This is a special post for us!  A good friend and amateur mixologist took it upon himself this past winter to host a party centered around creating unique beer cocktails using our Blackberry Gose.  It's an awesome concept and I'm sure some would work well with Strawberry Symphony as well!  Give them a try or create your own and let us know what you come up with!  Thanks Isaac!

What’s In that Glass?

Alesong’s Blackberry Gose

By: Isaac Johnson

Alesong’s Blackberry Gose is the perfect base for beer cocktail mixing.  The gose bursts with fresh blackberry juice, in a beautiful dark red/violet hue and finishes clean and dry with notes of coriander and cereal grains lingering on the palette.  Our intention as a team of mixologists was to create simple recipes that showcased the tart and juicy nature of the blackberry gose while adding subtle flavors and aromas to each drink.  We balanced the additional sugars from the herbal simple syrups with two different hop shrubs made with apple cider vinegar, a dry cider from Wildcraft and golden beet brine from the fridge.  The herbs were grown naturally around the garden, as were the beets and jalapeños for the experiment.  Our friend Jesse Levine provided a bottle of Bell Curve vodka from his work at Wolf Spirits Distilling.  The Mosaic and Cascade hops came from the Home Fermenter Center, the neighborhood brewing supply store.

Having never done this before I estimated on the amounts of fresh herbs to use for each simple syrup base.  I mainly used 16oz mason jars for storing and serving with the roasted jalapeño in a 32oz jar.  Both shrubs were made in 32oz jars due to the expanding volume of the fresh hops.  I used a cast iron skillet and pink Himalayan salt to “roast” the jalapeños until juicy and tender.  After a quick rinse and pat dry, the herbs were ready for their jars and a bath in the hot syrup mix.  As cleanly as possible I ladled hot syrup into each jar, filling the emptiness with unknown outcomes, keeping one jar of plain syrup as a base.  They had a couple days to marinate before the big party.  Even after cleaning the kitchen the ants still went crazy that night with all the sugar syrup.  

Stocked with jars of savory simple syrups, hop shrubs, various soda waters, tonic waters and bottles of prosecco we anxiously started measuring liquids and guessing what ratios might provide the best outcome.  The rule was to document the best combinations and recreate them down the road, after a couple “palette cleansers.” The naming of the cocktails had hilarious outtakes as each participant in our group of 12ish had their own input.  After a couple oops’ we quickly learned the portion sizes for the simple syrups and shrubs, especially the rosemary and roasted jalapeño. ¡Aye dios mio!  A roasted jalapeño and white pepper cocktail was floating around that grew upward on the Scoville scale, yet people continued to sip and enjoy.  It made my tongue numb for a while but was earthy, complex and enjoyable in small sips.

The majority of the finished cocktails measured between 6oz and 8oz and there were lots of shot-sized experiments happening in an effort to utilize the booze.  The majority of these smaller “concept” drinks avoided documentation but sparked the creation of a larger drink down the road.  The reddish-violet hue of the blackberry gose contributed blood-like colors to the drinks and brought out vampire jokes and impersonations along the way.  The majority of the gose cocktails appeared similar in hue with differences from straining the ingredients and the ratio of gose to other liquids.  We mainly used .25ml snifters for glassware as a way to showcase the gorgeous colors of the drinks and be able to swirl our drinks in admiration.

We all shared an evening, drinks and laughter over life’s adventures and about the various blackberry gose cocktails we created and look forward to the next evening of mixing beer cocktails together.  As each season brings new fruits and vegetables to the garden, seasonal beers follow suit and showcase the seasonality and abundance of our region.  We are fortunate to live in a fertile valley and to be surrounded by passionate individuals willing to craft delicious beverages based on locally sourced ingredients.  The concept of mixing beer and cider cocktails is relatively new but with products like Alesong’s Blackberry Gose the future is bright and tastes amazing!  Hopefully this event and others will inspire drinkers to think outside the glass and explore their creative imaginations of what their ideal drink is.           


Simple Syrup and Hop Shrub Recipes

Equal parts water and granulated sugar.   Heat water and sugar together in a large pan, stirring to incorporate the sugar.  When liquid becomes clear and all the sugar has dissolved, turn off heat.  Use a ladle to scoop hot syrup base into smaller mason jars with fresh herbs or other serving vessels. 

