I am convinced that 2015 will be the year of the beer cocktails. It seems like such a natural combination. Why bother using boring soda for a mixer when you can instead use a delicious craft beer. As someone that is also a huge liquor fan, the beer cocktail makes me very happy.
Funky Buddha has some remarkable beers, but until Dec 10, 2014, these were only available in their tap room bars with their beer on tap. As of now, Floridian Hefeweizen ($9.99 6 pack) and Hop Gun India Pale Ale ($10.99 6 pack) will be available in South Florida’s Total Wine, ABC and Whole Foods. Eventually they will make their way to Trader Joe’s and Fresh Market within the same area.
In honor of now being able to buy bottles of Floridian Hefeweizen, here are my 9 favorite beer cocktails that use a hefeweizen as a base. I use Floridian Hefeweizen for these recipes but any Hefeweizen will do (Fritz by Bold City is another good choice) or wheat beer. You can even use a non Florida beer for this, but I will have no part in that.
For those unfamiliar with a hefeweizen, it is a wheat beer that is known for its low bitterness (typically around 15 IBUs) and high carbonation. It is typically a German style of beer and is a great beer for the upcoming spring heat and a pretty good match for a soda replacement.
- 1 The Dirty Flower
- 2 Sidewalker
- 3 Raspberry Beer Punch
- 4 Captain’s Keg
- 5 Harvey Hefebanger
- 6 Bananenheizen
- 7 End Zone Lemonade
- 8 Light Apple
- 9 Spicy Michelada
The Dirty Flower
This is a version of the La Fleur de Paradis by Pegu Club bartender Kenta Goto using hefeweizen instead of champagne. This change is enough to bring this cocktail down from Paris and instead make its new home at a tailgate. Recipe and picture was snagged from Chow.
Any gin will do but Plymouth English gin is preferred because of its smooth juniper finish and earthy flavor. St-Germain is an elderflower liqueur that is sweet and floral. It can be found at high-end liquor stores. St-Germain is an interesting liquor, one of my favorite local bartenders uses it in his specialty drink, a Starburst Kissed Hummingbird (or something like that, I can never remember).
Makes 6 glasses
- 1 medium grapefruit
- 6 ounces gin, chilled
- 4 1/2 ounces St-Germain elderflower liqueur, chilled
- 3 ounces freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 3 medium lemons), chilled
- 3/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 3 dashes orange bitters
- 6 (12-ounce) bottles of a hefeweizen, chilled
- Using a vegetable peeler, remove 6 wide strips of peel from the grapefruit, making sure to avoid the white pith; set aside. Squeeze 3 ounces of juice from the grapefruit and place in a 3-quart container.
- Add the gin, St-Germain, lemon juice, sugar, and orange bitters to the container and stir until the sugar has dissolved.
- If you are not serving this immediately, set this mixture aside, chilled, until you are ready to serve.
- Add the beer and gently stir to combine.
- To serve, twist one grapefruit peel over a beer glass or cup and drop inside. Top with the beer mixture and serve.
If you want to really fancy this cocktail up you can drop an edible flower into it. Wild Edible Hibiscus Flowers in Rose Syrup – 12.3 Oz Jar from Amazon is something I have used before for some wow factor. It does change the flavor a little bit though, so Rosebuds and Petals, Red 8oz. Food Grade
is another option.
The recipe for this beer cocktail is credited to Damon Boelte, bar director at Prime Meats in Brooklyn. He said that he created this pitcher drink for people to sip on their front porch, or for city folks to drink at their sidewalk café.
If you’ve never had a beer cocktail or, better yet, a cocktail made with drinking vinegars, let this be your introduction to two growing trends in the bar world. Look for Laird’s Bonded Apple Brandy, a.k.a. applejack ($23), made by America’s oldest family-owned distillery, at better liquor stores. Taste is cool and crisp, perfect for sipping on a hot summer or pairing with oysters.
rnMakes 1 cocktail
- 1 ounce apple brandy (such as Laird’s)
- ¾ ounce lemon juice
- ½ ounce maple syrup
- ¼ ounce apple cider vinegar
- Lemon wedge, to garnish
Pour the brandy, lemon juice, maple syrup and vinegar into a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake. Strain the cocktail into a chilled, tall glass and top with beer. Garnish with a lemon wedge.
