Beer-tails are really easy to make, says Michael Przybyl, the beverage manager at David’s Club at the Hilton Orlando. There’s a certain art to it, though, as when dealing with effervescent cocktails one must obey a few simple commandments—the first being “Thou shalt not shake the bubbles.” You probably know what happens when a bottle or can of soda is shaken, and the same concept applies to bartending when working with sparkling drinks like club soda, tonic water, Champagne or in this case, beer. Like most cocktails with bubbles, the beer in this recipe is slowly added to the glass after the drink has been built, then gently stirred to combine (emphasis on “gently,” the basis of the second sparkling cocktail commandment). Over-agitating the bubbles at this stage can cause overflow, which is never good, or it can disrupt the way they rest in the glass, sometimes causing a filmy residue. Now that we’ve covered the logistics, it’s time to dig into the good stuff, or why using beer in cocktails is a good idea.
“Beer has become very sophisticated and is the perfect base for a cocktail,” says Przybyl. “Besides, why should liquor have all the fun?” With so many different styles to choose from, beer opens up a whole new world of flavors and textures for cocktails—from the deep, creamy maltiness of a stout or a porter to the bitter salinity and umami found in IPAs, it’s almost overwhelming to think about the possibilities and combinations. Plus, if you love beer and cocktails, you’ll likely be a fan of beer-tails, and the Beggar’s Banquet is a delicious (and approachable) place to start. In fact, you might even have all of the necessary ingredients already on hand.
Bourbon, maple syrup, fresh lemon, and crisp lager come together in this incredibly refreshing all-season cocktail, combining toasty fall notes with bright citrus and superfine bubbles in each bracing sip. This recipe can easily be scaled up as a batch for social gatherings, or made à la minute on a hot summer day (or a breezy fall afternoon). If you’ve ever had a Shandy, you might find some parallels in the Beggar’s Banquet, though this cocktail does boast considerably more complexity given the addition of bourbon and maple. Between the traditional build and this multilayered riff, you’ll find plenty of inspiration to continue incorporating your favorite brews into cocktails.
- 2 ounces bourbon
- 1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
- 3/4 ounce maple syrup
- 5 ounces lager, chilled
- Garnish: orange half-wheel
Add the bourbon, lemon juice and maple syrup into a highball glass filled with ice.
Top with lager and stir gently and briefly to combine.
Garnish with an orange half-wheel.