Rosemary Syrup
11.2g fresh rosemary in a 16oz mason jar filled with syrup base

Oregano Syrup
10.4g fresh oregano in a 16oz mason jar filled with syrup base

Thyme Syrup
1.7g fresh thyme in a 16oz mason jar filled with syrup base

Fennel Syrup
24.6gtoasted fennel seed in a 16oz mason jar filled with syrup base

Jalapeño Syrup
93.8g salted and roasted jalapeños in a 32oz mason jar with syrup

Mosaic Hop Shrub
1cup Plain simple syrup
1cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1oz-pinch Fresh Mosaic Hops
After stirring and macerating the ingredients I used cold water to fill to remaining space in a 32oz mason jar but in the future I’d increase the volumes of apple cider vinegar and simple syrup instead of water.

Cascade Hop Shrub
1cup Plain simple syrup
1cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1oz-pinch Fresh Cascade Hops
I used cold water to fill to remaining space in a 32oz mason jar but in the future I’d increase the volumes of apple cider vinegar and simple syrup.



Hoppy Thyme
5oz Blackberry Gose
1/2oz Thyme Simple Syrup
1/2oz. Mosaic Hop Shrub
Stir ingredients together, strain and enjoy. Garnish with a thyme sprig.

Lime Thyme
1/2oz. Oregano simple syrup
1/2oz. Thyme simple syrup
1/2oz. Lime juice
4oz. Blackberry Gose
Stir together with ice and enjoy. Garnish with a thin lime slice.

1oz. Fennel Simple syrup
1oz. Cascade Shrub
6oz. Blackberry Gose
splash tonic water
Stir ingredients together with ice and top with tonic water.

The Weird
1/2oz. Thyme Simple Syrup
3/4oz. Cascade Shrub
1/2oz. Plain Simple Syrup
3oz. Gose
1oz. Vodka
pinch Turmeric
Shake all ingredients together with ice, strain and enjoy.

Bloody Scarecrow Martini
2oz. Vodka
1oz. Thyme Simple Syrup
1oz. Golden beet brine
2oz. Blackberry Gose
Stir ingredients together with ice, strain and garnish with an almond stuffed olive.

Fennel Attraction
1oz. Vodka
1/3tsp. Fennel simple syrup
Small squeeze lime juice
3oz. Blackberry gose
Pinch cinnamon
Optional-dash plain simple syrup, cocoa powder
Shake ingredients together with ice, strain and enjoy

Papa Don’t Take No Mess
1oz. Vodka
Pinch of turmeric
1.5oz. Stiegel Radler
1/3 tsp. Jalapeño syrup
2 Basil leaves
tiny squeeze lime juice
Shake with ice, strain and enjoy

Scarecrow no.2
2oz. Vodka
1oz. Golden Beet brine
1/2oz. Jalapeño syrup
1/2oz. Thyme Syrup
Almond stuffed olive
Dash fennel simple syrup
Shake above ingredients with ice, strain and top with Steigel Radler, adjust with beet brine.

Unnamed Beauty
Dash oregano simple syrup
Dash jalapeño syrup
2oz. vodka
2oz. Gose
1/2oz lime juice
1/2oz. lemon juice
Dash Steigel Radler
Pinch fennel seeds
Stir together with ice, strain and serve on fresh rocks, adjust with Gose

Pioneer Cemetary
1oz. vodka
2oz. Blackberry Gose
2tsp. Jalapeño Syrup
2tsp. Mosaic shrub
3oz. Wild Craft Pioneer Perry Cider
Stir together over ice, strain and enjoy. Adjust with gose.

Cider? I hardly Mo her!
2oz. Mosaic shrub
1oz. Vodka
4oz. Wildcraft Pioneer Perry Cider
1oz. Blackberry Gose
1oz. Rosemary simple syrup
Stir together over ice, strain and enjoy

Clocking Out
½ tsp. Jalapeño syrup
½ tsp. oregano syrup
1 oz. Vodka
1 oz. Pear cider
2oz. Blackberry Gose
dash lemon juice
dash lime juice
stir together with ice, serve on the rocks. Repeat and enjoy the weekend.