8 Great Beer Cocktails for Wintertime Sipping

December 07, 2018

By Kate Dingwall, December 07, 2018

While you probably raised a glass or two of Michelada this summer, how do you rethink a beer cocktail for the winter months? Turns out, it’s quite simple. From fresh ginger and winter citrus to scotch-heavy nightcaps and chocolatey porters, bartenders across the country are serving up a fresh, seasonal batch of beer cocktails. Here are a few to keep you warm this winter: 

Black Forest Flip

The Flip calls on a whole egg, sugar, and rum to create a cocktail with a frothy and creamy texture. The NoMad’s Bar Director Leo Robitschek’s riff adds vanilla syrup, Diplomatico Rum Pedro Ximenez sherry, and Carnegie Porter to the classic recipe. “We were inspired by the flavors and cuisines of the Black Forest,” Robitschek says. “It’s our spin on a classic after dinner drink with notes of malty, bitter dark chocolate.” 

Whole egg
.25 oz. PX sherry
.5 oz. Vanilla syrup (Boil equal parts sugar and water with vanilla bean added)
.5 oz. Tawny Port
1 oz. Rum
2 oz. Porter
Chocolate shavings (optional, for garnish)

Combine all ingredients except the porter and chocolate in a shaker without ice and shake. Add ice to the shaker and shake to combine. Pour all ingredients into a glass and top with the porter and chocolate shavings.


To highlight winter citrus, Sean O’Brien, Bar Manager of The Grocery in Charleston, plays off the Paloma by skipping the traditional grapefruit juice in favor of layers of citrus and topping with an IPA. “If the IPA already had some fantastic grapefruit notes, why not accentuate those by using the beer as the carbonated aspect for a Paloma to create a refreshing cocktail,” describes O’Brien, who uses Goza reposado tequila and North Carolina’s Fullsteam Rocket Science IPA to back the drink. “It’s fairly simple, but sometimes the simple combinations work out the best.”

1 oz. Reposado tequila
.75 oz. Lime juice
.75 oz. Giffard Pamplemousse Rose
4 oz. IPA

 Combine all ingredients except for beer in a shaker and top with ice. Shake vigorously. Strain and serve over ice. Add beer and garnish with grapefruit peel.


When Danny McDermott, Bar Manager of Richmond, Virginia’s Longoven, spent a summer playing soccer in Germany, he grew a soft spot for the Cola-weizen, a traditional German drink of equal parts wheat beer and cola. “We spent the majority of the time in smaller towns around Bavaria,” McDermott recalls. “Many of which had some sort of festival going on. At the beer tent, one could either get a beer or a Mischung (mixture) in the manner of the Colaweizen.” Channeling the German mischung, Danny’s nod to the Colaweizen looks to Amaro Ramazzotti to add complexity and Mexican Coca-Cola over a high-fructose American coke.

.75 oz. Amaro
5.5 oz. Mexican Coca-Cola
5.5 oz. Hefeweizen
5 drops of Elisir Novasalus (optional)

Pour the amaro in a glass, followed by the cola and beer. Finish with 5 drops Elisir Novasalus on the foam.

It’s a School Night

Jessica Souza’s It’s a School Night was inspired by Southern California’s slow transition into winter. A mix of Campari, Botanist gin, and cinnamon is balanced out by bittersweet grapefruit and the crisp hoppiness of a pale ale. “Yes, homework is due tomorrow, but at a low-ish ABV, you can enjoy a couple of these and worry about that in the morning,” describes Souza, Beverage Manager at Los Angeles’ Hudson House. 

1 oz. Gin
.5 oz. Grapefruit juice
.75 oz. Cinnamon syrup (Boil equal parts sugar and water with cinnamon sticks added)
.75 oz. Campari
2 oz. Hoppy pale ale or IPA

Build in a shaker tin, shake, and pour into a chilled glass and top with beer. Garnish with grapefruit zest.

French Guard

When creating the winter cocktail menu at Detroit’s Grey Ghost, Beverage Director Will Lee  wanted “a cocktail that embodies a fresh and bright note, while still using flavors that are bold and reminiscent of the cold weather season.” Lee’s uses bright, citrus-forward Hacker Pschorr Weissebier as the foundation, adding St. Germain for a floral flavor and ginger syrup for spice notes, as well as fresh lemon juice to tie it all together. 

6.0 oz. Weissebier
.75 oz. St. Germain
.75 oz. Ginger syrup (Boil equal parts sugar and water with chopped ginger added, strain)
.75 oz. Lemon juice
Angostura bitters 

Combine all ingredients except for beer in shaker tin, add ice and shake vigorously. Add beer. Strain and pour over ice. Top with Angostura bitters. Garnish with lemon.

Stay Gold

The classic barroom order of a “whiskey ginger” consists of two predictable parts: whiskey and ginger ale. The latter often presents a muted version of its namesake spice. “I wondered if fresh ginger and real beer would work just as well as the soft drink,” says Matt Piacentini, owner of New York City’s The Up & Up. “Once I got the ginger and IPA to work together well—we always carry more light, floral IPAs at The Up & Up—the whole thing just clicked.” 

1.5 oz. Bourbon
.75 oz. Ginger syrup (Boil equal parts sugar and water with chopped ginger added, strain)
.5 oz. Lime Juice
.25 oz. demerara syrup

Combine whiskey, ginger syrup and lime juice. Shake and pour over ice. Serve in highball glass and top with IPA.

Twisted Bocktail

To give tequila that winter feeling, Pam Wiznitzer, beverage director at Henry in New York City, played off the vegetal, charred barrel notes of the Tres Agaves Reposado by pairing it with a bitter IPA and apricot.Wiznitzer suggests batching the cocktail for easy entertaining. “It’s so important to have a good drink recipe that is cost effective to make and also easy for entertaining on both a singular and batch level.”.  

1.25 oz.Reposado tequila
.75 oz. Lemon
.5 oz. Apricot liqueur
.5 oz. Simple syrup (Boil equal parts sugar and water)

Combine all ingredients minus the beer, shake and strain into a highball. Top with IPA and garnish with lemon.

Black Velvet

A celebratory take on a beer cocktail, a Black Velvet combines a velvety stout with a sparkling wine. “When made with the right base ingredients, they form a perfectly balanced beverage," describes Zack Mack, owner of New York City's A.B.C. Beer Co. "Stouts or dark, malt-driven beers like Sapporo Black provide a dry, smooth, sturdy base of flavors that help to elevate the lively carbonation and fruity brightness of sparkling white wine. The contrast in flavors and textures is a hearty and satisfying drink when it gets chilly out."

1 part Sapporo Premium Black
1 part Prosecco

Pour beer into Collins or flute glass and top with chilled Prosecco.

ZX Ventures, a division within AB InBev, is an investor in October
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