3 beer cocktails and 3 grilled apps to make dad’s day

  • May. 2, 2018 3:43 p.m.

For some of us — myself included — dear ol’ dad was our first introduction into the world of beer. I remember, when I was 8 or 9, my dad giving me and my brothers a sip of his Coors or Bud or some other brew — ages before the craft beer explosion, clearly — each one of us scrunching up our face after sucking down the sharp, metallic-tasting liquid too fast. Coughing and spurting, we avoided beer for years, precisely the kind of lesson a parent wants to impart to his kids.

Luckily, the lesson didn’t stick. Now, I’m endlessly curious about adult beverages like beer, seeking out styles, brewers and flavors like it’s my job. (Oh, wait.) And while beer in its purist form — chilled and heady with potential — will never go out of style, there are more ways than one to enjoy a good brew. Enter: beer cocktails.

The word “cocktail” can inspire visions of fussiness, but banish those thoughts. Think of these as an upgrade, taking a beer’s best flavor components and enhancing them with a few ingredients. To get you started, these three low-key mixers make use of your (or dad’s) favorite six-pack, including one cider. Feel free to swap out each recipe’s called-for beer with your favorite brewer’s version, from lager to ale.

And since Father’s Day is around the corner, fire up the grill, and treat pop to a beer brunch at home. These porch-pounders go great with snacks, so rather than make dad pay for his own day out, whip up these skewered bites. It’s your turn to teach dad something about beer.

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QUAT’S THE WEATHER?

Makes: 1 drink

A play on the traditional Dark ‘n Stormy, this drink, created by Tribune’s Joseph Hernandez, swaps out the ginger beer for wheat beer, with the added citrus kick of kumquats. Rhum agricole is a style of rum made from sugar cane juice.

3 kumquats, sliced in half, plus extra for garnish

1 { ounces rhum agricole

Miracle Mile Bitters Co. Yuzu bitters or orange bitters

Hopped wheat beer (or regular wheat beer)

1 fresh mint sprig

In a shaker, muddle kumquat halves. Add rhum, 2 dashes of bitters and ice. Shake well. Strain into a Collins glass (or other tall glass) filled with fresh ice. Top with beer, and garnish with extra kumquats and mint.

KENTUCKY HIGH HOLIDAY

Makes: 1 drink

Recipe from Bub City in Chicago

1 ounce bourbon

1 { ounces honey syrup, see note

} ounce fresh lemon juice

\ cup diced apple

Redd’s Apple Ale

Cinnamon stick

In a shaker, combine bourbon, honey syrup, lemon juice and diced apple; shake without ice, about 5 seconds. Pour into a pint glass over crushed ice. Top with the apple ale; garnish with a cinnamon stick.

Note: For the honey syrup, dissolve 2 parts honey to 1 part water in a saucepan over low heat. Allow to cool before using.

TAYLOR’S GOLD

Makes: 1 drink

Recipe from The Northman in Chicago.

2 ounces North Shore Sol Chamomile Citrus Vodka (or another citrus vodka)

{ ounce elderflower liqueur (such as St-Germain)

\ ounce lime juice

Thatcher’s Cider, to top (or another cider, such as Magners)

In a shaker, add vodka, elderflower liqueur and lime juice. Top with ice and shake well. Strain into a high ball glass filled with ice; top off with cider.

Grilled eggplant roll-ups

Grill: Slice 1 large eggplant crosswise into -inch-thick slices. Brush with vegetable oil; season with salt. Grill over medium heat until softened and lightly browned, about 1 minute per side. Allow to cool on a baking sheet.

Fill: Mix together 8 ounces fresh goat cheese, 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped Kalamata olives, 1 { to 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh thyme, 2 tablespoons finely chopped Italian parsley, 1 clove minced garlic, and salt and pepper to taste. Spread about 1 tablespoon filling on one end of an eggplant slice. Roll tightly; secure with a toothpick. Repeat.

Makes: about 12 roll-ups

GRILLED CHICKEN THIGHS WITH YAKITORI SAUCE

Adapted from Russ Parsons, Tribune Newspapers.

Marinate: Cut 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs crosswise into three pieces each. For the yakitori sauce, combine \ cup soy sauce, \ cup mirin and \ cup sake. Reserve 3 tablespoons in a bowl. Add the chicken to remaining marinade in a zip-close bag; refrigerate, 30 minutes.

Grill: Remove the chicken from the marinade, discarding marinade. Thread chicken onto skewers. Grill over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until cooked through, about 10 minutes. Just before the meat is done, brush lightly with the reserved marinade. Spritz with fresh lemon juice before serving.

Makes: 24 bites

GRILLED BACON-WRAPPED SCALLOPS

Adapted from Cook’s Country magazine

Render: Cook 12 slices bacon until fat begins to render but the strips are still pliable. Allow to drain on paper towels.

Skewer: Pat dry 12 large sea scallops. Toss with 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, { teaspoon salt and [ teaspoon pepper. Wrap each scallop with 1 slice bacon, around the sides of the scallop, trimming excess as necessary. Thread each bundle onto double skewers through the bacon. Repeat with remaining scallops and bacon.

Grill: Prepare a grill for medium heat. Place skewers, bacon side down, on cooler side of grill. Cook (covered, if using gas) until bacon is crispy on first side, about 4 minutes. Flip skewers onto other bacon side; and cook until crispy, about 4 minutes. Flip skewers scallop side down, and move to hot side of grill. Grill until sides of scallops are firm and centers are opaque, about 4 minutes on 1 side only. Transfer skewers to platter, spritz with fresh lemon and sprinkle with chopped chives.

Makes: 12 appetizers

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(c)2018 Chicago Tribune

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Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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