How to make beer cocktails, by world renowned bartender Simone Caporale

There is more to beer than just cracking open a cold one, as Simone Caporale wants to demonstrate by using it in cocktails.

The internationally celebrated Italian bartender was in Singapore last month for the grand prix where he was mixing beer cocktails as Peroni Nastro Azzurro‘s ambassador. In his hands, classics like the Negroni and Spritz were reimagined with the Italian beer.

“I think beer cocktails are fantastic,” Caporale said, who was also partly responsible for propelling London bar Artesian to stardom when he worked there. “They are an excellent way to create a new twist on some classic bar menu staples.”

Simone Caporale (Image credit: Peroni Nastro Azzurro)
Simone Caporale (Image credit: Peroni Nastro Azzurro)

While wine is the star in cocktails like the Sangria, beer does not have the same distinction. Perhaps the closest thing to a beer cocktail here is the Soju Bomb, while Mexican bars and restaurants might be able to mix a Michelada or Lagerita. But Caporale believed this is changing.

“I see beer being used more and more in new cocktails, whether it’s a simple traditional recipe or something new and adventurous,” he said.

With the variety of beer styles out there, bartenders have to figure out if the IPA goes with whisky, or stout with rum. But Caporale relishes the challenge. “Part of the fun is working that out to create something completely different and new,” he said.

How to make beer cocktails, by Simone Caporale

Think about flavours

As with all cocktails, it is important to consider the flavours that you are mixing to ensure that they are complimenting each other rather than competing with each other. For example, when I was building our Peroni Nastro Azzurro infusion cocktails, I was aware that Peroni Nastro Azzurro has a crisp and refreshing flavour which offers a delicate balance of bitterness and subtle citrus and aromatic notes. I have decided to pair these flavours with vibrant sweet, fruity and summery notes.

Be experimental

I don’t like to create strict rules – it is part of the fun to try new things and see how a beer can add something completely new and unexpected to a cocktail. In the bespoke recipes I have created with Peroni Nastro Azzurro, I have used the beer more as a modifier (to add flavour and texture) but that is not to say it could not be also used as a mixer (to blend ingredients together).

Look at the bigger picture

When you are mixing a new cocktail, it’s important to consider all the ingredients and corresponding quantities to ensure they all work together and enhance each other for that perfect final result.

Beer cocktail recipes

Peroni Negroni (Image credit: Peroni Nastro Azzurro / Facebook)
Peroni Negroni (Image credit: Peroni Nastro Azzurro / Facebook)

Peroni Negroni

15ml Gin
15ml Italian bitter liqueur such as Campari
15ml Sweet vermouth
180ml Peroni Nastro Azzurro, Peroni Nastro Azzurro 0.0%, or any lager
Orange slice for garnish

Fill a pilsner or collins glass with ice cubes. Add gin, Italian bitter liqueur, and sweet vermouth. Stir to combine. Top up with beer, stir again, and garnish with an orange slice.

Peroni Nastro Azzurro Spritzettino

200ml Peroni Nastro Azzurro 0.0%
75ml Italian bitter liqueur
30ml Lemonade
Lemon slice for garnish

Fill a wine glass with ice cubes. Add Italian bitter liqueur, beer, and lemonade. Stir gently to combine. Garnish with a lemon slice.

Lagerita*

* Recipe by Liquor.com

60ml Tequila
22.5ml Triple sec like Cointreau or Grand Marnier
30ml Lime juice
120ml Mexican beer like Corona
Lime wheel for garnish

In a shaker over ice, add tequila, orange liqueur, and lime juice. Shake to incorporate. Rim a highball glass with salt, then add ice cubes. Pour into the glass, top with beer, and garnish with lime wheel.

(Hero image credit: Krit of Studio OMG / Moment / Getty Images)

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