Beer offers a huge variety of flavours and profiles, which makes it a great, if uncommon, addition to cocktails. We’ve collected five of our favourite beer cocktail recipes. Some are simple and refreshing, others deliver a complex mix on the palate, but all share one thing — they’ll surprise you the first time you try them.

Something to remember about beer cocktails — Ale is generally carbonated, and doesn’t respond well to being shaken. So, unless the recipe says otherwise, stir your cocktails when mixing.

Lambic Sangria

There cannot be a Spanish holidaymaker who hasn’t at some time enjoyed sangria. Tasty, refreshing, and the perfect poolside drink. The lambic sangria takes everything great about the original cocktail and adds in fruit beer for a sharper experience.

Mixing up a lambic sangria is simple. Take the biggest pitcher you can find, add 750ml of raspberry or peach lambic, 120ml Tequila, 25ml Cointreau, the juice of half a lemon and three peaches, and ice. Mix it all together, put on your sun glasses, and dip your feet in a paddling pool.

Experiment with different fruit lambics and take advantage of the wide range available from both Timmermans and Lindemans.

Black velvet

Possibly the most well-know beer cocktail, the black velvet was first mixed at Brooks’s Club in London as a mark of respect for the passing of Prince Albert (the stout settling on top reflecting the black armbands worn by mourners).

A simple cocktail to mix, the perfect Black Velvet uses equal parts fine champagne and rich, smooth, stout. First pour the champagne into a pint glass (or a champagne flute for a smaller drink), then gently pour the stout over the top. Ideally, pour the beer over the back of a spoon, rather than splash straight into the glass, to keep the liquids separated.

Don’t restrict yourself to Guinness for the stout, try Left Hand Milk Stout for a creamier taste, or Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout for an all together stronger mix.

Raspberry beer mojito

The fresh summer cocktail takes a tangy turn when you add raspberry lambic beer.

Start with two highball glasses, split a chopped lime and 50ml of spiced rum between them then muddle together to release a little juice. Bruise some mint leaves by holding them in your palm then clapping your hands in a single, firm, strike. Add ice then sprinkle the mint leaves into the glasses, before sharing a 330ml bottle of raspberry lambic between them. Garnish with fresh raspberries.

For the rum we recommend Chairman’s Reserve Spiced, and for the raspberry lambic, Lindemans Framboise.

Shock Me

Invented by Virtue Feed & Grain as the beery take on the classic Old Fashioned. Shock Me uses brown ale; adding additional dark texture to the whisky cocktail.

Take 60ml of brown ale, two shots of bourbon (50ml), one shot of Southern Comfort (25ml), and a teaspoon of maple syrup. Gently stir together, with ice, for 10 seconds in a cocktail shaker and strain into an old fashioned glass.

Use Jim Beam Black Label bourbon for warmer oak notes. Usually made with Brooklyn Brown Ale, or try Anchor Brekles Brown for a smoother, malty, taste.

Tom Terrific

A spritely cocktail, Tom Terrific blends 18th Century style gin and India Pale Ale for a drink harkening back to older, sometimes overlooked, flavours.

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, add 50ml Old Tom gin, 15ml Cherry Heering, 15ml fresh lemon juice, 15ml simple syrup, and shake well. Strain into a highball glass, top with 60ml of IPA and garnish with a slice of lemon.

As befits the older flavours of Tom Terrific, an English-style IPA like Thornbridge Jaipur, or Deuchars works best, but don’t be afraid to try more modern new world styles such as Flying Dog Easy IPA.

From the simple beer sangria, to the complex profile of Shock Me or Tom Terrific, a beer cocktail offers something unexpected to the uninitiated. Take these five recipes as your starting point, experiment with them, try different ale combinations, and let us know what you create. If we like it, then we’ll share your concoction with the world on the Prestige Drinks blog, and send you a ‘thank you’ in the post.

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