They say “Beer after whiskey is risk,” so better drink ‘em together, right? But that’s not what birthed the Boilermaker, a cocktail which isn’t a cocktail. It seems odious to even put this down as a cocktail recipe –for what can be the list of ingredients, or mixing instructions for a drink which constitutes a shot of whiskey and a pint of beer?
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the term ‘boilermaker’ was first used to refer to workers who built and maintained locomotives during the mid-19th century. A popular belief holds that after a hard day’s labor, these workers would visit their nearest pub and chased down a shot of whiskey with a pint of ale for a quick, almost analgesic high. There’s another anecdote which possibly delineates the origins of the Boilermaker. The story involves one Richard Trevithick, a Cornish blacksmith who was experimented with steam-propelled vehicles. In 1801, Trevithick decided to put his the latest invention – a steam-propelled road vehicle – to trial on Christmas night. The location was Cornwall village of Cambourne.
The vehicle successfully climbed a hill in the village, carrying Trevithick and a few of his friends. They stopped in front of a bar, and stepped in to celebrate, leaving the vehicle in a shed. Amidst all the merriment and drunken revelry, they forgot about the fire burning in the vehicle boiler. When Trevithick and co. got done, they arrived at the shed to find a molten mass of tousled scrap.
Well, keeping that story in mind as a cautionary tale for the unwarranted, reserve the Boilermaker for a celebration, or the end of a really taxing shift.
How to Mix Your own Boilermaker
You may choose to chase your sip of whiskey with swigs of beer. But it ain’t a boilermaker if you haven’t dropped the shot-glass full of whiskey into the beer-filled mug, and then knocked it back, bottoms up. Now popular with bartenders worldwide, the Boilermaker is a shortcut to buzz. A shot of an aged smoky, sweet bourbon, or rye whiskey works well. A good idea is to use pale for this mega shot, which will ensure that your palate and food pipe are not under siege.
The Suburban is more of an oddity—dashes of whiskey, rum and port mixed together in an atypical concoction. Most mixology manuscripts, whether classic or contemporary, will give you examples of several drinks that blend rum and brandy; and a few others that mix port and rum. You’ll even find combinations of rum and whiskey. But, all three together?
The mint julep has been promoted as the official drink of the Kentucky Derby since 1938. A widely popular cocktail, it is said to have originated in southern United States, around the 18th century. However, this style of drink goes even further back to the 15th century Europe, where a ‘julep’ was a way to make medicine go down easy.