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Bring on the Beer with the Beer and Cilantro Cocktail

Must have beer … I must … have … a … beeeeerrr.  Sometimes when the mood strikes it strikes hard and with last nights heat hitting the low 80’s but with that thick blanket of humidity making it feel like the high 90’s, the mood that struck me was for a beer. Usually when this mood strikes the sun is out, I’m standing close to some body of water and something is being over cooked on a charcoal grill nearby. Being a novice cocktail geek … “Apologies your honor, I meant to say novice cocktail imbiber and home base mixologist …” I opted to take my desire for beer satisfaction to a higher plane (higher then something like take cap off on bottle and sip).

Recently I have been noticing that beer focused cocktails have been popping up on many a drink menu in the city; this is not a new phenomena (I have seen these before) but it seemed to be more prevalent lately.  With these in mind, a few weeks back when a likewise similar warm weather funk set in I undertook a little online research for beer-centric drinks.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that this branch of drinks has a rather deep bench in terms of alternatives.  Options abound with familiar spirits such as tequila, mezcal, gin and bourbon interacting with ales, lagers and stouts.  Some sound totally off the wall oddly cool sounding — I’m looking at you Black Velvet.

Lately I have been enjoying Chelada’s at  a Mexican restaurant near the home base that remind me of a particular thirst quencher enjoyed while in Mexico several months back – the Chelada is a simple combination of beer, lime and salt that when consumed on a hot day will make you fill cool and refreshed.  It was in this same vain that I opted to make up Jason Littrell’s Beer and Cilantro … a totally funky blend of Mexican style lager beer, tequila, lime and cilantro.

Beer and Cilantro
Recipe created by Jason Littrell of the Randolph on Broome (sourced from Star Chefs) – adapted below by theSpeakista

•    2 oz Partida Anejo tequila
•    1 oz fresh lime juice
•    3/4 oz simple syrup
•    6 springs of fresh cilantro
•    1 bottle of Negra Modelo beer
Garnish: two sprigs of fresh cilantro
Glass: tall glass or Collins glass
Tools: mixing glass and tin, Hawthorne strainer, muddler and a fine mesh strainer

Assembly: Muddle the cilantro in the bottom of the mixing glass. Combine all the remaining ingredients except the beer in a cocktail shaker, add ice, shake well for at least 15 seconds until well chilled and double strain into the serving glass that has been filled with ice. Top with beer, give a light stir to mix and garnish.

The verdict: A strong garden fresh punch of cilantro and citrus hits your nose from the outset.  The drink is nice and refreshing with elements of citrus, vegetal notes and malt all interacting in your mouth and the lime is a great enhancer to the other ingredients.  This was a really nice way to kill two birds with one stone; first, the drink is a perfect cure for a warm weather funk and second, it is a great way to experience beer in the context of a drink formulation.  Pretty simple in its construction this drink is nicely balanced and provides a great backdrop to each ingredient.

I can see that more beer-based drinks are on our horizon.

theSpeakista’s Rating: 3 3/4 stars (out of 5)

theSpeakista asks:

1. Beer, beer and more beer … what do you like by way of a beer-based drink?

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