Easy Does It

Easy Does It, a beer cocktail. Photo and recipe by Susan Whitney.

Easy Does It

1 inch x 1/2 diameter piece of ginger, grated & juiced
1 oz Hendrick’s Gin
0.5 oz lemon juice
0.5 oz cold-infused mint simple syrup
1 can Rogue 6 Hop IPA

Grate ginger onto 3″ square of cheesecloth. Wrap cheesecloth around grated ginger and squeeze the juice out into a shaker filled with ice. Add gin, lemon juice and mint simple. Shake, then strain into a pint glass. Fill glass with beer.

Garnish with lemon wheel.

What to do when you want the intrigue of a cocktail combined with the slow sipping of a beer? Enter the beer cocktail — not too strong, and a great partner at your Memorial Day cookout.

According to beer cocktail expert Adam Seger (How do I get that job?), the key to a good beer cocktail is for the cocktail portion of the drink to be capable of standing alone and for it, in turn, to pair well with the chosen beer.

Since I’m looking for a sunny, food-friendly pairing, I decide to build the cocktail portion around gin. I mix half an ounce of last week’s Cold-infused mint simple syrup with half an ounce of lemon juice and and ounce of Hendrick’s Gin, then pour in Rogue’s hoppy, citrusy 6 Hop IPA. I like it, and my husband is happy to help me dispose of it, but I’m looking for a little more complexity. For take two, I decide to add fresh ginger. I do so by cutting a 1 inch long, 1/2 inch in diameter piece of ginger, peeling it and grating it on a fine grater over a 3 inch square of cheese cloth. I wrap the cloth around the ginger and squeeze the juice into my shaker, then pour in the lemon, mint simple and gin. I shake it, strain it into a wide-mouth 14-ounce glass, pour in the IPA and garnish with a lemon wheel.

The result is more than the sum of its parts. The first portion of the drink is mostly beer, but the complexity of the cocktail adds interest and gets stronger as you sip your way to the bottom of the drink. Is it something I want every day? Not necessarily, but it’s exactly what I’m in the mood for this weekend.




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