Food & Drink
A beer martini, shaken not stirred
Cocktails made with beer have been around for a while. The Black Velvet – half stout (often Guinness) and half champagne – is a classic said to have been invented in 1861 by a London bartender in honor of the late Prince Albert, Queen Victoria’s husband. “Even the champagne should be in mourning dress,” goes the legend.
These days, beer is more popular than ever. Micro-breweries are popping up all over the place, and most people know exactly what kind of beer they are after.
What’s more, bartenders are increasingly experimenting with beer in cocktails, using it as a base for so-called “beertails” to give the classics a different, exciting touch.
And then there’s that mainstay of the après-ski scene: the Jägerbomb, a shot of Jäger-meister dropped into a glass of beer.
The days of the humble shandy, a mixture of beer and soda, are long gone. Today, beer is balanced with all kinds of flavors – spirits, liqueurs, flavored syrups, fruit, herbs, and distillates. And just like a classic cocktail there should be an unexpected twist.
Not just any old beer will do, of course. As with most other things, the forerunners are hip, trend-setting bars in San Francisco, London, and New York.
Bartender Anders Bergengren is behind the cocktail menu at Stockholm’s Duvel Café. The list features a raft of cocktails that have beer as their base.
“We primarily use Belgian beers, and they’re ideal for making cocktails,” Bergengren says. “Especially the blond and fruit beers, which have a nice acidity without much bitterness.”
Don’t the guests think you’re destroying the beer by making drinks from it?
“No, quite the opposite. Many people are curious and want to try it out.”
Bergengren says the most popular beertail is the Powderday Cocktail, a mixture of Jack Daniel’s, calvados, and Lindemans apple beer – a Belgian specialty beer flavored with apple juice. The Leroy -Collins-, a mixture of gin and beer, is another -favorite with customers.
Where does the inspiration come from?
“Travel. Without a doubt. It’s when you travel and see the world that you are influenced and inspired.”
Text: Gunilla Hultgren Karell
Published: October 26, 2015