Homemade Cocktails — Experiments, Critiques & Travels
Ah, my first (official) Mixology Monday! For those of you not in the know, take a look at the MxMo site. The host this time ’round is Frederic over at Cocktail
Virgin Slut, so head to his site and the announcement post for all the necessary info. Be sure to check out the roundup (like he said, “herding cats”) come Tuesday the 12th.
The theme this month? The (unexpected?) new trend: beer cocktails. Well, perhaps not new, as the Shandy and the Michelada might indicate, not to mention the latest Imbibe (check out their “Sudsy Sips” article). We use sodas, seltzers, and champagnes as mixers, so why not beers? Sounds like a plan to me.
Now, beer cocktails are a bit outside my range of cocktail knowledge, mainly because I have very little experience with beer. It’s just never been that big of an attraction to me, and I find it more filling than refreshing, though I do keep track of what I’ve had and what I like.
The latest find? Midas Touch from Dogfish Head. I happen to really enjoy this beer, which is smooth and sweet, with a honey-like aftertaste and a pleasing blend of herbal and bread-like flavors. Many enjoy comparing it to Sauternes. I tracked some down after reading about the brew in the latest Smithsonian Magazine, which contains an article on archaeologist and University of Pennsylvania professor Patrick McGovern. “Dr. Pat” is the world-renowned expert on ancient libations, having spent years scouring thousand-year-old (or older) pottery for traces of liquor, wine, and beer, analyzing the chemical makeup of the drink’s residue, and then reconstructing them into approximations worthy of the ancients. He’s currently tracking down the origins of European wine (looks like the Etruscans did it first), helping Dogfish Head bring an Egyptian beer to market (Drink the elixir of the pyramid builders!), and theorizing that brewing and distilling may have come before agriculture. Midas Touch itself is based on an Iron-age recipe devised from the sudsy remnants of what is believed to be the tomb of King Midas of Phrygia, in modern-day Turkey, and is the pleasant result of an archaeology-chemistry-history-brewery cocktail. It’s great on its own, but let’s mix!
The Honey Beer
1 1/2 ounces Gin (Plymouth)
1 ounce Lemon Juice
1 teaspoon Lemon Zest
Pale Ale (or Midas Touch)
Rim half of a pilsner glass with honey and dip lightly in kosher salt. Shake the gin, lemon juice, and zest with ice, then strain over fresh ice that has been placed in the pilsner glass. Fill with the beer and garnish with a lemon twist.
By Jill Schulster, JoeDoe, NYC.
This recipe comes from the Imbibe website, a companion recipe that accompanies their aforementioned article (also find it on Find.Eat.Drink.) I figured the honey and lemon would match well with the Midas’s mead-like taste. Adding ice to beer seems like a bit of a faux-pas, but it makes the drink quite refreshing. The flavors of the gin and lemon also brighten the drink, but the richness of the Midas comes through and wraps everything together. The salted rim, you ask? Yes, it works…though I would like the honey to come forward a bit, so adding a 1/4 to 1/2 and ounce of honey syrup to the mix wouldn’t hurt (I did this after tasting, rolling the drink to mix, and it certainly helped!). I think I’d make this one again. Cheers!
Photos by IJL