Monthly Mixology: Black Velvet

February's Lil Pick-Me-up

February sucks, no matter how you look at it. The main complaints are usually some version of the following three reasons.

1. Regardless of relationship status, the existence of Valentine's Day and all that it entails often has people feeling a certain type of way: annoyed.

2. The novelty of cold weather and snow has worn off by this point. What was once a welcome excuse to sport the trendy, layered look is now just a huge pain in the ass.

3. All the warm and cozy feelings everyone had at the beginning of November are long gone. No amount of time spent drinking hot tea while snuggled up reading an actual book is going to bring back The Hygge.

All of us in jail *cough* I mean in the middle of February.

While we may be smack in the middle of the worst part of the winter season, that doesn't mean you have to settle for a crappy drink to get yourself through it-- or that you even have to settle for one type of alcohol, for that matter.

Seasonally depressed person, I present to you your newest favorite beer cocktail-- the black velvet.

The traditional black velvet provides the grounding you need to get through February via a hearty stout while also keeping things light with equal parts bubbly to stout.

Things are looking up, my friend.

Black Velvet Cocktail

To make a black velvet, you will need:

  • a bottle of champagne
  • a bottle of stout

It could not be any simpler to prepare: starting with the stout, pour equal parts stout and champagne into the same glass.

Aaaand voila: you've got yourself a black velvet.

If you're feeling a little extra, you can serve it in a champagne flute as per tradition, but TBH it'll probably be just as good from a coffee mug or whatever else you've got that's clean... although it definitely won't be as Instagrammable.

Your call on that one.

Cheers, fellow February inmate/doggo!

Winter Shandy Recipes

Get 2019 started off right by trying out some of these awesome shandy recipes!

The traditional shandy is a mixture of beer with a lemon or lime flavored beverage. Shandies are popular in many parts of the world with each region adding their own unique spin on the drink.

The Shandy Punch

Makes one bowl of shandy punch. Great for parties, get-togethers, or bad days.

  • 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2/3 cup maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup (apple) brandy
  • 1 cup (strong) ginger beer
  • ~4 12-ounce pilsner beers
  • sliced lemon

Strain the lemon juice into a small saucepan, stir in the maple syrup, and bring just to a simmer over medium-low heat. Once the syrup is well incorporated into the lemon juice remove from heat, transfer to a medium bowl, and chill.

To assemble the punch, add the brandy and well-chilled ginger beer to the lemon-maple mixture. Stir well, then transfer to a punch bowl. If you have an ice block, place this (or equivalent ice cubes) in the bowl as well, along with some thinly sliced lemon. Now add the beer to taste - 4 bottles of pilsner seems about right, but you might go a bit more or less depending on how strong or sweet you like your punch.

Recipe from Quito Keeto.

The Single Shandy

A classic shandy with an orangey twist, this shandy is for those moments at home when a simple beer just won't cut it.

  • 5 ounces pumpkin-spiced or amber beer
  • 2 ounces lemonade
  • 1/4 warm orange marmelade
  • Orange slice

In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, stir first 3 ingredients until cold. Strain into a child highball or pint glass. Garnish with an orange slice.

Recipe from Rachel Ray Magazine.

The Immunity-Boosting Shandy

Featuring copious amounts of ginger and grapefruit, this shandy recipe packs a punch and is sure to leave you feeling better in more ways than one!

  • 4 cups grapefruit juice, preferably fresh
  • ¼ cup finely chopped pickled ginger
  • ¼ cup (or more) pickled ginger juice
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper Beer, preferably light lager (for serving)

Vigorously stir grapefruit juice, pickled ginger, pickled ginger juice, a small pinch of salt, and a good 20 cranks of pepper in a large pitcher. Taste and add more ginger juice, salt, and pepper if needed. Divide beer among ice-filled glasses and add a splash of grapefruit-ginger juice to taste.

Recipe from Bon Appetit.

The 'Qué Onda Wey' Hard Shandy

Francisco Galarza

A shandy recipe for two featuring everyone's favorite friend— tequila! The only thing that could make this better would be some tacos.

  • 1 bottle of Mexican beer, preferably lager
  • 1 bottle hard lemonade
  • 2 shots of tequila
  • Lemons or limes to garnish

If you have time, put two glasses in the freezer for about 30 minutes. Pour half the bottle of beer, and half the bottle of hard lemonade into each glass. Add 1 shot of your favorite tequila to each glass. Squeeze a wedge of lemon or lime over the top. Kick back and enjoy.

Recipe from Recipe from Artful Dishes.

The Hipster Shandy

Luke Michael

Using in-season winter pomegranates, this is the shandy to serve any friends you may have with bougie-hipster palettes. No basic shandies here!

  • 4 ounces cold pomegranate juice
  • 4 ounces cold lemonade 8 to 12 ounces of your favorite wheat beer, cold
  • Lemon wedges for garnish
  • Pomegranate arils

Add the pomegranate and lemonade in a frosty glass and store. Pour the beer over top, squeeze in a lemon wedge, and garnish with another. Serve with a sprinkling of pomegranate arils inside.

Recipe from How Sweet Eats.