Posted by Chunk on Wednesday, July 1, 2009
My constant curiosity about a.m. libations has led me to explore the infamous Red Beer. I've been avoiding this drink for years. It just doesn't sound good at all.
The basic recipe is just beer and tomato juice.
Yesterday I made a connection...Maybe this recipe isn't bad, just incomplete. I was making a sangrita when the idea struck me. Sangrita is tomato juice with citrus juices and hot sauce; citrus is a great garnish on lighter beers. Why haven't I noticed that before?
So here are some experiments:
Red Beer+How to Fix It(rear/left in picture)
12 oz lager
3 oz tomato juice
This is very boring and bland. Do not use a special beer for this; the beer is lost and the tomato flavor is blah. To fix this reach for the chipotle-based hot sauce. I threw a few dashes in and found drastic flavor change. The smokiness from the sauce complimented both the beer and tomato. The sodium seemed to increase both flavors as well. I would compare the difference to listening to a CD on the freeway and listening to the same CD with headphones in a quiet room. This would be great for a brunch. It will pair nicely with eggs and various cheeses.
Sangrita/Red Beer(front/right in picture)
12 oz lager
3 oz sangrita
This works but only in a utilitarian sense. It's tasty, with more body and much higher acid than the plain lager. On a very hot day this would be nice with a sandwich at lunch but I don't think it has much more purpose than that. It may also be good for people who want a lighter Bloody Maryish drink without the hard alcohol. I do like this drink but I'll probably only use it when I'm bored and need some variety in my glass.