional. In many countries, it's possible to find alcoholic ginger beer, as well as ginger ale or ginger soda.
Ginger beer margaritas are one of our favorites. Mix tequila with orange liquor and change the lime for ginger beer. Serve over crushed ice with fresh mint.
The Moscow Mule is a ginger beer classic, too. Serve vodka, lime, and ginger beer over ice in a copper tankard. Ginger beer and rum works particularly well, too. Just mix rum and ginger beer, then serve with ice and garnish with lime - easy!
An all-time favorite of ours is the Espresso Stout. This is a much heavier beer cocktail, but it's perfect for the winter.
Espresso Stout is a different take on the Espresso Martini. You need your favorite dark beer (Guinness always works well), espresso mix, and coffee liqueur. We also love adding a shot of Baileys at the end; it really brings out the stout's creaminess.
Beer cocktails: The last drink
Beer cocktails are a delicious way to mix up your cocktail game and add a few pale ales or stouts into your life!
Beer cocktails are full of flavor and can be as straightforward or as complicated as you like. Mix up a tasty Margarita with beer, or just add a shot of vodka to your Bud. Remember, beer and liquor are a potent combination, so be careful when you're mixing beer cocktails.
If you're a beer-lover, then bookmark our guide to beer cocktails!