I was hungover when I encountered Peter as he diligently tended to his bar the other day. There’s nothing unusual about that, of course. (My hangover, that is. Peter is rarely diligent.)
“Blatz?” he asked.
“Blech,” I said.
“Really?” he persisted. He’s quite the salesman, that silver-tongued devil.
“Really,” I answered. “I just can’t. No.”
“Fine,” he said, dejected. He suddenly perked up. “Wanna help me test a drink?”
“Well, if it’s for science…” I’ve always been a dedicated supporter of pure research.
“It’s a ‘beer-tail,’ apparently,” Peter said. “A beer cocktail. Let’s get stupid.” He sprung into action. The concoction, he informed me, came to him via a poorly scrawled note on yellowed paper, which had been handed to him one night by an intoxicated Norwegian ship captain. (Wait, no… it was an anxious liquor salesman who had suggested a drink mix earlier that day. Sorry.)
Expertly, Peter measured gin into an old fashioned glass. He added Hopalicious, then topped it with grapefruit juice. I was skeptical.
He sipped. I sipped,
“It’s… not right, is it?” he mused.
“No,” I replied. “It’s an angry drink. Too much gin?”
“Right,” he said decisively. He transferred the drink to a pint glass and added more grapefruit juice, maybe an inch from the top. We sipped again.
“Better,” I said judiciously. “But not quite there.”
Peter nodded. “More beer?”
“Indeed,” I said. He filled the glass to the top with more Hopalicious. We sipped again.
Peter paused. “That… that works,” He said thoughtfully.
“It does,” I said with mild surprise. “The gin provides a nice starting note, and the grapefruit complements the hoppy citrus flavors in the beer. I would drink this.”
Peter gazed at the glass for a moment. “Let’s do this right,” he said abruptly, and placed a fresh pint glass on the bar. “One shot of gin, two-thirds grapefruit, one-third beer?”
“Let’s try it,” I said. Once more he mixed and we sipped.
Peter frowned. “Not quite.”
“More beer,” I opined. “Aim for half and half portions.”
Peter filled the glass with Hopalicious. We sampled it again.
“That’s it,” he announced.
“Boy howdy,” I replied. “Perfect. I wouldn’t have thought it, but this is actually something I would drink. And order without shame.”
“It’s a perfect brunch beverage,” Peter observed sagely.
“Good lord,” I said. “You are a visionary.” I meant it.
“Thank you,” he said modestly.
So here it is. Give it a shot on a warm morning sometime. We didn’t try it over ice, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work.
– Snag a pint glass. Add ice if that’s your thing.
– Pour one shot (1.5 oz) gin. Rail is fine.
– Fill the glass about halfway with an aggressively hoppy, citrusy beer. Something delicious.
– Top off with grapefruit juice. Good stuff, not that pale yellow crap that they dispense at the Hampton Inn complimentary breakfast.
– Drink that bastard. And if you don’t like it, well, yell at Peter. I’m blameless.