Frickin’ Worms Everywhere!

I feel that I owe everyone an apology. I’ve opened a can of worms which I fear may be bottomless.

As promised, more experiments ensued with beer liqueurs, most of which ended with fantastic results. Cocktail recipes were tried, with equally satisfying effects. But, as I noticed when I went to my local QFC to purchase beer for the liqueurs, there are a lot of beers out there. Some would say an endless supply. For all of you normal people out there who are happy experimenting until you find something you like, this is a great thing, but for all of you cocktail geeks out there, this is a nightmare, as it means that the experimentation will not end until you have tried making a liqueur out of every beer known to man. (Can it be that I’ve actually found good use for PBR?)

To further add to the permutations, I realized that once beer syrups are made, they can be blended with each other to create more complex syrups, before being fortified with vodka. If that wasn’t enough to blow your mind, further variations/complexities can be achieved by changing the fortifying spirit to brandy or whisky or rum or……. As I’ve stated earlier, I apologize, for there are many sleepless nights ahead of us.

The following are two of the experiments that I particularly enjoyed:

16 oz Framboise Lambic
16 oz sugar
20 oz vodka
follow technique below


12 oz pumpkin ale
14 oz sugar
10 oz vodka
follow technique below

Place beer in a glass and stir, releasing CO2
Place beer in fridge overnight (releasing the rest of the CO2)
Place beer in a pot on high heat
Slowly add sugar, stirring all the while
As the beer heats a head will form; remove from heat
Skim off head and allow to cool
When cooled, if any “chunks” of head left, skim off
Place syrup in bottle and add vodka
Shake well

The Framboise Lambic experiment resulted in a lovely Raspberry Liqueur which was not quite as viscous as Chambord, and more complex to boot. As I like pairing these beer liqueurs with whiskey, Dr. Cocktail’s fav, the Blinker came to mind.


2 oz rye
½ oz Framboise Lambic
1 oz grapefruit juice

shake and strain into a cocktail glass.

This drink was a definite winner; I see why Ted Haigh enjoys it so much. The slight bitterness of the grapefruit combined with the spiciness of the rye worked as a great foil to the Lambic Framboise. Further instructions on the construction of this cocktail need to be amended as such:
shake and strain into a cocktail glass.
consume and repeat.


The Pumpkin Ale Liqueur was particularly special for me. It had a subtly spicy, honeyed flavor with just a trace of beeriness. For some reason, I decided to pair this one with tequila, (a spirit I unfortunately rarely think of when creating cocktails) with outstanding results. My regular guinea pigs guests at the bar were really amazed with this one.

The following are my first two successes with the Pumpkin Ale Liqueur:


1 ½ oz Partida Reposado tequila
1 oz Lillet
½ oz pumpkin ale liqueur
¼ oz Campari

stir and strain into a cocktail glass
garnish with lemon twist



1 ½ oz Partida Reposado tequila
½ oz pumpkin ale liqueur
½ oz Amaro Montenegro
2 dashes Regan’s orange bitters

stir and strain into a cocktail glass
garnish with lemon twist

Both of these tequila-based cocktails play off the same principal of using bitters to counter the sweetness of the liqueur. The spiciness of the liqueur reminded me of the spiciness that one can find in tequila, and Partida’s smokiness plays well with this liqueur.

Further experimentation has found the Pumpkin Ale Liqueur to be very versatile, pairing with not only tequila, but rye and Scotch as well (try making a Margarita, subbing the liqueur for the agave syrup; mmmm). I will definitely be making more of this in the future.

As a side note to the experiments, one beer failed miserably, and that was an IPA that I’d used. The bitterness of the hops clashed with the sugar, which surprised me, as I had expected a complex liqueur to result, with the bitterness of the beer balancing out the sweetness of the sugar. Maybe a different IPA would work, but I’m not so sure, given the horrible results from this first experiment.

Good luck with your experiments, and let me know how they turn out.

La Familia Cocktail

Pictures and drinks by:
Jamie Boudreau


~ by Jamie Boudreau on September 12, 2007.

