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Celebrate Independence Day With These Simple Beer-Based Cocktails


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When we think of summer cocktails, we tend to envision vodka, tequila, and rum-based drinks. Fruit-forward flavors reign supreme during the damp, hot, sticky months — so you need a spirit that fits the bill. But just because Tiki and its ilk are the norm from Memorial Day to Labor Day, that doesn’t mean you can’t try flip the script a little. Because summer, and the 4th of July specifically, is perfect for pouring beer-based cocktails.

Believe it: Beer is more than just a stand-alone beverage. You can pair it with other ingredients to create unique, refreshing summer cocktails that are both layered and exciting. Check out some of our favorites below:

Boilermaker

This isn’t exactly “summer” but it is a classic — beer-based cocktails don’t get much more iconic than a boilermaker. The drink consists of a shot of whisky (or whiskey) followed by a beer. If you want to do it right, you need to drop the shot directly into the beer and down the whole thing. God bless America.

Gridiron Punch

Originating at a bar in San Francisco, this cocktail is simpler than it appears. It only contains three ingredients: amber ale, Chartreuse, and pineapple juice. The result is light, zesty, sweet, and perfect for a hot summer day (especially the 4th of July).

Sidewalker

Damon Boelte of Prime Meats in Brooklyn created this tasty cocktail a decade ago. It consists of applejack, lemon juice, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, club soda, and hefeweizen (wheat beer). It’s great any time of year, but is extremely refreshing as a summer cocktail.

Shandy

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You can go the easy route and purchase a Shandy from a brewery like Boulevard Brewing. Or, you can make your own by making a drink consisting of 50 percent lemonade and 50 percent beer. The result is tangy, refreshing, and fairly low in alcohol.

Coronarita

The Coronarita is so named because it’s a margarita with a beer (most often a Corona) turned upside down in the drink. Confused as to why the beer doesn’t just spill out? Well, as long as you turn the beer upside slowly, it will only fill the cup as you sip the margarita. Cool trick and a hell of a mix.

Michelada

One of the most popular drinks in Latin America, the Michelada is made up of beer, lime juice, salt, spices, and hot sauce. It’s like the beer-lovers Bloody Mary and is served in a chilled pint glass with a salted rim. It’s great for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and pretty much any other time of day.

Aperol Mist

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Cocktail fans know all about the Italian aperitif known as the Aperol Spritz. This summery cocktail consists of Aperol, prosecco, and soda water. But, did you know about its close relative the Aperol Mist? This drink consists of Aperol, lemon juice, and wheat beer and it just about screams “SUMMER!”

Radler

A close relative of the Shandy, the Radler can trace its roots to Austria and Germany. The name literally translates to “cyclist” and consists of pilsner beer and lemon-lime soda or sparkling lemonade. It’s a decent choice of beverage after a long bike ride as it is both refreshing and low in alcohol.

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