In my university years I was partial to both snakebite (half lager, half shandy) and lager and lime and I’m all for the odd pint of shandy (half beer, half lemonade). In the UK, mixing two different beers together is common and you’ll hear the staunchest beer drinking old men ordering a ‘black and tan’ (half pale ale, half either stout or porter) or a ‘light and lager’ (half lager, half light ale).
When I start to think about it, making beer cocktails is hardly a new phenomenon – the Black Velvet, a blend of stout and champagne, was thought up in 1861, supposedly as a way to ensure that even the champagne was in mourning after the death of British Prince Albert.
When it comes to mixing beer and hard liquor, I’m on the proverbial jury that has yet to conclude deliberations, but when I recently received SAB’s book of beer cocktails, I decided to give one of them – a blend of beer, soft drinks and a few other kitchen ingredients – a fair try.
The Summer Miller Storm mixes fresh mint, honey, lemon juice and pineapple juice with a bottle of cold MGD. It might not be the perfect pour for someone who loves lager, but for those who find a light lager a little too dry, the honey adds a palatable dash of sweetness.
Speaking of sweetness, there was another recipe that jumped out at me. The Milk Stout Medley is yet-to-be-tried (at least in this house) but once I get my hands on some raspberries, vanilla syrup and ground nutmeg to mix with my Milk Stout, dinner party guests will likely be getting a liquid dessert. The recipe also calls for a bottle of Cranberry Brutal Fruit, but to me that constitutes a spirit and as I said, that jury is yet to bring back a verdict.
This summer, perhaps I’ll broaden my beer-mixing horizons. At the very least I’m going to experiment with blending together a few tipples from South Africa’s ever-expanding menu of beer styles. Join me for a pint?