Friday, June 28, 2019

Beer Cocktails: Gin Edition

"I love Gin
Ginny Ginny Gin
mmmmm Gin
I love Gin"
- Ron Burgundy, Anchorman

We agree with Ron that Gin is a lovely thing. It is also one of the staples of any liquor cabinet or cocktail list and the varieties range from subtle to highly botanical. For infusions, like the ones we made for this Craft Beer Concoctions Test Kitchen, we chose subtle New Amsterdam to allow the flavor we were infusing to take center stage. 

Here are our most successful concoctions, ones that we'll likely be refining in the future.

Gin & Jam
Laurelwood Lost in Happy Mountain Saison
Lavender infused Gin
Rhubarb lemonade
Marionberry jam
The beer is a collaboration between Laurelwood Brewing and Happy Mountain Kombucha and caught our eye while we were shopping for beer for this installment of the Test Kitchen. Not something we'd normally pick up to drink on its own, the subtle flavors of the beer were accentuated by the infused Gin, the lemonade added a touch of tartness and the jam gave it just the right amount of sweetness, leading us to comment, "that just goes down easy."

Arnold Gin & Juice Bomb
Matchless Brewing Juice Bomb Units
Hendrick's Gin
Rhubarb lemonade
Pearl Soda Company Blue Mountain Sunshine bitters
This alcoholic take on an Arnold Palmer gets its lemonade flavor components from both the Matchless Brewing hazy IPA and the lemonade while the Pearl bitters contributed a tea-like quality that gave the cocktail added depth.

Rosemary's Baby Mama
Wild Ride Tarty to the Party Sugar Plum
Lavender infused Gin
Rosemary sprig
A simple cocktail, the fruity sourness of the beer (yet another in Wild Ride's great Tarty to the Party series), the floral-boosted gin and a savory balance contributed by the rosemary played remarkably well with one another.

Peachy Gin Fizz
Tieton Cider Works Bourbon Barrel Peach Cider
Rolling River Gin
Luxardo Marschino Liqueur
Torani Amaretto syrup
Egg white
Pearl Soda Company Blue Mountain Sunshine Bitters
Our first try at this cocktail was sans the egg white and while it doesn't contribute any flavor to the sour and sweet flavor profile, it did give the cocktail the missing body component. Besides a frothy top makes for an eye pleasing drink.

Mas Nap
Founders Brewing Mas Agave Gose
Prairie Artisan Ales Lil Nap 
Ginger infused Gin
Luxardo Maraschino Liquor
Squeeze of lime
Gose style beers are usually low on the ABV meter, however this version from Founders went well out of the typical ballpark clocking in at a robust 10%. Instead, Lil Nap, a blackberry and lime sour, filled the low ABV slot while being highly flavorful. Looking at the other components of this cocktail one might think there is a little too much going on but thankfully we were able to find the right ratios to create a cohesive, summery, pre-nap cocktail.

The Crooked Cucumber
Crooked Stave Sour Rose
Cucumber infused Gin
Marionberry jam
Inspired by the refreshing flavor of cucumber water, we infused Gin with cucumbers and here, paired it with the effervescent and slightly fruity wild ale from Crooked Stave. The jam added a touch more sweetness and helped amplify the pink color from the beer for a cocktail worthy of a fluted glass.

Tea Cream Shandy (aka Sweet Creams Are Made of These)
Great Notion Brewing Orange Creamsicle IPA
Jasmine tea infused Gin
Sparkling water
The Bitter Housewife orange bitters
Orange squeeze
Equal parts of orange and tea flavors keep this lower ABV cocktail light in flavor, light enough that we decided it should be served in a pint glass. If it makes the cut to be refined we may look at getting some shaved ice to serve it with for a playful cocktail.

With each Test Kitchen we're learning more about the basic components we'd want to have in our beer cocktail kit. Some things are nice to have and fun to play with while some are quickly becoming essential. 

Thanks again for sticking with us as we explore beer-related pursuits. If we've inspired you to venture out on some of your own, or have suggestions for the future, leave us a comment.

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