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