MxMo LIX: Industrial Pale Fizz (Part 2)

Continuing with the practical exercise from the previous MxMo LIX post.

I’ve experimented with compounded beer flavored beverages before, as in my Modernist Punch, but this is a more a la minute preparation.

From 7/13/11

But when Frederic called for “Beer Cocktails”, I knew I had to step it up a notch. First I infused California Single Grain vodka with roasted barley and Rye for 24 hours.

From 7/13/11

Then I added Cascade Whole Leaf hops and let it sit for another day.

From 7/13/11

I strained out the barley and hops.

From 7/13/11

Combined 1 1/2 oz infused vodka with 1 1/2 tablespoons Malted Barley Syrup. Man that stuff is sticky. Added a tiny squeeze of lemon juice and an egg white. Dry shook it for a few seconds. Added Ice and shook the crap out of it.

Strained it into a pint glass and topped up with soda water.

Hey, it’s kind of neat, the bubbles in the carbonation are forming little waves of froth floating up the liquid, almost like Guinness.

Uh right, what is that?

It is remotely beer-like, but maybe reminds me a bit more of an Egg Cream than a beer.

First you get the roasty taste of the grains, then the sweetness of the barley malt. Finishes with a nice touch of hop bitterness and then the annoying aftertaste of highly distilled alcohol from the vodka.

On the plus side, it is neither the worst cocktail nor the worst beer that I have ever drunk.

MxMo LIX: Industrial Pale Fizz

MxMo LIX: Beer!

While beer being used as an ingredient in modern cocktails has gotten a lot of press as of late, this is not a new trend. Beer has played a historical role in mixed drinks for centuries. For example, it can be found in Colonial drinks like the Rumfustian, Porter Sangaree, and Ale Flip. While many of these drinks are not seen in modern bars save for craft cocktail establishments, other beer drinks are though, including the Boilermaker, Black Velvet, and Michelada. And present day mixologists are utilizing beer with great success including Kelly Slagle’s Port of Funchal, Jacob Grier’s Averna Stout Flip, and Emma Hollander’s Word to Your Mom. Bartenders are drawn to beer for a variety of reasons including the glorious malt and roast notes from the grain, the bitter and sometimes floral elements from the hops, the interesting sour or fruity notes from the yeast, and the crispness and bubbles from the carbonation. Beer is not just for pint glasses, so let us honor beer of all styles as a drink ingredient.

When I heard about this month’s Mixology Monday, it sort of put me off. To be honest, I’m not much into “Beer Cocktails”, as to me beer is already pretty much a perfect beverage.

However, when I was thinking more about it…

The two main impetus for distillation were to first preserve fermented beverages from spoiling and second to reduce the volume.

Usually, you talk about these things with regard to how much beer the English Royal Navy or other expeditions had to bring along to satiate their crews and passengers. As in, many people speculate the real reason the pilgrims decided on Plymouth Rock wasn’t so much choice, as they had run out of beer and needed to get to land for provisions to make more. If they ran out of alcoholic beverages for long on ship, they would be facing a mutiny.

So with Punch, what you were doing was, essentially, re-adding to the distilled spirits, what had been lost in the process of distillation: fruit flavor, sweetness, and water.

OK, that is easy to do with Brandy, distilled from fruit, but what about spirits distilled from grain?

How do you turn whiskey back into beer?

Here’s my idea:

A Silver Fizz made with hop infused white dog sweetened with barley syrup.

Hop infused Whiskey

1/4 cup well toasted rye or barley
1 Cup Unaged Whiskey
1 Tablespoon Hops

Add toasted grain to whiskey, let stand to infuse 2 days. On the second day add the hops and let stand another day. Filter out solids and bottle.

Industrial Pale Fizz

2 oz Hop Infused Whiskey
1 Teaspoon Barley Syrup
1 Egg White
Soda Water

Add Whiskey, Syrup, and Egg White to mixing tin. Dry Shake to emulsify. Add ice and shake well. Strain into a Fizz Glass and top with Soda Water.

The question I have, though, is citrus.

The balance of beer is pretty much entirely between bitter and sweet flavors, most often without sour. Do we want to introduce citrus to the drink to make it a Lambic Fizz?

Unfortunately, I didn’t get this much beyond the conceptual stage by the deadline for the MxMo. Stay tuned this week for more details regarding the cocktail.