11 Responses to “Frickin’ Worms Everywhere!”

  1. Instead of an IPA, I think a hoppy Pale Ale would be better. I think what you want here is an aromatic hop flavor rather than a bittering hop flavor. IPAs, by definition but there’s a lot of variation, have to have that bitter flavor, but not necessarily the aromatic hop flavor. For example, I think that Bridgeport IPA would be too bitter after reduction because the main character is bitterness instead of aromatic. Deschutes Twilight Ale might be a good one to try, since I remember it being more aromatic than bitter. Deschutes Hop Trip would probably be perfect — very little bitterness, lots of aromatics, but very limited seasonal distribution.

    I do like me a can of worms…

  2. MMMMMM worms do you have some ranch for those. Who are you calling a guinea pig? I prefer the lab rat thank you very much. I cant wait to start my own experimentations thanks for the inspiration.

  3. This is a great idea, and I plan to start experimenting with more greatly very soon. I always like checking this blog because it is a guaranteed source of new concepts that I can put to work. So, thanks for letting us see what you’re working on. Anyway, I was wondering if you have noticed any shelf life problems with your beer liqueurs. Homemade liqueurs sometimes change in flavor over extended periods of time, and I would think that the stability of beer might be particularly concerning. I know you took some steps in the creation process to prevent this from occurring, but I could still see some evolution in the liqueur taking place. As this hasn’t been a long-term project, this may remain to be seen, but do you think that the flavor of the liqueurs could potentially alter or even fade? Also, have you tried a cider yet? I think this would be really awesome, especially if you used brandy or applejack in the liqueur. Cool stuff here; keep us posted on how these experiments continue to develop.

  4. Jamie; Good to see you playing with beer. Allow me to add one or two points, though, speaking as a veteran of beer cocktail creation. First, for your raspberry beer liqueur, I think it’s important to note the kind of framboise you’re using, since I suspect that you’ve employed a sweet one like the Lindemans rather than a traditional one such as Cantillon (which will yield quite different results!). Secondly, I’ll echo Phil’s suggestion of trying a very aromatic pale ale rather than an IPA, and go one step further in suggesting something more British than American in style; Pike rather than Sierra Nevada, fer instance.

    Finally, in answer to Robert’s question, shelf stability will be an issue, but not for a while. I’d expect “chunking” to start at around four to six months, but shelf life will be extended if the liqueur is kept refrigerated.

  5. My lady Sabrina and I tried this with Guinness today and the results were great (perhaps a little less sugar next time)! A couple cocktail variations we invented with it that were wonderful…

    5-Points Manhattan

    2 oz whiskey (used bourbon)
    3/4 oz Guinness Liquor
    Dash of Angostura bitters

    Stir with ice, strain into cocktail glass, garnish with a cherry

    Whiskey O’Alexander

    1 oz whiskey (used bourbon)
    1 oz Guinness Liquor
    1 oz cream

    Shake with ice, strain into cocktail glass

  6. Apple beer, brown sugar, vodka and allspice. Mmmmm delicious.

    Crush Spiced Apple Cider

    2 oz. Applejack brandy
    1/2 oz. Apple beer liquor
    1/2 oz. Real apple cider
    1/2 oz. white verjus
    1/2 oz. dry vermouth

  7. Sounds tasty, Jared.

  8. […] I heard about it, I’ve wanted to try making Jamie Boudreau’s beer liqueur. I haven’t been able to find a suitable Belgium beer for the Dupont Cocktail, but my local […]

  9. […] recipe is by Modern Master Jamie Boudreau. Jamie has recipes for a couple of Ale Liqueurs and he is basically using the vodka to fortify it. […]

  10. I finally made an Apricot Beer liqueur tonight from St.Ambroise’s Apricot Wheat Ale. Very tasty! There are no good Apricot liqueurs available in Ontario, so this is a real door-opener for me. Used equal parts beer, sugar and vodka. I think the NEXT batch I will use brandy as the base,…

  11. I do trust all the ideas you’ve introduced in your post. They’re very convincing and will definitely work. Nonetheless, the posts are very brief for beginners. May you please prolong them a bit from subsequent time? Thanks for the post.

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