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Beer Cocktail of the Week: Snakebite

Beer News Mashup - August 3, 2011

In the UK they drink a lot of hard cider. They usually have several varieties on tap at most bars. Also popular in the British bar scene is the Snakebite, which is a layered concoction of beer and cider. The best of both worlds.

Our rating: B+ A pretty interesting combination of flavors, and especially good if you can find the blackcurrant syrup.

  1. Recipe

    1/2 a pint of beer. Brits like to use lager, in the States we seem to use Guinness more. I guess we think it's more "authentic." For craft brew lovers, try Old #38 Stout from North Coast Brewing Co., or Black Sun Stout from Three Floyds Brewing Company.

    1/2 a pint of hard cider, such as Woodchuck or Strongbow.

    a dash of blackcurrant syrup (optional)

    Pour into the same glass. If you want to get really fancy, use the back-of-the-spoon method. Turn a spoon upside-down over the beer and gently pour the cider over the back of the spoon. This allows the cider to pour down the edge of the glass and rest on top of the beer in a pousse-cafe layering..

  2. Where to find it

    Try local Irish pubs. Usually they'll advertise Snakebites if they serve them. Really, any bar that serves cider on tap can make you a Snakebite. It's the blackcurrant juice, a necessity by the drink's definition in England, that's really hard to find. Try Whiskey Tavern on Baxter Street in Manhattan, or The Slaughtered Lamb in the West Village.


7 comment(s)

7 Responses to Beer Cocktail of the Week: Snakebite

  • Matt says:

    I've had this, all though the bar called it a black velvet. Then again, I always thought a black velvet was champagne and beer, so who's to say!

    The important thing is how *delicious* it is!!

    Posted on August 3, 2011 at 3:33 pm

  • I like to mix my homemade AppleJack Cider with an amber ale, like Fat Tire, for my snake bites - Cider on top though.

    Posted on August 3, 2011 at 4:12 pm

  • BBS says:

    Hey Matt,

    We always thought the black velvet was beer mixed with champagne or sparking wine too! Both sound delicious. Hope you enjoy :)


    Hi Nate,

    That concoction sounds amazing! Thanks for the idea!

    Posted on August 3, 2011 at 5:25 pm

  • Amy says:

    In England snakebites are called "lunatic soup" and consumption is limited or banned altogether in some areas. Something about the reaction between the ingredients in each drink. If you've ever had mulitples this likely rings true.

    Posted on September 15, 2011 at 8:28 am

  • res says:

    in england I grew up on snakebite black (black denotes the use of blackcurrent juice), using guiness sounds a bit wrong but then guiness and black is big here too

    Posted on May 2, 2013 at 4:03 pm

  • Kim says:

    You don't neccessarily need fresh blackcurrant juice, in fact I'm pretty sure the vast majority of pubs in England just use cordial... like robinsons or ribena!

    (okay WHAT I just looked on wikipedia and found that this is not something generally available in America... mind blown. Well I still think it would be better to order some from a specialist website than to buy fresh blackcurrant juice, because it doesn't go out of date for like.... years.)

    p.s. in England I think it definitely would not be refered to as a snakebite without the blackcurrant...!!

    Posted on May 6, 2013 at 11:48 am

  • in the UK, snakebite is lager and cider , stout and cider is called a poor man's black velvet, hence cider is cheaper than champagne, which is used for the original black velvet, or it can be called a blackadder if the drinks are poured differently ;)

    Posted on December 21, 2013 at 3:40 pm