Beer cocktails are making a fierce comeback on the Rochester bar scene. The beer and spirit combination is quite familiar to experts like Chuck Cerankosky, owner of Good Luck at 50 Anderson Ave., who said the cocktail’s history dates back to the early 1600s, with a drink called a Poppin.
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“It was kind of the forefather to the Boilermaker, meaning a shot and a beer, but in this case the shot was in the beer,” Cerankosky said. “Yes, it is in fashion to mix beer in cocktails right now, but it’s always been really cool.”
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Cerankosky said that what makes beer a good cocktail ingredient is that it acts as a drink lengthener, much like club soda or sparkling wine.
“For an adept bartender, looking to your draft system to provide a little bit of beer to put into your cocktail, it’s not so much of a stretch. It’s a great idea,” he said. “It adds a lot of dynamic flavor components.”
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Another popular beer mixed drink, traditionally called a Shandy, is also making waves in Rochester. Shandies are beer mixtures without distilled alcohol.
Steve Levitt, bar manager at The Distillery, 1142 Mt. Hope Ave., said the beer cocktails at his bar are likened to a Shandy and have become increasingly popular, with sales increasing more than 50 percent over the past nine months.
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“They tend to be based with half ciders or half ales and Guinness over the top,” Levitt said of the cocktails. “They give a nice complex flavor palate.”
It’s safe to say, with or without distilled alcohol, beer cocktails are just downright cool. Here are recipes for some of the most popular beer cocktails locally.
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