Tap 42: Have You Tried a Beer Cocktail?
|Photo by Misha Grosvenor|
|Coconut Shortcake Beer Cocktail from Tap 42.|
Meet the beer cocktail--a combination of craft beer, liquor, fresh herbs and fruit. If you've been to any bar outside of the state of Florida in the past two years, you know that the trend has taken off nationwide, becoming a mainstay in bars from New York to Los Angeles. While the thought of mixing beer with anything other than the occasional salty tear may strike fear into the hearts of beer connoisseurs, the popular trend has already found its way here to South Florida.
The explosion of American craft beers, with their increasing complexity and unique flavor profiles, has opened up a new frontier for mixologists. Micheladas, Irish Car Bombs and Black Velvets have evolved into more creative, sophisticated cocktails that call for premium beer, liquor and liqueurs.
At this point, you may be rolling your eyes and rightfully so-- after all, beer cocktails, in their crudest form, have been around forever. A splash of tomato juice and a dash of Tabasco here; a touch of ginger beer and a squeeze of grapefruit there and voila!--a beer cocktail. Let's face it, it's not rocket science or is it?
We caught up with Lauren Bowen, Tap 42's energetic craft-beer specialist, who refers to beer cocktails as "small, modern inventions". Currently, Tap 42 is the only bar in Fort Lauderdale that serves beer cocktails. Bowen admits that she and Paige Nast, the bar's mixologist, spend a lot of time behind the bar experimenting with new recipes, testing them out on very willing customers.
Like any culinary treasure, great results are yielded from great ingredients. Bowen agrees, adding that "all of the handcrafted cocktails at Tap 42 are made with fresh, local ingredients. We actually get our ingredients from the farm behind us, Marando Farms. We make all of our purees from scratch and we handpick our herbs."
Every Monday, Tap 42 will debut a new beer cocktail, priced at around eleven dollars each. Currently there are two beer cocktails on the menu; the fruity Coconut Shortcake, made with among other things, Lindemans Framboise Lambic and coconut Ciroc vodka and the Brooklyn Brewjito, a Brooklyn Lager-based nod to a raspberry mojito. Next week's addition, will combine Harpoon's U.F.O White, a wheat ale, with St. Germain, a French elderflower liqueur.
Thirsty but not convinced? Try making your own beer cocktail at home. Bowen shared this simple cider-based recipe citing that above all, a good recipe should involve ingredients that people already have at home.
In a tall, ice-filled glass add:
4- 6 oz. of hard apple cider (try Angry Orchard's Hard Cider and bonus it's on sale at Publix)
2-4 oz. vodka* (you can also use flavored vodka if you like)
* If four ounces of vodka seems like a lot, it is but the cider's sweetness will mask the strength of the vodka so you can be a little heavy handed (is there any other way?).
Not hopping on the beer cocktail bandwagon just yet or have you created your own clever beer cocktail recipe? Share your recipes and opinions on the trend in the comments section below.
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