It's August here in the Midwest. The Sun is blazing and our backs and beer cans are sweating in unison. It's no secret that we love a brew straight out the can, but this summer heat offers an opportunity for a bit of a beverage upgrade. In the interest of remaining outside and hydrated we've been sipping frosty glasses filled with craft beer cocktails. When it's dangerously hot outside we don't want to stay thirsty, we want to stay cool. Here's some of our favorite go-to beer & booze concoctions:
1. Snake Bite
Photo credit: dirtylaundrykitchen.com
First up is a cocktail that shares our namesake as well as the simplest concoction in the class. If you're dealing with oppressive heat and the sloth like lethargy that accompanies it, a Snake Bite is your quickest route to sweet relief. 2 ingredients, 1 glass.
- 1/2 can lager OR Stout beer - your choice. We've really been enjoying 4 Hands Single Speed
- 1/2 can hard cider
Pour the cider into the pint glass first, then the beer. Then drink it. That's literally it.
You can find a more sophisticated recipe (with cassis) here!
2. Mexican Michelada
Photocredit: T. Tseng
We were served this restorative drink on a vacation that feels much too far away and we've been trying to replicate it ever since. Similar to a Bloody Mary this drink has saved the day-after for us many times over. We have both a legitimate recipe and our lazy version below.
Grown Up Version:
- 1 can Mexican Lager (we're partial to Victoria)
- Clamato (Tomato and Clam juice. You'll love it)
- 5 splashes Cholula hot sauce
- Heavy splash of Worcestershire sauce
- Juice from 1 lime
- Tajin Seasoning
Pour about a TBSP of Tajin seasoning onto a small plate. Cut the lime in half and rub on the rim of a pint glass then press the rim of the glass into the Tajin. Fill the glass 1/2 way with ice then a 1/3 of the way with Clamato. Splash in the hot sauce, Worchestershire, and lime juice. Fill to the top with your Mexican lager of choice. Sprinkle with the Tajin, swirl and sip. No need for a buffet's worth of garnishment, this drink is perfect as is.
Lazy Recipe (for when you don't have any of the right ingredients but all of the desire):
- Whatever light lager you have
- Spicy V8
- Salt & Pepper
Fill a pint glass 1/2 way with ice then pour the can of V8 over top. Sprinkle with salt and pepper* then fill to the top with your mystery beer, swirl and sip.
*Pro-tip - putting the salt and pepper in the center instead of the top will prevent you from breathing in the pepper and choking on it while you try to power that Michelazy down.
3. POURcupine (see what we did there...)
Photo credit: whitneyinchicago
Quickest way to class up a beer? Expensive fruit juice and herb sprigs!
- Pale ale, Sierra Nevada is good, UCBC's Zwickle is our local favorite
- Pineapple juice, canned, bottled, or fresh pressed (aren't you fancy)
- Champagne or Prosecco
- Pineapple cut into spears
- Sprigs of rosemary
Fill a pint glass 1/2 way with ice then 1/3 of the way with pineapple juice. Fill 1/3 way with champagne or prosecco (can't go wring with Sophia Blancde Blanc). Place a single pineapple spear and sprig of rosemary artfully into the glass. Fill to the top with ale of choice. Pinkie's out, heathens.
Photo credit: Andrew Purcell
Before you all start hollerin’ at us about how ginger beer isn’t a beer, save it. We don’t care. This drink is that east coast business and we will not refuse it a place on our list.
- Bourbon –Bullet rye more than works
- Maple Syrup – the real stuff. We love Aunt Jemima but it does not work in this
- Ginger beer – Goslings is great
Drop a couple of ice cubes into a rocks glass. Pour 2 ounces of Bourbon on top, then squeeze the juice of ½ a lime over it. Fill a cereal spoon with maple syrup then mix into the glass. Pour ginger beer to the top. Garnish with any lime quarters you haven’t mangled in the process.
Photo credit: thebittenword.com
This is the cocktail that started it all. The drink that taught us that beer + things = yes. You can’t argue with that math. Pitchers of Skippers have accompanied us on our many camping adventures, been present at countless BBQ’s, and have saved the one or two dry weddings we were obligated to attend. We love you Skipper.
- 2 cans frozen pink lemonade concentrate
- 5th of Vodka, Smirnoff will do
- 6 pack of light beer. We typically use Bud Light, but have had success with Coor’s Light and Miller Light. When it comes to cheap beer, we have no loyalty
Find a vessel that is large enough to house the above ingredients. Pour them in, mix and yeah...that’s about it. A red solo cup rounded out the experience in our college days but as of late, and due to their break out popularity in the early 2010’s, we can’t throw a rock without hitting a mason jar around here - so that’s what we use now. This drink needs a lot of ice. Warm Skippers are what nightmares are made of.
That’s our top 5! Didn’t see your favorite on the list? Let us know. There are still many hot days and nights in our future. Also, consider this our PSA, if it is criminally hot outside we recommend drinking water. No shame in that game, hydration is the coolest.