Happy Hour: The Backyard BBQ Michelada

by Diana Vilibert

Do you have a grownup kitchen? When I was young and picturing what my adult apartment would look like, I imagined a wine rack, a stocked pantry, a crisper full of fresh produce, and probably some cheese with a fancy name I’d pronounce perfectly and with a French accent.

I got the wine rack right, but at the moment the rest of my kitchen only holds about 25 bottles of alcohol, apple juice, chocolate- and peanut butter-covered pretzels (oh yes), string cheese, and condiments. I also have a large bag of potatoes that have been there since around the time I moved in. (How long do potatoes last? They look strangely unchanged from the outside.)

At any given time, I may have a few additional bottles of juice for drink-making purposes — the apple juice is for that apple-infused spiced rum I made a while back — but for the most part, it’s a sad sight. And the weird thing about condiments? You never run out. Really. You only have to buy mustard like three times in your life, total. Try to think back to the last time you bought mustard — the same bottle has probably been with you through college graduation, your cross-country move, and your first five apartments. Mustard is your oldest friend.

It’s also an ingredient in Jim Meehan’s (of New York’s PDT) Backyard Barbecue Michelada cocktail, along with pickle brine and honey. Which is perfect because even if you don’t have a fridge full of condiments, you might find yourself this weekend at a Fourth of July BBQ, which will probably already have all the ingredients this recipe calls for, and you can just be like, oh BRB, just going to grab a few odds and ends from this table here and blow your mind. If you’re still stuck on the words “mustard and pickle brine” and nodding politely now until I look away so you can turn to your friends to be like oh my god, have you noticed Diana has been super weird lately? I think she just told us to drink mustard, I get it! I will admit I had my apprehensions too, but I trust Jim Meehan with my liver, and I wouldn’t steer you wrong, so get to it:

Backyard Barbeque Michelada
6 oz. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
1.5 oz. Black Grouse Blended Scotch Whisky
 .5 oz. white grapefruit juice
 .5 oz. honey syrup (combine two parts clover honey to one part water in a pot, and simmer and stir until honey dissolves. Let cool and bottle)
 .25 oz. Claussen Dill Pickle Brine
1/4 Tsp. Gulden’s Spicy Brown Mustard

Directions: Add everything but the beer to a mixing glass. Fine strain into a chilled, black pepper-rimmed pilsner glass filled with ice. Stir, top with beer, and garnish with a Claussen dill pickle spear.

Previously: Yo Ho Ho and a Bottle of Rum.

Diana Vilibert is a freelance drinker and writer. She really wants some advice about those potatoes.

Image courtesy of Black Grouse