Beer Cocktail Recipe
Beer Tom Collins

There's nothing we love more than a good beer, or a good cocktail. And after we mastered simple syrups at home, we decided to shake things up by making a simple syrup using beer instead of water. When added to a classic gin cocktail, the Tom Collins, it's a sweet-and-sour taste that brings a new level of dimension to our happy hour.

Choosing the right beer for a simple syrup, especially for a gin or vodka cocktail, is a bit trickier than you might expect. Save the hoppy IPAs and other bold beers for drinking alone; when heated, the hoppy quality will turn the syrup bitter -- not the flavor you want for a simple syrup. We used a Grapefruit Honey Ale, the right mixture of citrus and hops, for our simple syrup. The result? A slightly sweeter version of the beer you love, that only enhances your favorite cocktail.

What You Need

  • 1 1/2 bottles of beer (like a Grapefruit Honey ale or citrus beer)
  • 1 cup of raw sugar
  • 4 ounces gin (we like Aviation American Gin)
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 1-2 ounces seltzer, to top
  • maraschino cherries, for garnish (we used sour cherries for a sour kick)

What You Do

  1. Pour the beer into a small or medium-sized saucepan, and bring to a boil. Watch it carefully, as the carbonation may make the beer overflow when heated too quickly.
  2. Bring to a vigorous boil, then turn down heat to a low simmer.
  3. Keep the beer at a simmer for 30 to 45 minutes, or until the beer has reduced by one-third. Stir every few minutes, to avoid burning.
  4. When the beer is reduced, take off the heat and transfer to a microwaveable bowl or heat-resistant container. Immediately mix in the sugar and stir for 2 to 4 minutes, until completely dissolved. You can add more sugar to taste, but the mixture must be very hot to fully dissolve.
  5. Transfer the syrup to another container with a spout (optional) and refrigerate for about an hour to cool.
  6. When the syrup has cooled, place 2 ounces of the syrup in a cocktail shaker, and add the gin and lemon juice. Add crushed ice and shake, and strain into a Tom Collins glass or other cocktail glass over ice.
  7. Top the cocktail off with seltzer. You can use the remaining beer to top off the cocktail, but it will tone down the sweetness of the cocktail. If desired, mix in more raw sugar with a bar spoon.
  8. Add cherries to garnish, and enjoy.
  9. Refrigerate the remaining syrup for up to one month. Makes 12 ounces of syrup.