Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Mixing strong beer with spirits

One of Ron’s latest posts about George Younger notes that consumers in the West Indies would mix some rum into the ale to increase its strength.

This reminded me of the story of the treacley Mather’s Black Beer being mixed with rum, and there’s another strong, syrupy drink I can think of – green ginger wine, sometimes mixed half and half with whisky to make the classic Whisky Mac.

It seems counter-intuitive to mix a beverage of 8% or 10% alcohol with something even stronger, but perhaps the spirit has the effect of drying out the sticky sweet drink and making it less cloying? As is well known, Belgian brewers use a similar trick when brewing their tripel beer by adding highly fermentable sugar to boost the gravity, while not making the finished product unpalatably sweet.


  1. Nice work, I am really glad to be 1 of several visitants on this awful site : D

  2. I can see how this would work -- vodka and Coke tastes less cloying than Coke straight up, doesn't it? (I think. It's been a few years.)

  3. I have been known to take a pint of Guinness with a shot of rum in it. This is strictly a pre-football fortifying measure, only to be undertaken before attending Blundell Park on a freezing winter evening.

    In this case the spirit has the opposite effect, adding body, depth and roundness to a mostly bland pint. It also makes watching Grimsby Town a bit more bearable.

  4. Love the blog! Always interesting posts and I learn something new every time I visit you.

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