Pilsner Syrup and the Lemon Shondell Cocktail: Reyka vodka, Hornitos Spiced Honey, pilsner syrup

The Lemon Shondell cocktail featuring beer syrup from Karbach’s Zee German Pils

Beer syrup sounds disgusting, I know. Why would you ever put something so disgusting in a cocktail? asks my skeptical side. That’s like adding mushroom water.

Wow, I can’t believe I just came up with that. That really does sound disgusting.

Well, leave it to Dallas to try it! Maybe not mushroom water, but they sure use a lot of shrooms!

Back to beer syrup, though. Sure, it isn’t something you see all the time in cocktails, but it’s a good way to get beer flavor into a cocktail while also adding sugar. Beer by itself can work okay, but it generally adds a lot of liquid without a whole lot of flavor.

That can be fine if you’re making a tall drink, but for a small drink, it’s hard to use.

Boiling down the beer into beer syrup solves that problem. It condenses the liquid and intensifies the flavor per ounce, so you get a more flavorful cocktail.

Making beer syrup

Here, I used Karbach Zee German Pils, an excellent pilsner style beer with plenty of flavor. Be careful of really hoppy beers like IPAs; they tend to get downright bitter when condensed this way. Porters, stouts, browns, and pilsners work fine.

I brought the can to a boil and then let it simmer gently for a while. Then I measured it, and it was 1/4 cup. That’s two ounces. Yep, 12 ounces became 2. That’s some flavor right there. So I added 1/4 cup of sugar to it and took it off the heat. I let the sugar dissolve, stirring, and voila! beer syrup!

The Lemon Shondell cocktail recipe

To make the Lemon Shondell, combine with ice:

and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Then take a bit of beer, shake it around in a glass, and take some of the foam off the top. It looks nice on top of the Lemon Shondell, and it adds a touch more beer aroma.

A nice, bright cocktail that smells and hints of beer. With just a bit of spice and honey flavors. I named it after the lemon shandy, a drink with beer and lemonade. That’s what this one reminds me of.

And also because I like Tommy James and the Shondells. I mean, come on! Is there a better song than “I Think We’re Alone Now“?

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