Due to circumstances beyond my control, well laziness basically, I am going to recycle this MxMo post from a year and a half ago. Besides, I’m off to my home state, Wisconsin, land of the Brandy Old-Fashioned. Ya so, dat Old-Fashioned ting is perfectly apropos of the “Local Flavor” theme, dere hey.

Cheers to Kevin Kelpe of Save the Drinkers for hosting this round.

Cole Porter, 1940
there are moments, sooner or later
When it’s tough, I got to say, love to say … Waiter

Make it another old-fashioned, please
Make it another, double, old-fashioned, please

There’s an art to the Old-Fashioned cocktail. It’s a simple thing, yet when you order it in two bars, you will seldom receive the same cocktail twice.

By the time Jerry Thomas published his “Bartender’s Guide” in the late 1800s, a whiskey cocktail had come to be a shaken “up” cocktail. Due respect to Mr. Thomas, I stirred, and did not shake with crushed ice.

Whiskey Cocktail

Whiskey Cocktail
(Use small bar-glass.)
Take 3 or 4 dashes of gum syrup. (Barspoon Rich Simple Syrup)
2 dashes of bitters (Boker’s). (Angostura)
1 wine-glass of whiskey. (2oz Sazerac 6 Year Rye)

Fill one-third full of fine ice ; shake and strain in a fancy red wine-glass. Put in a piece of twisted lemon peel in the glass and serve.

Some authors posit that the Old-Fashioned Cocktail came by its name as a shortened version of something like, “I’ll have a Whiskey Cocktail made in the Old Fashioned Manner”. That is to say, not shaken and served on the rocks. Presumably, a “Really Old-Fashioned” would be whiskey, water, syrup and bitters. From the Savoy Cocktail Book:

Old-Fashioned Cocktail

Old-Fashioned Cocktail
1 Lump Sugar (Barspoon Rich Simple Syrup)
2 Dashes Angostura Bitters
1 Glass Rye or Canadian Club Whisky (2 oz Sazerac 6 Year Rye)

Crush Sugar and bitters together, add lump of ice, decorate with twist of lemon peel and slice of orange using medium size glass, and stir well. This Cocktail can be made with Brandy, Gin, Rum, etc., instead of Rye Whisky.

Some time in the 20th century, Bourbon replaced the Rye as the whiskey of choice in the Old-Fashioned, and even stranger, bartenders began to muddle the garnish in the glass with the bitters and sugar. Also, for better or worse, soda crept into the mix. From Charles Schumann’s, “American Bar”:

Old Fashioned

Old Fashioned
1 Sugar Cube (Barspoon Rich Simple Syrup)
dashes Angostura Bitters
2 oz Bourbon (W.L. Weller 12 Year)
soda (skipped)
stemmed cherry

Place sugar cube in an old-fashioned glass saturate with Angostura, add orange and lemon wedges, press with a pestle, add Bourbon, stir well, add ice cubes, fill with soda or water, stir again, garnish with cherry.

Even odder, in Wisconsin, the liquor of choice in Old-Fashioneds is not Whiskey at all, but Brandy (preferably Korbel). Wisconsinites, being cold weather folk, also have a tendency to make these rather large, and sometimes give you a choice of “Sweet” or “Sour”. “Sour” includes a spritz of Soda and “Sweet” a spritz of 7-Up.

Brandy Old-Fashion, Sour

Muddled Brandy Old-Fashioned (Sour)

Recipe identical to the Schumann Old-Fashioned recipe; but, with a generous 2 oz pour of Korbel Brandy instead the Bourbon.

Lately, however, I have found a return, in a few local bars, to the Savoy style stirred Rye Old-Fashioneds, with or without the orange and cherry garnish. This makes ordering an Old-Fashioned somewhat less of a crap shoot. Though, the bartenders do tend to ask if you’re sure you want it that way.

Cole Porter, 1940
So, make it another old-fashioned, please

Leave out the cherry,
Leave out the orange,
Leave out the bitters
Just make it Straight Rye.

Sazerac 18 Year Old Rye Whiskey

Sazerac 18 year Old Straight Rye Whiskey

And, of course, it wouldn’t be complete without a drink of real old fashioned rye whiskey.

For further, more erudite reading on the Brandy Old-Fashioned subject, check Robert Simonson’s Off the Presses for this article: Brandy Old-Fashioned

Edit – Fixed song lyrics. Thanks Bryndon!