I'm not usually one to incorporate beer into my cocktails, but sometimes the occasion calls for it. One of the newer bars that we've been frequenting is called Sweet Afton. It has a good atmosphere, knowledgable staff and these deep fried spicy pickles that are to die for.
Anyway, Heather and I learned that they serve brunch on the weekends and some of the items looked intriguing. We get there and Heather orders the blueberry pancakes, which she ended up loving and pining after ever since. I got a burger, which really isn't fantastic brunch fare, but I was happy. The happy hour cocktail menu has plenty of fun brunch cocktails to try, ranging from your standard bloody mary to something called an oatmeal martini. One of the best parts is that the cocktails are no more than six dollars a piece.
I see on their menu of brunch cocktails that they have something called a Witte Screwdriver. A screwdriver, as I understand it, incorporates vodka and orange juice. This concoction goes a step further and replaces the vodka with Citron and adds lemon, ginger and beer to the mix.
The beer they use is Ommegang Witte. For those of you unfamiliar with it, it's a belgian-style wheat beer that is very light in color. The yeast is prominent in the flavor and it has mild notes of citrus. The cocktail they serve me is delicious. Looking at the ingredients, I felt that I could play around with the proportions and recreate this pleasant cocktail. A 25 oz. bottle ran me about $6.99 at the local grocery store which seems kind of pricey especially considering that the original cocktail only ran me five bucks, but I did get the tactile pleasure of popping a cork and having it fly across the room. It makes me feel like I've accomplished something.
-2 oz. Absolut Citron
-1/2 oz ginger syrup
-2 oz. orange juice
-juice of half a lemon
Pour Citron, ginger syrup, orange juice, and lemon juice over ice in a pint glass or other tall glass. Fill with Witte and gently stir.
One of the goals I have in life (outside of memorizing Hall and Oates' entire catalogue and learning scrimshaw) is having a cocktail recipe at the ready for whatever situation I may be in--morning and early afternoon included. I admire this cocktail for its deft combination of flavors. The beer itself is a very prominent flavor, which is good because it's a premium beer. The other ingredients serve to enhance the flavor by complementing the citrus, and the ginger is the unexpected twist.
Perhaps this has shifted my entire worldview on beer as a mixer. Sure it's great by itself--no one's denying that. But perhaps it can exist in piece and harmony with liquor and juice. Perhaps it's not the lone wolf I thought it was. If beer can learn to play nice, then perhaps there's hope for all of us.