Beer cocktails getting the nod from pub-goers, mixologist says

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Beer purists might not agree with the concept, but the mixing of their favourite brew with vodka and brandy is catching on in some pub circles.

"I think consumers are a lot more open-minded to beer cocktails than before," says Nathan Cameron, a mixologist for a family of Irish pubs across Canada.

Beer purists might not agree with the concept, but the mixing of their favourite brew with vodka and brandy is catching on in some pub circles.

"I think consumers are a lot more open-minded to beer cocktails than before," says Nathan Cameron, a mixologist for a family of Irish pubs across Canada.

"As the beer stage gets more and more crowded and the microbreweries have started to launch more flavoured beers, they act very well as suspensions for some great cocktail bases," he adds.

Please everybody

The term "suspension" used to mean that the bulk of the liquid in a cocktail would be juice or fresh fruit, but now it can also be beer, Cameron explains.

"Beer cocktails are very genderless because they can please both men and women," he adds.

"Typically, men enjoy a great beer and women enjoy cocktails, but when you put the two together you can appeal to both groups, which really broadens the audience."

Cameron says that mixing beer with other flavoured liquids started a long time ago.

"Take half and half," he says. "It was to mix beer with clamato juice which became a red eye and a hangover remedy."

Launched new cocktails

Five years ago, the pub chain Cameron represents, including Fionn MacCool's, D'Arcy McGee's, Tir Nan Og and Paddy Flaherty's across Canada, launched a beer cocktail menu.

"We were way ahead to where the acceptance was," he admits. "Some people though it was sacrilegious.

"But now open-minded micro- and craft brewers are introducing all these fruit and wheat beers, chocolate stout and steeped tea beers, and that has opened the doors to more unique choices of flavours."

Cameron says that bartenders are now more like chefs who write down new ingredients for their creations.

Here is one example of his beer cocktails to try at home.

Smooth, Dark and Handsome Cocktail

30 ml (1 oz) of triple espresso infused vodka

7 ml (1/4 oz) blackberry cordial

300 ml (10 oz) Guinness

In a short classic highball glass, add vodka and cordial; pour Guinness over top and serve.

Makes 1 serving.

Organizations: Guinness

Geographic location: Canada

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