This past week on The Blitzed Podcast, I got the chance to interview Marco Zappia, one of the people behind Bittercube craft bitters. These fine folks are true beverage scientists with a lab full of apothecary jars and eye droppers of every possible imaginable flavor profile and combination. Not to mention some flavor combinations that no one could have possibly foreseen. Their products also make a great holiday gift for the cocktail-enthusiast in your life.
In addition to designing wonderful flavorings for cocktails and mock-tails, they also fashion elixirs to appeal to our beer-drinking audience by mixing beer and booze together in creative concoctions that I like to call “beer-tails”. Marco was kind enough to provide us with three recipes featuring some of my favorite beers and liquors from New Holland Brewing Company. I had the pleasure of trying these at a tasting dinner a couple months back and all I can say is all of these are more than worthy of your effort.
Codeine in My Cereal
2oz – New Holland Beer Barrel Bourbon
.25oz – New Holland Poet Oatmeal Stout Syrup
2 Dashes – Bittercube Trifecta Bitters
7 Drops – Malt Vinegar
Garnish: Orange Peel Expressed, Inserted
Instruction: Stir until proper temperature has been achieved, strain, garnish
My Take: A lot of stouts are aged in bourbon barrels. This time out we have an oatmeal stout mixed into a cocktail that is predominantly bourbon that was aged in barrels that had previously housed a beer and that before that had housed a different bourbon. The salt and the citrus cut the sweetness of the stout syrup just enough to make this one the perfect morning after elixir. In the words of the immortal Tony the Tiger, “They’re Grrrrreat!”
1oz – New Holland Freshwater Amber Rum
.33oz – Liquor 43
1oz – Simple Syrup
.5oz – Cream
1ED – Bittercube Blackstrap Bitters
1 – Egg White
2oz – New Holland Ichabod Pumpkin Ale
Garnish: 5 Drops Blackstrap Bitters
Instruction: Mime Shake, add ale, garnish
My Take: A common trend these days is to age beers in rum barrels instead of whiskey barrels. Some of the best recent rum barrel aged beers have been pumpkin ales. That makes this a match made in heaven. The Blackstrap gives it a mild hint of a root beer float blended with booze and a pumpkin pie latte. I love Ichabod, and although I hate to not just drink it straight up, I’m definitely not going to turn this drink away. If you get the chance at your holiday party, replace your standard eggnog with this fabulous festive fall flip.
1oz – New Holland Knickerbocker
.25oz – Lemon juice
.5oz – Lemongrass Syrup
3oz – New Holland Mad Hatter IPA
1ED – Bittercube Bolivar Bitters
Garnish: Candied Ginger
Instruction: Build in glass, ice, garnish, enjoy
My Take: Here’s a creative take on Gin and Juice. The grapefruit notes in the Mad Hatter IPA are accentuated by the gin, and the lemon just cuts some of the sweetness. Not all “beer-tails” have to be dark or rich and sweet. This one proves that you can get your hop on while having a cocktail too. It should be noted I have tried this one with some Hop Bitters that a friend made for me in place of the Bolivar and that tasted fabulous too. Also if you ever have an upset stomach – eat some candied ginger it will help settle it.