Shandygaff: A Delicious Beer Cocktail from ‘Cocktails on Tap’
I’ve never really done cocktails at home, mostly because I don’t own the right equipment and I’ve always found it easier to just pour wine into a glass than mix anything together. But as I have found, that is a ridiculous attitude to have.
One of my favorite cookbooks from this year is actually a cocktail book, beer cocktails to be precise. It’s by my friend Jacob Grier, and it’s called Cocktails on Tap: The Art of Mixing Spirits and Beer, all about the amazing things that you can do with beer (besides just drinking it on its own). Turns out, you can do a lot.
In fact, the book challenged me to have a few more basics on hand in my kitchen, like Aperol (used in the knock out drink called Beer and Loathing on page 88) which is how I started making Aperol Kombucha Spritzes.
But beyond getting me to make more cocktails at home, I actually have to give Grier credit for this summer’s best kitchen experience: making my own ginger beer. Because after flipping through the recipes in his book, I was intrigued by the one for a Shandygaff. A “shandygaff,” or “shandy,” or “panaché” if you’re in France, is a combination of beer and then some carbonated beverage like lemonade or ginger beer. What one might call the Ultimate Refreshing Adult Drink.
Grier’s recipe called for ginger beer and I immediately thought, “hell, I could even make the ginger beer myself.” I did and the process has now become a kitchen favorite.
Of course, you can just pop down to the shop and buy ginger beer so that you can make this drink immediately, however, I will say that it is totally worth making your own, so take a stab and when you have a batch ready, make this cocktail again.
Letting “Cocktails on Tap” guide my beer purchases at Société Parisienne de Bière
A few notes on this recipe, as is the Foodie Underground way:
-I don’t own any cocktail making tools. That means no shot glass to measure out liquids with, and if your kitchen is like mine, I’ve added in measurements in teaspoons and other easy measuring devices to make your cocktail life easier. Please cocktail fanatics, don’t make fun of me for this. I know it’s ridiculous, but such is life.
-If you happen to have rum on hand that you have been soaking fruit in for a few days (as you do), that works as an excellent replacement to the Brandy liqueur.
-300 milliliters is pretty close to 330 milliliters, which is in fact the amount in a beer bottle. So you can just pour the entirety of a beer bottle in like I did.
-My kitchen does not have any type of stein or “tankard” as Grier calls for serving the drink. But you know what my kitchen does have? Recycled glass jars that originally housed peanut butter. These make for the perfect drinking vessel and are the ideal solution to when you want to take this drink on a picnic. Just screw the lid on and go.
-Not sure exactly what ale to buy? Walk right on in to your favorite craft beer store, tell them what you are making and have them guide you.
Adapted from “Cocktails on Tap: The Art of Mixing Spirits and Beer” by Jacob Grier
Makes: One large drink
6 teaspoons (1 ounce, 30 mililiters) orange Brandy liqueur, such as Grand Marnier
Juice of 1 1/2 medium-sized lemons (about 4 1/2 teaspoons, 3/4 ounces, 22 mililiters)
1 1/4 cup (10 ounces, 300 milliliters) English-style ale
1 1/4 cup (10 ounces, 300 mililiters) ginger beer (here’s how to make your own)
Twist of lemon peel, for garnish
Pour the liqueur and lemon juice into your drinking vessel of choice along with a few ice cubes, then top off with the ale and ginger beer.
Garnish with a lemon peel. Because you’re worth it.
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