It’s Father’s Day weekend. And it’s officially summer break. Two prime reasons to celebrate. Dads like beer (understatement of the year), so it’s tempting to just hand him a bottle and call it good. But the lack of effort involved doesn’t really say “I went to all this trouble because you’re worth it.”
So how about beer — in a cocktail? Now don’t go thinking about micheladas and shandies. Beer cocktails are so much more than that, especially when local mixologist Jacob Grier is shaking them up. He’s Portland’s resident expert on beer cocktails, so much so that he’s working on a book called “Coctails on Tap” from Stewart, Tabori and Chang due out next year.
“Hoppy beers are a great way to add bitterness to drinks,” says Grier. “They give them backbone, hops play well with citrus, and shaking beer with the other ingredients makes for a frothy head, creating a velvety mouthfeel.”
We asked Jacob to share a celebratory beer cocktail with us, and he sent us this riff on a classic tiki drink. It’s tropical and summery without being sweet, and the slight bitterness of the IPA gives it depth.
We used Deschutes Inversion IPA because it’s a well-balanced classic. Honestly, you can’t go wrong with any Deschutes beer. And for the syrups, we turned to Portland’s expert on tiki drinks, Blair Reynolds. The proprietor of the fabulous Hale Pele tiki bar (which we are proud to say is located in our neighborhood), Blair is also the man behind the B.G. Reynolds cocktail syrups. These are artisan syrups made in small batches with whole spices. If you like mixing drinks, you need to have these in your arsenal. Get them online or, if you’re in Portland, you can stop by Hale Pele or Pearl Specialty Market.
Hopped-Up Nui Nui
Mixologist Jacob Grier says, “This tiki drink offers bold, spicy flavors. Beachbum Berry credits it to Donn the Beachcomber’s Mandalay Bar at the Colonel’s Plantation Beefsteak House in Hawaii, circa 1958. My only addition is the beer, and I shake it rather than blend it.” As with any cocktail, be sure to juice the citrus yourself. No bottled and pasteurized stuff. It makes a difference.
2 ounces amber rum (we used Appleton Estate but Grier uses El Dorado 5 year)
1 ounce IPA (we used Deschutes Inversion IPA)
1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
1/2 ounce fresh orange juice
1/4 ounce B.G. Reynolds cinnamon syrup
1/4 ounce B. G. Reynolds Donn’s Spices #2 syrup
1 dash Angostura bitters
Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into an ice-filled rocks glass. Garnish with a lime peel or cherry.