This is a question I hear a lot when people sit down at the bar. It's an age-old debate among people who want a refreshing drink. Do you want the sour or bitter notes of a cocktail or perhaps the hoppy refreshment of an ice cold beer. Sometimes though, you don't have to make a decision between the two.
People familiar with 320 Main's cocktail list will likely already be acquainted with the Michigander, Jason's Applejack sour with a dose of Cynar Amaro and honey syrup. It's sour, bitter, sweet, and strong – everything you could want in a cocktail.
What customers might not know is that no drink ever remains unchanged for long. Every drink is merely a gateway – a starting point for creating a new drink. You would be hard-pressed to find a cocktail that no bartender had ever looked at and thought, “I wonder what would happen if I tweaked it just so.”
One day, Jason decided that he wanted to perform such an exercise, and chose as his inspiration the idea of beer cocktails. Beer cocktails are not terribly new, you can find them in a lot of bars with a large beer presence. Jason recognized the potential of enhancing the already popular Michigander with the qualities of a good beer and the Detroiter was born.
3/4 oz. Bonded Apple Brandy
1 oz Cynar
3/4 oz. Lemon
3/4 oz. Honey Syrup
2 oz Stone IPA
Add all ingredients to the shaker and shake hard without ice to flatten the beer. Add ice and shake again for about 10 seconds. Strain over fresh ice in an Old Fashioned Glass and top with fresh IPA. Garnish with a grapefruit twist.
The deep, rich and sour flavors of the Michigander pair beautifully with the astringent and herbal notes of the IPA. Apple, hops, honey, and a bit of a smokiness all come through and leave you thinking of the leaves of autumn and warm fire places on cold days.
Matt “RumDood” Robold is a bartender at 320 Main and, in his spare time, runs RumDood.com, where he writes about rum, rum cocktails, and rum history.
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