This past weekend I was headed over to my friend Erica's for her 30th birthday party. It was a beautiful sunny day so I headed over to Craft Beer Cellar to grab some summery beer. I picked up some usual suspects like Mayflower Summer Rye, Narragansett Summer, Sixpoint Sweet Action as well as a couple new offerings like Victory Summer Love. My cooler still felt incomplete somehow though. When I'm not drinking beer, gin is my go to spirit and after meeting with Grand Ten Distilling I'd been thinking about more interesting ways to pair gin and beer. Recently I've seen beer cocktails popping up at some local restaurants. I'll admit at first I approached them with a bit of trepidation but I've since become a convert. So, while standing in the store I started to think, what could I do with gin and beer to make a tasty cocktail. I knew gin and hops worked nicely together so I wanted something which accentuated that flavor. I took a gamble and got some Boulder Mojo IPA, some grapefruit juice and some Grand Ten gin...then I got to mixing!
Admittedly there was some trial and error to begin, but after a few minutes of tinkering I came up with a pretty fantastic summer beer cocktail. My goal was something that brought out the best of the gin and the beer without being too sweet. The grapefruit juice helped accentuate the hops in the beer while still allowing the gin to come through in the finish of the drink. A sprig of mint set it off adding just a touch of coolness. For me it was summer perfection. This is definitely a fairly bitter cocktail which was bey design, think of it more along the lines of a gin and tonic vs a sweeter juice based cocktail or punch.
1 part Gin (Grand Ten Wireworks or another low juniper gin)
1 part grapefruit juice
2 parts IPA (Boulder Mojo works nicely)
1 tsp simple syrup (adjust to taste if you prefer a sweeter drink)
Sprig of mint
Wedge of grapefruit
Shake gin, juice and simple with ice. Pour into glass and top with beer. Add sprig of month and wedge of grapefruit to the glass.
Hope you all enjoy this as much as I did! If you have some favorite beer cocktails of your own let us know in the comments below.