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Southern 75 – Beer and Bourbon Mixed Drink

So I read this article in Garden & Gun about inventive cocktails for the craft brew age.

When John Lee Hooker hollered out for “one Scotch, one bourbon, one beer,” in his 1966 recording of the classic Amos Wilburn song of that name, no one mistook his order for an inventory of what he wanted mixed into a drink. Nowadays, that order might need some clarifying. Beer-based cocktails—drinks that marry beer with spirits, which even otherwise serious people have taken to calling “beertails”—have been sneaking onto drink menus in an increasing number of bars around the South, thanks to the collision of the craft beer movement and the cocktail revival.

Sold. I’m game for trying a “beertail” but just to be safe I decided to use the recipe in the article for a Southern 75. I had most of the ingredients so why not? First I had to figure out what Demerara Syrup was – easy enough – simple syrup made with demerara sugar (if you want to look smart in front of your friends). And then it was just a matter of mixing. The finished product is neither beer nor bourbon and on first taste not at all appealing. After a bit, the flavor reminds me a sweet tea or maybe an Arnold Palmer. Halfway through I am starting to like this drink. Is it the bourbon? Maybe. I didn’t get quite the color or creamy texture that is seen in the article either but overall I am pleased with the outcome.

Southern 75 – Beer/Bourbon Mixed Drink


  • 6fl oz IPA Style Beer (We used SweetWater IPA)
  • 2fl oz Bourbon (Four Roses suggested - we used Knob Creek)
  • 3/4fl oz Fresh-squeezed Lemon Juice
  • 1/2fl oz Demerara Syrup (Simple syrup made from Demerara Sugar)


Step 1
Pour the beer into a chilled collins glass.
Step 2
In a cocktail shaker, combine the bourbon, lemon juice, and demerara syrup with ice, and shake vigorously.
Step 3
Strain the bourbon mixture into the beer and garnish with a lemon twist.