For many people, the thought of pairing beer and wine together is a strange notion, to say the least. After all, many people ascribe to that old adage that mixing any kind of alcohol or spirits together in a single evening is a recipe for a terrible headache and a queasy stomach the next morning. However, mixologists have discovered several interesting ways in which beer and wine pair great together in the form of innovative new cocktails combining the flavors. Here are several interesting beer and wine cocktails to try on that next big night out. Please remember to drink responsibly.
While many beer and wine cocktails have been discovered only recently, the Black Velvet cocktail has its roots in the mid-1800s. It is rumored that this concoction was created when Queen Victoria was saddened over the loss of her husband. Classically, the Black Velvet features a half and half ratio of stout beer (usually a Guinness) with prosecco or champagne. While Guinness and champagne were originally used in the initial cocktail, nowadays, a Black Velvet can be made with virtually any dark, creamy beer and a variety of light, sparkling wines.
Red, White, and Blue
This sweet cocktail is the perfect summer staple for backyard barbeques or relaxing by the campfire. Get prepped the day before by making this drink, by filling up an ice cube tray with fresh blueberries in pomegranate or cranberry juice. The next day, combine a liter or two of a full-bodied red wine, such as a Cabernet Sauvignon from Paso Robles, with eight to ten ounces of vodka and two twelve ounce bottles of ginger beer. Throw in three to four ice cubes in each drink, and enjoy!
A Beer Sangria may sound unusual at first, but it is a perfect alternative to the traditional sangria when one is looking for something a little more out of the ordinary. A Beer Sangria is perfect for those hot summer days spent lying by the pool, or on a trip to the beach with friends. This creative cocktail takes a little more time to create; however, it is well worth the wait. Combine one and a half to two cups of a crisp, white wine with a cup of vodka and five to six bottles of light beer in a large pitcher. Throw in some slices of chilled fruit (apples, oranges, and even pineapple are some excellent options), and let sit in the fridge for two to three hours before enjoying.
The winter is the perfect time to mix up cocktails featuring fruits that are in season, such as pomegranates, cranberries, and grapefruit. A Moscato Punch is a great cocktail to serve up alongside a special holiday meal. Combine one to two liters of Moscato (or prosecco) with two to three cups of pomegranate juice and two cups of orange juice. Add one to two bottles of non-alcoholic ginger beer and stir thoroughly.
This light and refreshing concoction can be brightened up even further with some frozen cranberries and a sprig or two of fresh rosemary or mint as a final touch. Moscato Punch is a delightful aperitif to enjoy before dinner with friends and family.
Shandy With a Twist
This light, refreshing cocktail is often served up in a variety of ways, depending on the location and time of year. Often, the Shandy With a Twist will feature a citrus-flavored Hefeweizen beer, paired with lemonade and rose, or other lighter-bodied wine. Many restaurants will put their own spin on the Shandy With a Twist, and add ginger beer or Sprite to the mix.
Craft brewers are now even starting to experiment with interesting beer and wine hybrids. Without a doubt, right now is an exciting time to be in the business of mixology and spirits.
Now that more people are starting to experiment with innovative cocktail recipes, the days of the boring martini or margarita seem to be coming to a close. Gone are the unofficial rules stating that wine and beer should never be paired together, as people discover the creative ways in which they can be combined in order to bring out the best in their individual flavor profiles.