Using beer as an ingredient in cocktails is a practice dating back to the origins of the Shandy and the Black Velvet. However, few modern mixologists understand just how to effectively mix beer into cocktails.
Many beer cocktails are just that, cocktails with beer added—they often lack depth and balance. With the Dutch Brew, an India Pale Ale-based cocktail served at San Francisco’s Jasper’s Corner Tap & Kitchen at the Serrano Hotel, master mixologist Kevin Diedrich offsets the bitterness of the beer with malted notes found in Bols genever (a Dutch style malted gin) and a subtle sweetness of falernum and a hop syrup. For his choice of India Pale Ale, Diedrich prefers to use a local San Francisco product, Big Daddy IPA from Speakeasy Brewing. It is clean, crisp, and slightly bitterer than other IPAs on the market, which works well for this cocktail.
To make the hop syrup, fresh hops are steeped in a 1-to-1 mix of sugar and water that is cooked over medium heat until clear, then removed and let to cool. After several hours of infusing, the hops are strained out, and the resulting simple syrup retains the characteristics of the hops while adding an additional sweet note.
The cocktail is then finished off with freshly squeezed lemon juice (for an acid component) and two dashes of Angostura bitters. Made on the island of Trinidad, Angostura bitters have a complexity that lends themselves to creating structure in a drink and allowing the other ingredients to work together seamlessly.
This drink is easy to replicate at home. You’ll need a good quality local IPA, a bottle of Bols genever, some falernum and Angostura bitters from the liquor store, and hops (which should be available at your local homebrew supply store).
Dutch Brew Cocktail
Makes 1 cocktail
- 1 ½ oz Bols genever
- ½ oz falernum syrup
- ½ oz hop syrup
- 2 dashes Angostura bitters
- ¾ oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Big Daddy IPA to top
- In a tall glass, add first four ingredients.
- Add ice.
- Stir briefly to incorporate.
- Top with Big Daddy IPA.
- Garnish with a lemon wedge.