Nothing says summer like grabbing a beer from the cooler and popping it open, especially on a hot, humid day. But before you throw away the afternoon crushing cans on the porch, think of what else you might do with that crisp, tasty ale or lager. Beer adds body, bubbles and an extra boozy kick to cocktails. From a mezcal-spiked Michelada to a brew-kissed riff on the Aperol Spritz, these are four easy-to-mix beer cocktails to make this summer.
The alfresco rooftop at 8UP Drinkery & Kitchen in Louisville, Ky., may be an ideal location to sip this grapefruit cooler, but it tastes just as good mixed at home. This riff on the Mexican classic makes a match of tequila and Stiegl radler, which get rounded out by fresh grapefruit and lime juices. The finished product is tall, cool, refreshing and just a hair boozier than your typical Paloma.
The Michelada is Mexico’s answer to the Bloody Mary. Be ready to crank out batches of this easy-mixing concoction at your next summer barbecue or brunch. Beer is usually the sole source of alcohol in this beverage, but Tijuana Picnic’s take in New York City brings up the booziness with a splash of mezca joven, which also adds subtle smoke and agave notes.
Craft Irish whiskey meets tropical IPA in this cocktail, created by Sam Ruppert at Chicago brewery DryHop. The balanced sipper gets sweetness and color from Heering cherry liqueur and demerara sugar syrup. The recipe calls for DryHop’s Shark Meets Hipster tropical wheat IPA, but any similar style of IPA will do. To take it up a smoky notch, add a few spritzes of peaty Laphroaig whisky mist to the final product.
Washington, D.C., restaurant and bar Roofers Union gets high marks for its beer program, so it’s little surprise that some suds have bled into the cocktail list. As the drink’s name would suggest, the Here Comes the Sun is bright in both color and flavor. Rye whiskey lends a spice and depth that play well with the ginger and lemon. A splash of wheat beer ties the citrus and spice elements together, giving the whole shebang a refreshingly fizzy mouthfeel.