Imagine walking up to the corner tavern on a cold winter night and ordering a piping-hot, steaming mug of ... beer.
Seem like the kind of drink you could find in Brew City, right?
Wrong. I asked five of the most veteran bartenders I know if they've ever heard of a hot beer recipe, and each shook his head in confusion. They asked their colleagues, and not one was familiar with any such a recipe.
"As far as hot beer goes, I'm at a loss," says Palomino's Bill Rouleau. "I don't even like it cold. Hot mulled wine, however, is the jam."
Yeah, we all know about mulled wine, Irish coffees and Hot Toddies.
But hot beer? Apparently not in Milwaukee – though please tell us if you've found it somewhere.
Hot beer does exist internationally, however. In Japan, Kirin test-marketed a hot beer that's consumed in a steaming cup like coffee. It uses a stout, served with sugar cubes and a stick of cinnamon, and the heating apparently brings out new flavors and a coffee-like aroma of beer. The company recommends making your own by microwaving a cup of it and pouring it over vanilla ice cream.
In Poland, folks add an egg to a heated (but not boiled) lager or dark beer, and garnish with cinnamon, clove, ginger, oranges, brown sugar and honey. Apparently, almost every bar in Poland serves the stuff.
Intrigued? I am, and we found two recipes on how to make hot beer yourself. Give it a try, if you dare, then report back. Could this be Brew City's next big winter drink?
12-16 oz. decent-quality beer (the contents of your average bottle or can of beer)
2 tsp (10 grams) sugar
1 pinch ground ginger, or 1 slice (sometimes called "coins") of ginger 1/4" long
1 pinch ground nutmeg
1-2 pinch(es) cinnamon, or 1" section of a cinnamon stick
1 pinch ground cloves or 2-5 whole cloves
1 tablespoon (15 mL) honey
Put beer in a small saucepan and add spices. Heat beer and spices in a small saucepan on low to medium-low heat. If the beer begins to boil, turn down the heat. The beer will begin to foam, but should subside after a minute or two.
Separate the egg white from the egg yolk and put in a small bowl. This recipe only uses the egg yolk. Add two teaspoons of sugar to the egg yolk. Beat the sugar and yolk with a whisk or fork until it becomes nearly white (it's the hardest part!).
Optional but recommended: Temper the yolk mixture. To prevent "scrambling" the egg yolk mixture by the heat of the beer, you can temper the mixture by adding 1-2 tablespoon(s) of the hot beer to the yolk mixture very slowly and mixing thoroughly.
Add the yolk mixture slowly to the warm beer and continue to heat for 5 minutes. Stir gently. Add honey to taste. This likely will not have happened if you tempered the yolk mixture before adding it to the beer.
Hot Spiced Beer
Yield: Makes 12 servings.
12 small apples
12 teaspoons brown sugar
1 cup superfine sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 1/2 cups orange juice
1 1/2 cups cranberry juice
2 quarts beer or ale
Core the apples and fill each with a teaspoon of brown sugar. Place in a baking pan and cover the bottom with 1/8 inch water. Bake in a 350°F oven for 30 minutes, or until tender. Combine the sugar and spices in a 4-quart saucepan. Add the juices and beer and heat the mixture for 15 minutes without letting it come to a boil. Pour the mixture into a metal punch bowl and float the baked apples on top. Serve in 8-ounce mugs.
boiling alone will never remove more than 4% of the alcohol, about the same as most light beers. bet your mom never knew azeotrope chemistry :)
Sounds gross and point less. If you heat up the beer the alcohol is going to evaporate.
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