Beer as a cocktail ingredient has been catching on in recent years. The sheer variety of styles, from hoppy IPAs to dark and malty porters and stouts, lends itself to creative concoctions and new drink ideas. In the Stunner, from Chicago bartender Sam Ruppert, Irish whiskey meets a fruity and tropical IPA for a fresh and effervescent drink.
With only a half ounce of whiskey and a small amount of IPA, the Stunner is a light and refreshing sipper, something you can enjoy a few glasses of before you start to get overly buzzed. Ruppert uses Glendalough double-barrel Irish whiskey in the cocktail, but the category of Irish whiskeys is plentiful, with many options to choose from. The beer, too, is flexible. Ruppert uses Hipster Meets Shark, a wheat IPA from Chicago’s DryHop Brewers, where he worked when he developed the Stunner. When selecting an IPA for your recipe, be sure to use something fruit-forward, bright and dry. An overly malty or overly bitter IPA can throw the recipe off.
For sweetness and color, the drink gets Heering cherry liqueur and demerara sugar syrup, the latter of which is richer and darker than normal simple syrup. Lemon juice amplifies the fruit and crispness of the beer, and Bittermens Burlesque bitters—which are made with hibiscus, acai berry and peppers—bring depth and nuance. Finally, the drink gets a touch of smoke with a mist of Laphroaig single-malt over the top. However, if you don’t have Laphroaig on hand, another Islay single malt can work.
- 1/2 ounce Glendalough double-barrel Irish whiskey
- 1 1/2 ounces IPA (such as DryHop Shark Meets Hipster IPA)
- 1/2 ounce Heering cherry liqueur
- 1/2 ounce demerara syrup
- 1/2 ounce lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 1 dash Bittermens Burlesque bitters
- Laphroaig single-malt scotch, to mist
- Garnish: Lemon wedge
- Garnish: Cherry
Add Irish whiskey, IPA, Heering cherry liqueur, demerara syrup, lemon juice and Bittermens Burlesque bitters into a shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled.
Strain into a highball glass over ice.
Spray the scotch as a mist over top.
Garnish with a skewered lemon wedge and cherry.