Hoptails

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Tapping Into A New Trend!

Story by Dave Eckert

I’ve written here before about two of the hottest segments of the alcoholic beverage market – craft beer and craft cocktails. Lately, I’ve been seeing a convergence of the two creating a new category, Hoptails. Yes, Hoptails, a cocktail featuring craft beer as a main ingredient isn’t just a novelty, it’s a real thing. In fact, according to talesofthecocktail.com, which surveyed 1500 bartenders nationwide, Hoptails are the second biggest trend in the cocktail world.

I reached out to two terrific local cocktail creators for their thoughts on the matter – Cheryl Bisbee, founder of Boozy Botanicals simple syrups, and Darrell Loo, cocktail master at the excellent Repeal 18th restaurant and cocktail bar in North Kansas City.



For her part, Bisbee says adding booze and/or creative ingredients to beer is just one more way to up your cocktail game. “I like to think of beer, all the various types of beer, as another potential ingredient to a deliciously crafted drink. You want the components of a mixed drink to play off of each other, bring certain notes out or complement each other in fun, creative ways,” Bisbee shared.

Bisbee has created all sorts of innovative and delicious Hoptails, including the Three Pepper Michelada featured in this article. For the Michelada, Bisbee uses Boozy’s Three Pepper Syrup along with V8, Worchestershire, a dash of hot sauce, a freshly squeezed lime, and your favorite Mexican beer. Ole! You’ve got yourself a south of the border-themed Hoptail. “Everyone likes a good, cold beer, but by just adding a few key ingredients you can turn your good, cold beer into something special, something unique,” Bisbee commented.

Loo agrees and says the carbonation in beer adds another element to the cocktail. “I especially see that in the summer. People like that fizziness in their drink, and if you use a lighter beer, you get a drink that is refreshing and easy to drink,” Loo said.

Loo also likes to reduce a beer down to a syrup, concentrating the flavors of the brew and using that to enhance a cocktail. “For example, I’ve taken a porter or a stout and cooked it down to a reduction, and I use it the same way I would use a simple syrup,” Loo stated.

Are you reading this Cheryl Bisbee? He might have just given you an idea for your next Boozy Botanicals flavor.

In any event, whatever their form or their ingredients, it seems Hoptails are here to stay! Cheers!



Sublime Recipes

Three Pepper Michelada

(pictured above)
  • 1 oz Three Pepper Syrup
  • 4 oz Clamato or V8 juice
  • 1 dash Worcestershire
  • 1 dash hot sauce
  • Juice of 1 freshly squeezed lime
  • Shake all ingredients in shaker filled with ice, strain into chilled glass
  • Top with favorite Mexican style beer (Dos Equis, Modelo, Corona)

Vanilla Whiskey Stout

  • 2 oz Irish Whiskey
  • 1 oz Vanilla Allspice Syrup
  • Shake in shaker filled with ice, strain into beer stein
  • Top with Guinness Stout (or any stout style beer)

The Rose Gose

  • 1 oz vodka
  • 1 oz Classic Rose Syrup
  • .5 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • Shake all ingredients in shaker filled with ice, strain into chilled glass
  • Top with Crane Brewing Orange Gose (or any Gose style beer)

Right Turn on Rieger Blvd

  • 1 oz Rieger Gin
  • .5 oz St. Germaine
  • 1 oz Ginger Hibiscus Syrup
  • Juice of 1/2 grapefruit
  • Shake all ingredients in shaker filled with ice, strain into chilled glass
  • Top with Boulevard Wheat

The Smoking Orange

  • 1 oz mezcal
  • .5 oz Grand Marnier
  • 1 oz Three Pepper Syrup
  • 1 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 1 oz fresh squeezed orange juice
  • Shake all ingredients in shaker filled with ice, strain into chilled glass
  • Top with Tecate pale lager (or any lager/pilsner style beer)

Basic Boozy Beer Cocktail

  • 1 oz any Boozy syrup
  • 1 oz favorite vodka, gin or tequila
  • 1 oz freshly squeezed citrus juice (lime, lemon, orange or grapefruit)
  • Shake ingredients in shaker filled with ice, strain into chilled glass
  • Top with favorite pilsner, lager or lighter style beer

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