Somehow, flavored beers like pumpkin ale or raspberry beer seem more appropriate for the transitional seasons. With warm weather coming sooner than any of us anticipated, we've got a head start on rhubarb, as well as an early debut to one of my favorite warm weather activities, outdoor drinking. Sometimes there's no better way to relax than sitting at a table, soaking up the sun with a beer in hand.
With warm weather in mind, I took the leap and created my first beer cocktail. Perhaps it would be more appropriate to call it a beer mixer, because with only two ingredients, it's incredibly simple. Excited about a recent rhubarb purchase, I immediately made syrup with it which I've been adding it to cocktails and soda water. But it's even better with beer. A wheat beer like Hefeweizen is light enough to let the sweet and tart flavor of the rhubarb syrup peek through, but has enough flavor of it's own to maintain the original nuances of the beer that I enjoy so much. It's fruity and refreshing, with enough body to deeply satisfy.
- For the Rhubarb Syrup:
- 2 cups sliced rhubarb
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- For the Cocktail:
- 1 ounce rhubarb syrup
- 1 (12-ounce) bottle of Hefeweizen or other wheat beer
To make the rhubarb syrup: Combine rhubarb, water, and sugar in a small saucepan. Heat over high heat until boiling, stirring to dissolve sugar. Reduce to a simmer and continue to cook until rhubarb breaks down, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Strain through a fine mesh strainer. Rhubarb syrup will keep for one week in a sealed container in the refrigerator.
To make the cocktail: Pour the rhubarb syrup in the bottom of a pint glass. Gently pour the beer over syrup, tilting the glass slightly as you pour to prevent too much foam.