Individually, both craft beer and artisan cocktails are awesome. But when combined, they can be extraordinary.
Beer mixology simply means mixing cocktails that use beer as an ingredient. In cocktail culture, beer is considered a new addition – but a flavorful one! It adds a completely new dimension, flavor profile and level of complexity to cocktails that might never have existed without it.
When crafting a beer cocktail recipe, look to the beer for inspiration. First, break down the flavor characteristics of the beer, then partner them with complimentary or contrasting flavors from a blend of spirits, sugars, acids and herbs.
I love drinking Belgian beers in the spring—especially the paler, lower alcohol styles like Belgian wits and farmhouse ales. They tend to be dry and fruity, with just a hint of spice and soft biscuit-like malts. Fruity, floral and slightly spicy—the Belgian wit is a great match for the botanical profile of gin. Both are light in body and color, yet complex in aroma and flavor.
This particular recipe was inspired by the classic “Silver Fizz” — a gin-based cocktail with lemon juice, sugar, egg whites and soda water. To add more flavor, I substituted the sugar with raw agave nectar and the soda water with St. Cloud Belgian White (found only at Whole Foods Market®).
The result is a bright and refreshing, moderately tart and slight floral beer cocktail perfect for the hot spring and summer months.
Belgian White Fizz
1 1/2 ounces St. George Botanivore Gin
1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
1/2 ounce raw agave nectar
1/4 ounce pasterized egg whites
4 ounces St. Cloud Belgian White
Vigorously shake gin, lemon juice, syrup and egg whites with ice. Strain mixture into a Collins glass over ice, top with beer and garnish with a lemon peel.
I know what I’ll be sipping this spring – what about you? Share your Belgian favorites and adventurous cocktail recipes with us in the comments below!