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Just add suds: Beer cocktails

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In the last few years, interest has been growing in the use of beer in cocktails. The concept of mixing beer with other beer or booze has been around for centuries. It's an easy way to get some lightness and bubbles without all the alcohol of champagne, mellow out the sweetness of a margarita, or get a buzz from your ice cream float. Whatever you're drinking, even iced coffee, you can probably make it better by adding a little beer.

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This is basically just a beer-effervesced whiskey sour, with frozen lemonade mix swapped out for the sweet and sour mix and bourbon for added depth. This recipe is written for a pitcher-size batch to share, but you can get the same results with a 1:3:1 ratio of bourbon, beer and lemonade.

• 12 oz. Bourbon

• 36 oz. light beer

• 12 oz. frozen lemonade

Combine all ingredients in a pitcher and stir. Makes 6-8 servings.

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Once again, a few cans of light beer added to this mix really lightens up the sweetness, mellows out the lime and makes this, at least in my opinion, a vast improvement on the syrupy original. Again, this one is for a large group. If you want to get a little fancy, add a splash of Cointreau to each ice-filled cup.

• 1 750ml bottle of good tequila

• 8 light beers

• 2 cans of limeade concentrate

• Juice from 2-4 limes

Makes 10-16 servings.

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Sometimes a Bloody Mary is the taste that you want, but it's a little too boozy. Swapping the vodka for beer makes it a much gentler drink for a morning after on the porch. On a nasty Sunday morning, this recipe is medicine.

• ¼ C tomato juice or bloody mary mix

• 1 T fresh lime juice

• 2 dashes Worcestershire sauce

• 1-2 dashes hot sauce, or to taste

• 12 oz light beer

For the rim:

• ¼ tsp salt

• 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

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All these cocktails play on the combination of juice, champagne and beer. Cutting stout with some champagne makes it effervescent and rich at the same time. Adding soda to your beer makes it a refreshing radler/shandy, and swapping it for bubbles in a mimosa makes it less astringent.

Beermosa:

• 5 oz Hefeweizen, blonde, Belgian or Farmhouse ale

• 5 oz orange juice

Radler/Shandy:

• 5 oz light-bodied beer

• 5 oz lemon-lime soda or ginger ale

Black Velvet:

• 5 oz stout

• 5 oz champagne

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Get a little buzz with your dessert. Why not? You can lose yourself in combinations here, but I would suggest getting ice cream without chunks, for obvious reasons.

• 10 oz porter

• 1 scoop vanilla ice cream

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This recipe is everything I love to drink, all in one crazy downer-upper combo beverage. Mix all but the last ingredients together with ice, then pour your heavy cream over top.

• 2 oz. strong cold-brew coffee

• 2 oz. stout

• 1½ oz. Irish whiskey

• ¾ oz. simple syrup

• 1/2 ounce heavy cream


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