Monday, August 13, 2007

Beer Cocktails

I've always thoughts that beer and cocktails were two separate and mutually exclusive things. You drink beer or you drink a cocktail (alternatively, you drink beer and then you drink a cocktail or vice versa), but a beer cocktail sounds all kinds of wrong. Is that really what they call a mixed beer drink?

That's apparently what I had at the Flannery's Pub, where Foodgoat and I dinnered before Saturday's preseason Browns game. Specifically, I drank a Snakebite, which is half hard cider, half lager beer.

It sounded nice and light and hot summer day-ish, Harp's and Longbow cider, but it seems my taste for cider, and sweet alcohol in general, has faded. The Snakebite just tasted really sweet, leaving no room for any of the other tastes and flavors that come with beer. It might have been fine if it came in a little cordial glass, along with dessert, but in Flannery's Trademark 20 oz. Imperial Pint,.. no, no, no.

According to wikipedia, a Snakebite might also refer to Guiness and cider, which might also be called a Black & Gold, which is what Foodgoat's mixed beer choice was called, but his Black & Gold was Guiness and Dortmunder Gold lager. His drink was much better than mine, not only because it tasted better, but the two beers separate out into two layers.

The Guiness, surprisingly, was the floating top layer - I thought it would be the sinking bottom layer because it looks and feels heavier, but it seems Guinness is carbonated with a lighter gas mixture of nitrogen and CO2. Who knew?

10 comments:

  1. Interesting combo. I've never tried anything like that -- too bad it didn't measure up.

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  2. This reminded me of a "beer cocktail" recipe from Bronze Age Greece, that I saw it on the "Helen of Troy" BBC special with Bettany Hughes: equal parts mead, barley beer, and retsina. I've never mustered up the courage to try it, but one day, certainly I shall!

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  3. A Guinness and lager combo is called a half and half. Guinness and ale is referred to as a black and tan. Check out all the variations on Wikipedia: Black and tan
    Also, Ben & Jerry's makes a Black & Tan ice cream!

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  4. in wisconsin we love "red beer" tomatoe juice and high life. kind of a hangover cure.

    at a bar in milwaukee, (palomino) they used to serve "rat droppings" a shot of ginger schanpps dropped in a guiness.

    the fact that guiness always floats in a black and tan is my proof to people that it is not the thick, tummy filling brew which most stereotype it.

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  5. When I worked in a bar in London, UK in the 90s we were forbidden to serve Snakebites as they get clients too drunk, too fast

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  6. Anonymous6:05 PM

    Snakebites are amazing! They are all over europe and while i've never had one in the states they are quite tasty overseas.

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  7. Been drinking these since my College days (mid 90s), one of the most successful house parties I had served these, we got enough for a round for all, but they were just too popular.

    The Guinness and Cider at my current local pub is called "Black Velvet" (They were called Snakebites in college, guess that changed somewhere along the way) which ironically is what it looks and kinda tastes like if Velvet had a taste. Only other combo I can think of that hasn't been mentioned is the Black and Brown (Guinness and Newcastle).

    (Oh, Guinness and Raspberry Ale ain't too bad either)

    I'd probably be curious to see if a Guinness and Bodingtons would stay seperate, but I think Bodingtons uses a similar co2 mix as Guinness, so they probably wouldn't.

    The term "Pousse Café" is used to describe layered shots, it's also a drink in itself, not sure you'd use that term for a beer float though. Would be interesting to see if you could put something underneath the bottom layer like lime juice or something.

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  8. Edna's in Oklahoma Cuty serves a huge shot called the Lunchbox.

    Beer & orange juice in a frosted mug, with a shot glas of amaretto in the middle...

    So Tasty!

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  9. Anonymous7:38 PM

    Snakebites are good. I would suggest using a Stout beer like Guinness, or Rogue has a Shakespeare Stout that makes an awesome Snakebite.

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  10. WOW! This is really an amazing and attractive post about Beer cocktail. I appreciate your post. Thanks for sharing such an interesting post.

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