The we heart this Cocktail of the Month for October was a no-brainer. I have been waiting months for the perfect time to pass on the secret to pouring the perfect Black and Tan. What better season then that of Oktoberfest, to enjoy the American version of this classic drink combining the best of both beer worlds? Originating in British pubs, a Black and Tan is a made from a combination of a dark beer (usually a stout or porter) and a pale ale or pale lager (according to Wikipedia the lager version is commonly called a half and half).
Before we start, I should mention this involves ice-cold beer (I know some beer purists like warmish beer, but this American girl wants her hops icy cold). If you’re looking for a more European flare, the omniscient Wikipedia lists Black and Tan variations from around the world. Also, this cocktail isn’t exactly a secret, I was just so happy to have perfected the technique, I had to share! Our version calls for:
* Lager Glasses
* One spoon (that you don’t mind bending)
* Dark Beer – we recommend Guinness
* Pale Ale Beer – we recommend Harp’s or Bass
To impress your friends with this layered drink, it is imperative to start with ice-cold lager glasses (stash all that you have in the freezer the night before, so you’re ready to pour when guests arrive).
You will also have to prepare the spoon by bending it at the base as pictured. It’s possible to buy a Pouring Spoon made specifically for creating Black and Tans, but we’re too thrifty to spring for it.
First, pour the Pale Ale or Lager into the frozen glasses – just a smidge over the half way mark.
Then, place the spoon upside down (with the bump facing up) over the center of the glass and s-l-o-w-l-y pour the Guinness onto the spoon and into the glass.
Don’t freak out if at first the drink appears to be mixing too much. Give it a minute (and don’t you dare move the glasses) to let the foam and beers settle. While you wait, you can explain to your friends that the relative density of the Guinness is less than that of the ale or lager, which allows for the cool layering effect.
Once you’ve impressed your friends with alcohol and science trivia, if the beer gods are smiling upon you, you will be rewarded with a perfectly separated Black and Tan. Cheers!
Note: When preparing seconds (or thirds or fourths) you must start with fresh, frozen glasses for each drink. Attempts to reuse glasses, have always failed to produce the proper layering effect.