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