I’ve heard about this drink for a while, but only recently decided to try it out myself. It’s meant to be a sort of bitter-on-bitter experience: a bitter liqueur with a bitter beer. We don’t make a lot of beer cocktails at Simple Cocktails, but if you want to explore some, check out the Caramel Guinness or the Merican Negroni, the second of which is really just a souped-up version of this very cocktail.
I suppose it’s a stretch to call a beer-and-a-shot a cocktail, but I’m going to call it that because I’m serving it already mixed (not a separate shot as a chaser). If you look around the internet, this drink is definitely a thing, but it goes by a variety of names, usually Beer Campari or Campari Spritzer. I’ve decided to settle on the most obvious name, one that will be specific enough that your bartender should know what you mean when you order it:
in a frozen beer mug or pint glass, pour 6 oz of very cold IPA beer
add 1 1/2 oz Campari
top with the remaining 6 oz IPA (adding it incrementally like this helps the cocktail to mix itself)
optionally, garnish with an orange slice or serve on the rocks (especially if you don’t have an already-frozen beer mug)
In Albuquerque, you could argue that IPA is our king of craft beers. Our best IPAs here are the driest that I’ve had: when I try IPAs from other states, they usually finish too sweet for me. Adding Campari has this amazing effect on a quality IPA in that it increases both the bitterness and the sweetness of the beer, which to me is perfectly acceptable and the final product remains deliciously balanced. I will certainly be drinking more of these in the future!
At Tales of the Cocktail this year, we were treated to a great cocktail menu from Martin Miller’s Gin, featuring both classics and modern. As soon as I saw the menu, one really caught my eye: a Merican Negroni.
Yeah, I realize “Merican” has taken on a life of its own, particularly on the internet…images of gun-slingin’ pickup truck drivin’ rednecks. But once you get past the name, this is an incredible cocktail and all the ingredients pair perfectly well together, plus it’s one of the few beer cocktails I’ve ever done here.
So here’s the concept: take a bitter Italian cocktail, the Negroni, ice it and top it with another bitter drink: an American IPA. Here are the details:
in a collins glass filled with ice, add:
1 oz Campari
1 oz gin
1 oz sweet vermouth
top the cocktail with an American India Pale Ale – I used a local brew: Marble Brewery’s award-winning IPA.
Thanks to JCPenny for the glassware used in this photo.
Because we keep it classy at Simple Cocktails, the arrival of St. Patrick’s Day is more a reason to turn our drinking attention on the products of Ireland briefly, and less of a reason to dye things green and drink terrible beer.
Last year I gave you a few good ideas for simple St. Paddy’s drinks, and this year I focus on one of my favorites: the Caramel Guinness. Try this beer cocktail out for St. Patrick’s Day (or any day that calls for a great drink!):
In a frozen pint glass, pour a shot (1 1/2 oz) of caramel liqueur (common brands include Lovoka and Godiva). Top with very cold Guinness Draught. Sláinte!