Mixing Drinks

Posted on 08.25.09 8:47PM under Blending, Spirits, Tasting

In the constant search for the new, I often try things that normal people might hesitate to try.

For example, I have frequently blended homebrewed beers. One comes out too sweet, and one is astringent. Combined, the two defects counter one another to make for a balanced combination, and an overall improved drinking experience.

As another example, there is the concept of mixing spirits and beer in the same glass. I remember hearing about a shot/drink called an Irish Car Bomb, which is Guinness and Bailey’s. Sounded incredible. And by incredible, I mean I couldn’t believe that anyone would order such a thing. It was literally incredible, meaning it had no credibility that it could exist.

Then I got into oaked beers. And I realized that even without an oaked beer, per se, I still had a subtly oaked spirit (like a true dark rum) and a beer (take your pick). When mixed in just the right ratio (a tiny amount of spirit to a full pint of beer) you could get an oaked beer effect from any beer. One of my favorite aftermarket oaked beers is my low alcohol MindBender IPA mixed with whichever craft Rum I have on hand at the time. The richness of the wood influence on the rum elevates the entire MindBender experience. The low alcohol thing is a bit disrupted, but at least I’m not adding booze to an Imperial IPA (though that’s a fine combo as well).

Enough parenthesis for now.

Sunday I was at a friend’s house. She is a wine person, but acknowledges that some people enjoy beer, and so had almost as much beer as wine available. I also brought along a growler of my most popular brew, the summery Fisher Cat Wheat. She was serving Corona Light.

I saved the Fisher Cat for the others there. So that meant I drank mostly Corona Light. After a few, I got tired of the plain old Corona Light flavor. Other people were drinking red wine. It was a Cabernet Sauvignon and its name was a number like 373 or 937 or something which definitely had a 3 and a 7 in it, and maybe another three, or something three-like. A damn fine wine, I’m sure.

So I poured myself a Stella glass about half full with the wine. I found it typically winey – kind of harsh, I guess it’s the tannins or something. It was good for a few sips, but I quickly lamented that I had none of my other beers around to fill in the afternoon. So I grabbed the growler and poured a few ounces of Fisher Cat on an equal volume of the red wine.

The result was a purpley somewhat fizzy concoction with the peachy slightly bitter sweetness of the beer blended in harmony with the dry grape skin feeling of the red wine. It was refreshing but strong. A great break from the dull monotony of pale yellow beer and a welcome respite from the heavier dark red wine.

So in the end, all I can say is that it might be worth a shot to try to mix two startlingly different drinks in the same glass, just to see what happens. Worst case, you’re dumping the mixture, in case you’re some sort of alcohol dumping monster. But more than likely, you’ll find something that is at least somewhat interesting and worthwhile.

Read Comments

  1. Posted by BobbyO on 08.26.09 7:31 PM

    A long time ago, I was fascinated by trying to mix vodka with just about anything. I learned that vodka and Coke was just as tasty as rum and coke, in a less sweet kind of way. Vodka and wine? You just end up with stronger wine. I also learned that apple juice and vodka, rather than tasting like either of the constituents, comes across as strongly pissy — definitely a dumper. You live and learn.

  2. Posted by Keith Brainard on 08.26.09 7:35 PM

    Now that you mention it, I mixed lemonade from the kids’ lemonade stand with some MindBender and ended up with Iced Tea. Even mixed with the 11% ABV MindMelter Junior, an Iced Tea-like concoction emerged.