Book review: Beer Cocktails reveals there’s creativity brewing at the bar

The Harvard Press news release announcing the launch of Beer Cocktails by Howard and Ashley Stelzer caught my attention, as the idea of mixing beer with selected spirits for a different style of cocktail is ideal with the summer months coming up, writes Michael Hepworth.

   The authors are beer enthusiasts who have their own site called ShadowofaStout.com, with all the information you would ever need about the subject. The couple live in Cambridge, Mass., where Howard is a teacher and Ashley is a lifestyle and food photographer.
   The neatly packaged book is only 104 pp., jam-packed with recipes and suggestions, and broken down into different categories of beers, lagers and ales. Classic beer cocktails include the Black and Tan, and the Michelada, covered and expanded upon in the book along with 48 others. The authors have actually created a few of their own concoction, including the Sloe Work Day with India pale ale and sloe gin, and the Appaloosa, which pairs Belgian blond ale with apple cider and lemon juice.
   The book also gives the beginner a summation about the different types of beers available, and although experts acknowledged that Belgium remains the benchmark, American micro breweries continue to expand and make their mark.
   Here are a few sample recipes from the book to give you an idea.

Appaloosa-Belgian Blond Ale-Affligem
Ice cubes
1 oz snap ginger liqueur
1 oz Aperol
1½ oz apple cider
Juice of 1 lemon
4 oz blond ale
2 oz seltzer
1 apple wheel for garnish

Fill a cocktail shaker half full with ice cubes. Combine ginger liqueur, Aperol, cider and lemon juice in shaker and shake vigorously. Strain into 12 oz pilsner glass. Top up with ale and seltzer, and place apple wheel on rim of the glass.

Sloe Work Day
Ice cubes
2 oz blackberry purée
1½ oz sloe gin
¾ oz St Germain elderflower liqueur
½ oz fresh lemon juice
4 oz India pale ale
1 mint sprig for garnish

Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice cubes. Add the purée, sloe gin, lemon juice and St Germain. Shake well. Strain into a Collins glass and top with the ale. Garnish with the mint sprig and serve.

For more information, visit www.harvardcommonpress.com. Buy it here from Amazon.com.

Michael Hepworth is the UK-bred, Los Angeles-based founder of spiritsman.com.

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