Raspberry Beer Punch
Makes 1 punch bowl
- 1 cup fresh raspberries (frozen will work too if it is not in season)
- 1 container of frozen raspberry lemonade concentrate
- 1 cup of vodka
- 4 chilled bottles of hefeweizen
Simply mix all ingredients in a large punch bowl. Serve over ice garnished with lemon and lime slices.
This is an interesting cocktail that mixes rum, grapefruit and hefeweizen. Not sure how much I love the grapefruit in this, but it does make for a drink that balances well and goes well with jerk chicken.
Makes 1 cocktail
- 1 oz Captain Morgan Spiced Rum
- 1 oz Agave Nectar
- 1 oz Grapefruit Juice
- 4 oz of a hefeweizen
Mix all ingredients except beer in a lowball glass filled with ice. Top with beer, stir, and garnish with a lime wheel.
Pretty much a Harvey Wallbanger with a hefeweizen used instead of vodka. This works pretty well and is an entertaining drink but not likely to have you banging the wall on your way out like the classic.
- 1 oz Galliano
- 2 oz orange juice
- 6 oz hefeweizen
Stir the orange juice and hefeweizen in a small glass. Float the Galliano on top and garnish with an orange.
This is a decently well known drink in Germany and extremely simply to make … provided for some reason you have banana juice lying around. If you can’t find it anywhere to buy (check the frozen concentrate aisle), I am sure one of your friends will own a juicer. Banana pairs very well with a hefeweizen which is not surprising when you think about it since one of the by products of yeast fermentation is the same flavoring that gives a banana its taste. This is usually the mark of a beer that has gone bad, but when you do it on purpose, it gives the beer a fresh taste and additional sweetness.
Makes 1 cocktail
- 12 oz hefeweizen
- 1 oz of banana juice
Presentation will look best using a tall pilsner glass for this. Pour banana juice in first and then pour in your hefeweizen. If you are not exhausted from preparing this drink go ahead and garnish with a banana wedge.
End Zone Lemonade
Makes 1 pitcher
- 12 oz of Bourbon
- 1 container of frozen lemonade concentrate
- 3 bottles of hefeweizen
Combine all ingredients into a pitcher and serve immediately over ice. Garnish with a lemon wedge.
This is a simple cocktail and designed to get the best of a cider and a hefeweizen. Similar to a black and tan or snakebite, all you do is mix your choice of a cider and a hefeweizen. For a sugary cider, this will mellow out the sweetness and add in more complexity to it. Best thing about this drink is you can order it at pretty much any beer bar.
This is traditionally made using a light Mexican beer, but it works just the same if not better switching it out with a hefeweizen. Anything that a bloody mary would be good with, so would this drink. Great brunch drunk or paired with mexican food.
rnMakes 1 cocktail
- 1 teaspoons honey, spread into a thin layer on a plate (used for rimming, can switch to using lime juice if you prefer)
- 1/4 cup kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 limes, juiced (plus extra lime wedges to garnish)
- 1 cups hefeweizen
- 1 1/4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoons hot sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1/4 jalapeno, seeded and diced
- freshly cracked black pepper
- Dip the rims of two lowball glasses into the honey.
- Place salt, paprika and cayenne onto a plate and mix together with a fork.
- Dip the top of the glasses into the salt mixture. Best method is to run the glasses at a 45 degree angle through the mixture. This gets the salt mixture on the outside of the glass only and prevents it from changing the flavor of the cocktail
- Fill with ice and set aside.
- Fill the glass with the lime juice, hefeweizen, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce and soy sauce. Stir gently.
- Place lime wedges, black pepper and jalpaenos on top of the cocktail.
- Serve and enjoy.