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An unexpected role for beer

Probably not everyone realised in advance that last Sunday was Mother’s Day, but at some point everyone will have got the message. But that today the next special date is already upon us is something known probably only to some insiders and people with niche knowledge. Because today, there’s a very good reason to celebrate: it’s World Cocktail Day.

In what’s meanwhile an annual tradition, the ubiquitously popular drinks will be celebrated on 13 May, the day on which a New York magazine, back in 1806, gave the first written definition of the word “cocktail”. Since then, the cocktail scene has evolved exponentially: the variations, names and ingredients in cocktail menus worldwide are well-nigh infinite, and while Cosmopolitan, Mojito and Touchdown have long since become classics, there are also some even more exotic creations.

On Pinterest and the website of the German Brewers’ Association, we find what we’re looking for: cocktails with beer. Perhaps not everybody’s cup of tea, and some people might need a bit of time to get used to the idea, but we decide to have a good look at this. For the Brewers’ Association, a professional barkeeper has rounded up some bottles and started to experiment. He explains that the beer makes the cocktails even more refreshing – and replaces the constituent that would otherwise be provided by soda water or fruit juices. So a cocktail featuring beer doesn’t automatically have a greater or lesser alcohol content than a “normal” cocktail; there are all sorts of variations, from alcohol-free to high-octane.

We’ve picked out two typical recipes here, but the big wide web has a whole lot more of them:


Black Refresher

Is described as light and tingling , and with its low alcohol content is a perfect refresher for a balmy summer evening.

– Fill a large glass ¾ full with ice cubes.

– Add 3 cl of apricot brandy, 3 cl of Martini d’Oro, 4 cl of ginger ale.

– Top up with black beer and stir well.

– Squeeze an 1/8 of an orange over it and decorate with a sprig of mint.


Wheat Beer Mojito

Who would have thought that the yeasty tang of the wheat beer would be an ideal partner for rum and cane sugar? The professional engaged by the Brewers’ Association showed us with this minty refresher.

– Snap 3 sprigs of mint and put them in a glass.

– Top up with 3 cl of lime juice, a heaped tablespoon of white cane sugar, and 5 cl of white rum.

– Lightly crush the mint with a spoon.

– Add crushed ice.

– Top up with wheat beer and stir.


Well, have a lot of fun trying them out!

But take note! If you want to show off your barkeeping skills in front of your friends and nonchalantly flourish the shaker, you’re heading for a one hell of a mess. Instead, it’s much better to add the beer carefully and slowly at the end, and serve the drink immediately. This means the carbon dioxide doesn’t fizz out of control, the table stays dry, and the cocktail is fresh and sparkling.



Sincere thanks to the German Brewers’ Association in Berlin (Deutscher Brauer-Bund, Berlin), who gave permission for us to use these pictures.

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