Thursday, October 9, 2008

Beer Martini

The other day we had some guests over and I shook up some martinis. If you're a stickler for correctness, you know that James Bond has it wrong: the classic martini is stirred, not shaken. However, I consider shaking an improvement on my usual technique, which is to just put everything into a martini glass and stir it with my finger.

After the guests had left and I was cleaning up the kitchen, I remembered that I had a few ounces of Laurelwood Hop Bale Pale in a growler in the fridge. It was totally flat, almost a week old. Hmm... can it be put any good use? Yes, of course. Here's my beer martini recipe:

Stale Pale Ale Martini
  • 2 oz. pale ale
  • 4 - 6 oz. gin
  • 3 olives
  • 3 ice cubes
Put everything into a glass. Stir with finger.

Keep your gin in the freezer so the drink will be nice and cold. Use good olives, also -- I find that garlic-stuffed olives are a good choice, or a mix of garlic- and jalapeno-stuffed. Important: for those of you arriving here from Google searches: use good beer (Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Sam Adams Boston Ale -- not Boston Lager). Note that a "single" at a bar uses about 1.5 oz. of gin, so the recipe above is a big drink. Scale it to fit your glassware/tolerance.

The beer martini was mighty tasty with some 95-proof Cascade Mountain Gin. It's a little sweeter than a normal martini, and the beer complements gin's aromatics very nicely. Don't be afraid of using a hoppy beer -- this also worked well with Sierra Nevada's Chico Estate. In an interesting bit of synchronicity, a couple days after my first beer martini, the Oregonian reported that the official Oregon cocktail was a concoction made with Terminal Gravity IPA. Are you ready for beer cocktails?

By the way, if you want to make a killer regular martini, simply substitute cheap white wine or leftover champagne for the pale ale. That's a trick I learned long ago from that culinary classic, Bull Cook and Authentic Historical Recipes and Practices. The inimitable George Herter points out that vermouth is nothing but wine that was so bad that it could only be sold by flavoring it with bitter herbs. Instead of paying a premium for vermouth, go buy the second-cheapest Chardonnay at Safeway, and have yourself a decent martini.


  1. That's awesome, I didn't even mean to make that acronym!

    If I had realized that, I would have put meat in instead of the olives.

  2. I would trust you on this, my friend, but I think I might have seen you drinking a habanero beer this past summer.