In yesterday’s post about pizza I mentioned that I’d been intrigued enough by the notion of a beer cocktail to give it a go. Whilst this is pretty much a ‘hand back your mancard’ offence, I was prepared to give it a go. The prospect of something that mixed beer, vodka, lemon and grapefruit flavours together wasn’t exactly filling me with confidence for the outcome, but it did have me intrigued as to how it might work. If, of course, it did.
Before we go any further I should probably say how I come across this recipe – because it’s really not an ‘off the shelf’ one. Like most blogs that are in my reader, I’ve no idea how I originally discovered The Boys Club, but I’m very glad I did. This US-based blog is one that I’m regularly a little in awe of. It’s written by a combination of writers from various parts of the world and gives lots of drink-related ideas. Sure they’ve lots of professional equipment (at least I assume they do), but their photography is fantastic and the layout is something I’m massively jealous of. I’ll admit it, there’s a bit of blog envy going on here.
Anyway, before further digression, back to the point: I saw a tweet the other day that lead to said blog and a recipe entitled ‘Hop, Skip and Go Naked’. Like many of us would do at work my first thought was “Ah! Now there’s something I want saved in my internet history”; but thankfully my professional brain kicked in and realised just how good a headline that was – one which I was now too curious to ignore.
I read the post and then sat at my desk pondering. [NOTE: if anyone from my office is reading this: I was really-super-busy-with-incredibly-important-projects or it was lunchtime – take your pick of excuses]. How would the flavours of lemon vodka, grapefruit juice and IPA (India Pale Ale, if you’re wondering) work together? It certainly looked quite good. And the blog said it tasted great (and obviously the internet wouldn’t lie to me). At this point it was patently obvious that I was going to try out.
So sure, making the sugar syrup is a bit of a pain in the ass, and I didn’t have any lemon vodka (so made do with lemon juice, vodka and a little extra sugar syrup), oh and grapefruit aren’t in season, but apart from all those things it was pretty simple.
The final result? Well, my initial reaction was that it was a little tart. But from the second sip onwards I enjoyed it more and more. Its flavour is hard to place, because it’s not like any of its constituent parts. Without the beer it would have been pleasant, yet forgettable; but with the hoppy back notes, the depth spread out and it was both incredibly refreshing and lip-lickingly tasty. It’s not the sweetest cocktail in the world (shockingly enough), so if you only like things with a 70%+ level of sugar you’ll hate it, however, if you like it with body and a bit of bite I suggest you pull up a chair, grab your beer and vodka bottles – this is how you do it:
The Hop, Skip and Go Naked
This recipe was adapted from The Boys Club, but I’ve changed a couple of things based on what I had in my kitchen. It makes two glasses.
for the cocktail
60ml grapefruit juice
15 ml sugar syrup
for the sugar syrup:
100g caster sugar
juice of 1 lime
To make the sugar syrup, put the ingredients in a pan over a medium heat and stir until the sugar’s dissolved. Once dissolved turn up the heat and boil for a minute or so, then take off the heat and allow to cool.
Put the lemon juice, vodka, grapefruit juice and syrup in a shaker with ice and shake until well mixed and ice cold. Pour into a highball glass and then hold at an angle to pour the IPA in. Stir slightly to ensure it is fully mixed.
Taste it to make sure it’s neither to sweet or bitter (add more grapefruit juice or sugar syrup to combat) then serve.