Beer and liquor have spawned a new drink of choice

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Can't decide between a beer and a cocktail? So don't. Seemingly endless combinations of beer and liquor have generated a delicious, refreshing and unique spin on America's two favorite bar drinks. Here's how some of the trendiest bars across the nation are shaking things up with these hybrid cocktails.

Easy-to-drink brews
Whether your go-to is a Pabst Blue Ribbon or a Narragansett Lager, mixologists across the country have signature recipes that can transform any easygoing beer into a signature cocktail.

  • The Cure: Starting with a Miller High Life, bartender Gina Chersevani built a cocktail that reflected the economy. She added a splash of juice and some ginger liquor, poured it into a glass and called it "The Cure." She didn't specify what kind of juice but lemon or lime would work well here. The drink sold for $5 on the menu at PS 7's in Washington, D.C., explained Epicurious. 
  • Nascar Mojito: Another popular light beer choice is a spin on the classic mojito. The drink is made with the classic essentials of the iconic and sweet concoction – four to five lime wedges and a spoonful of sugar. Bartenders are skipping the rum and instead substituting St. Germaine elderflower liquor or something of similar characteristics in its place. These ingredients are shaken vigorously before they're topped with a Pabst Blue Ribbon. Served in a pint glass, the cocktail has come to be known as the "Nascar Mojito" among drink experts and guests alike.

From Belgians and Germans
While some Americans enjoy their Bud Lights and light drinks, others prefer the Belgian classics. From the pale lagers, to the farmhouse ales, to the lambics, bartenders have options galore for liquor and beer pairings.

  • Gin and Saison: If a gin and tonic can form an unbelievably tasty bond, why can't beer work? That's likely what Thrillist writer Rachel Freeman was wondering when she assembled a list of top beer and cocktail creations. The Saison and Gin is an invitation for enthusiasts of either component to try something new. In this case, a farmhouse-style beer, the St. Feuillien Saison, joined forces with gin to produce mixed flavors of juniper, citrus and spice all in one rocks glass.
  • Beer's Knees: This recipe graciously provided by Paste Magazine is a spin on the traditional cocktail "Bee's Knees." Creators of this hybrid masterpiece have retained Aviation Gin, fresh-squeezed lemon juice and honey from its original recipe. They've simply added 3 ounces of voluptuous Widmer Hefeweizen that can really be substituted with any similar refreshing beer. 

Hoppier libations
Finally, those who enjoy a nice kick in the mouth from a beer can amplify that effect with the right liquor accompaniment. The bitter and grapefruit qualities of a nice hoppy IPA make it a versatile ingredient to some bolder libations.

  • Indian Pale Negroni: Thrillist offered up another thirst-quenching beer alternative from its list. Just when a Negroni can't seem to get any more intense, a dash of Smuttynose IPA takes it to the next level. The Compari, gin and sweet vermouth complement the citrusy and earthy qualities of an India pale ale beer. It can be served up or on the rocks with the classic orange twist garnish.
  • West Coast Spritz: Fans of Lagunitas IPA may find themselves delighted with this beer cocktail provided by Beer Wrangler Blog. Mixologists start with an ounce of Aperol and then add in ingredients to give the drink a sweet and tart profile. Next comes a 1/2 ounce of lemon juice and 1/2 ounce of Orgeat – a honey syrup typically used in mai tais. Once the ingredients are shaken up, they're poured into a pint glass and finished with 4 or 5 ounces of a West Coast IPA. 

There's something for everyone in the hybrid world of beer and liquor. Drink enthusiasts can try these recipes at home or order one on the next trip to the bar. 


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