Before I found and began to enjoy beer, I really liked myself a good vodka tonic with a splash of lime. Anyone that has tried a vodka tonic, knows that they can be very dangerous, as they tend to go down very easily. A few weeks ago, I was wanting a vodka tonic, but also a beer, so I figured, why not try to create a beer cocktail with them? I started off with my Wood Betony Amber and although that was tasty, it just didn’t pop. Next, I tried my friend Josh’s homebrew, Longview Brewing Company’s Grapefruit Pale, and that was a whole lot better! I realized that I was on to something, but of course I ended up drinking the last bottle of his beer in testing the recipe out. I moved on to other beers like Sierra Nevada’s Pale Ale and Prairie’s Tulsa Rugby Ale, which both proved tasty.
So, what are the ingredients you ask? Do you want to learn more about the cocktail? I’ll be glad to tell you… This recipe includes vodka like a traditional vodka tonic, so go with whatever you like (I am a fan of Ketel One, Tito’s and Kirkland brand), as well as a special liqueur that I recently found. It’s a jasmine liqueur from Greenbar Craft Distillery and although it isn’t overly aromatic like jasmine flowers, it adds a really nice complexity to a mixed drink. The ingredients in Fruitlab Organic Jasmine Liqueur are jasmine flowers, green & black tea, citrus, and cane sugar and it’s not overly sweet like a lot of liqueurs are. The only other specialty ingredient above and beyond the typical tonic water and ice is key lime juice, which I always keep in my fridge from Nellie & Joe’s, but regular lime juice will suffice if you don’t want to go and buy anymore specialty ingredients.
The recipe is below. Use a tall glass to make the drink, as you will have a lot of carbonation and head from the ice, mixing and some of the co2 coming out of solution. I used a flared tall glass that I found in the back of my glass cabinet, as couldn’t find a proper (and large enough) Collins or Highball glass. Lastly, the recipe is for one drink, utilizing one shot of spirits total and a 12 oz bottle or can of beer. If you want to go light on them, feel free to split in half for two drinks. And as always, have fun with this drink and experiment. Cheers!
- 2 oz Tonic Water
- 1/2-3/4 tsp Key Lime Juice (can substitute the juice of a lime, which would equate to roughly an eighth of the lime)
- Ice cubes (optional)
- 1 fl. oz of vodka (I am becoming a big fan of Tito's, but any good vodka will do)
- 1 fl. oz Fruitlab Organic Jasmine Liqueur
- Prairie Artisan Ales Tulsa Rugby Ale (my favorite so far)
- Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
- Oskar Blues Dale's Pale Ale
- Ballast Point Grunion Pale Ale
- Any fruity or citrus-forward Pale Ale that you would like to try with this
- Pour vodka and Jasmine Liqueur into a high ball or collins glass (anything tall and big enough to hold at least 16 oz of liquid as well as foam).
- Add key lime juice and tonic water.
- Take Pale Ale and pour it into the glass with the cocktail mixture; pour onto sides of glass at an angle to avoid excessive foaming.
- Mix gingerly and carefully add a handful of ice cubes to the glass.
- As usual, make this recipe your own and go with any Pale Ale that you think will work. I like Prairie's Pale Ale a little more, as it seems a bit more tropical with a background of citrus. Also, add ice if you wish, but add it at the end carefully, as it provides a ton of nucleation points for the co2 to release and produce a lot of foam.
- Oh, and yes, the name does have some significance, as it is a play on the song Summer Breeze by Seals and Crofts (thanks Mark). You can sing the chorus while drinking it - Summer breeze makes me feel fine. Blowing through the jasmine in my mind.