Variety is the spice of life. It’s time to mix up some craft beer cocktails for Valentine’s Day.
In our home, my guy does most of the cooking and I tend to be the purveyor of drinks. (And usually have to do the washing up — it’s only fair.) It’s a good dynamic, and it’s especially fun when I get to do things like make cocktails with craft beer as the main ingredient. Over the summer, I shared refreshing craft beer cocktails to beat the heat. Today, the focus is on beer cocktails to celebrate the Hallmark holiday that we can’t help but love: Valentine’s Day.
We are in the middle of a move right now — yep, during Covid. One thing not yet packed, sold, or donated is our glassware, because we’ve truly come to appreciate the little things about being at home. Like sipping craft beer cocktails by our fireplace and doing 1000 piece puzzles —surrounded by the donate, sell, and keep piles. It’s about being together and spending that quality time.
Before you scroll to the recipes, a few quick tips for making the best craft beer cocktails:
Tips for making craft beer cocktails
- Not all beers mix well with typical cocktail ingredients.
- A shot glass is great for measuring out ounces. (Generally, a cocktail will have 1 ounce of liquor in it.)
- Put the cocktail shaker away. Stir, don’t shake. It goes against 007’s credo, but even he wouldn’t want the carbonated mess.
- If you can, garnish your cocktail. You’ll make use of those herbs you decided to grow during “lockdown” and it looks nice.
Alright, time to make your honey a cocktail!
This is simply about changing up your glassware and adding a garnish to your favourite BC Ale Trail craft beer. If you have martini glasses, amazing. If you don’t, all good! I just like how fancy they make me feel.
- Chill your glassware of choice for 10 minutes. Set a timer.
- While you’re waiting, grab your garnish of choice and have it ready. (I used frozen raspberries for this occurrence.)
- When ready, take the glassware out of the freezer and pour your and your love’s beer of choice. (We used Townsite Brewing‘s Perfect Storm.)
- Top with garnish, clink glasses, and appreciate the little change-up in your beer game.
Traditionally called a ‘Bee’s Knees’ and made with champagne or a bubbly wine of choice, this cocktail was a big hit for us. It’s very refreshing and will make you feel like you’re on holiday.
Ingredients (per glass):
- 1 x ounce of gin (We used Phillips Brewing & Malting‘s Discovery Street Origins gin.)
- Juice of half a lemon
- 1 1/2 tsp honey
- Half a can of chilled Pilsner of choice (We used Parkside Brewing’s Dawn Pilsner.)
- Lemon slice for garnish
- OPTIONAL – Dash of Agnostura bitters
- Pour the gin, lemon juice, and honey into each glass and stir vigorously until the honey has dissolved.
- OPTIONAL – Add a few ice cubes. (Make sure the honey is completely dissolved or it will clump up.)
- Top with beer and stir gently to combine.
- Top with optional bitters and garnish with a lemon slice.
Thank you to Phillips Brewing & Malting for providing the gin for this cocktail.
Did you know that several BC Ale Trail breweries make spirits like vodka, whisky and gin? Phillips, CENTRAL CITY, YALETOWN BREWING, and THE 101 BREWHOUSE are just a few of those distilling up a storm.
Craft Black Velvet
I shared this cocktail in the summer post, but it’s worth a repeat for three reasons:
- It’s pretty — even when the layering trick doesn’t work.
- Champagne glasses are the most romantic — and that’s what you want on Valentine’s Day!
- It’s DELICIOUS.
It’s the ritzier version of a Black and Tan, which is usually made with a Guinness. I still haven’t nailed the full layered look that you can see in the recipe I used — this takes skill and luck, my friends. But I do love the jewel-toned hue the Hoyne Brewing Finnegan Irish Stout and Evolve Cellars Pink Effervescence created. It was quite pretty by the fire.
- 4 oz sparkling wine of choice
- 4 oz porter or stout beer
- Pour bubbly into glass (will hit about halfway in a traditional champagne glass)
- Top it off by slowly pouring your beer over a tablespoon.
- Make another for your honey.
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Lavender Lime Beer Gimlet
A cocktail that I haven’t had a chance to recreate is the Lavender Lime Gimlet that White Sails Brewing recently posted on Instagram. This pretty cocktail is a collaboration with Arbutus Distillery in Nanaimo. If you’re a lucky Nanaimo resident who has tried it, I’d love to know — and here’s how to make it:
- 1 ounce of gin
- 1/4 ounce simple syrup (no more, as the beer sweetens the cocktail more than you’d expect)
- 1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
- Dash of lavender tincture (made with 1 cup of vodka of choice and a “boatload” of dried lavender flowers)
- 6 ounces White Sails Dry Hop January sour or your sour of choice
- Shake non-beer ingredients, strain into glass with a large ice cube.
- Top with beer, stir gently and garnish with a lavender sprig.
- Repeat for your significant other
Thank you to White Sails Brewing for sharing this recipe.