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Craft Beer Cocktails: “BP Special”

August 6, 2011

I’m continuing on, in the name of science, with my exploration into craft beer cocktails. Since I’m not especially creative or original, I once again looked to Stephen Kittredge Cunningham’s The Bartender’s Black Book (8th ed.) for mixed drink recipes involving beer. I came upon a recipe for something called a “Diesel”:(in a 12 oz. glass) 3/4 Hard Cider, 1 oz. Creme de Cassis, then fill with ale or lager.

Using my knowledge of craft beer, I set to work finding the perfect combination of brews that would give this recipe new life. The name “Diesel” made me think of oil, and given recent events, oil made me think of that fine, upstanding organization known as British Petroleum (BP), and the oil they so generously bestowed upon the Gulf Coast. So I figured that I’d narrow my beer search to English beers, and I think I stumbled upon the perfect combination. We recently brought in Theakston’s Old Peculiar, a solid English ale at 5.2% abv that is rich, dark, and smooth, with a malty backbone and the mild flavors of Fuggles hops. I also used Samuel Smith’s Organic Cider, a medium dry cider at 5% abv with a clean apple flavor, also from England. So throwing in the Creme de Cassis (a berry liqueur), here is the final recipe for the cocktail that I’m calling the “BP Special”:

(in a 12 oz. glass)

-3/4 Samuel Smith’s Organic Cider

-1 oz. (about a shot) of Creme de Cassis

-fill with Theakston’s Old Peculiar.

The result is a dark ruby-colored brew that is sweet and flavorful without being heavy, and it’s rounded off with a refreshing berry aftertaste. For anyone who enjoyed the earthy fruitiness of the beer sangria, this is definitely along the same lines. It’s a cocktail that works in any weather, as it’s rich but light-tasting and fruity enough for the summer, and it doesn’t hurt that it’s inexpensive and easy to make. And, you know, it won’t kill marine life and cripple the fishing industry if you spill it, so that’s a plus.

So try it out, I guarantee it’s worth it. You can trust me, I’m a scientist. But if you do happen to spill some, be sure to do the right thing and clean it up.

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