How to make a Beer, Bourbon and Barbecue Cocktail

How to make a Beer, Bourbon and Barbecue Cocktail


Beer, Bourbon and BBQ are three American favorites that you may have consumed all in the same weekend, but how about in one delicious and hearty drink?

The annual Beer, Bourbon, and Barbecue Festivals prove that the these three things are great together, but even better when we combine the trio into a single glass.  Which is why you’ll find the beer, bourbon, and barbecue cocktail to be one of the most underrated whiskey cocktails out there.

The drink is the creation of the Bourbon Blog’s Tom Fischer and Louisville mixologist Steven Dennison. It was designed specifically for the series of festivals held throughout the year in various U.S. cities.

The cocktail includes bourbon, honey liqueur, hefeweizen-style beer, and water flavored with barbecue sauce!

It is, admittedly, a very unusual drink and will not be to everyone’s liking. However, it is definitely something every bourbon, beer, or BBQ fan should try at least once in their life.  It’s incredible how Fischer and Dennison brought these three very distinct flavors together to craft such an amazing cocktail.


Ingredients for the Beer, Bourbon and Barbecue Cocktail

For the BBQ Water:
  • 1 (19-ounce) bottle barbecue sauce (Jack Daniel’s Honey Smokehouse)
  • 19 ounces hot water (about 2 1/3 cups)

    For the Cocktail:
  • 1 1/2 ounces bourbon whiskey (Maker’s Mark)
  • 1 ounce honey whiskey liqueur (Evan Williams Honey Reserve)
  • 1 ounce BBQ water
  • 1/4 ​whole orange (juiced)
  • Garnish: 1 (12-ounce) bottle hefeweizen beer (Shiner)

Steps to make a Beer, Bourbon and Barbecue Cocktail


Make the BBQ Water

Essentially, the barbecue flavor of this cocktail is simply watered-down barbecue sauce. Rather than mixing a pasty sauce into the drink, just the essence of the sauce is used to add that signature flavor.

The BBQ water can be made in any quantity you desire. If you are just curious about the drink, it may be best to make just enough for one or two drinks. No matter how much you make, be sure to keep the sauce-to-water ratio equal.

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine barbecue sauce with an equal part of steaming hot water.

  2. Whisk until fully incorporated.

  3. Let sit to cool, or refrigerate.

Make the Cocktail

One of the most surprising parts of this cocktail is how the beer is treated. Unlike most beer mixed drinks, only the foam is used as a garnish to top off the drink. And, yes, that means this is one of the few times when shaking your beer is a good thing. Just be sure to do it in the shaker and not the bottle or you’ll end up with quite the mess!

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, pour the liquors and BBQ water. Squeeze the juice of a quarter of an orange into the shaker as well.

  3. Shake vigorously.

  4. Strain into a cocktail glass.

  5. Pour a quarter of a bottle of beer into a cocktail shaker and shake until foamy.

  6. Spoon the beer foam on top of the cocktail to garnish.

  7. Serve and enjoy!


This recipe calls for very specific brands of each ingredient. While not necessary,  the first time you make it, it may be wise to stick to these recommendations so you can get the true taste of the drink.

It’s very likely that changing even one of these elements may not create the intended flavor and might leave you disappointed.

Once you’ve made it a few times feel free to try different brands or put your own spin on it!

How strong is a Beer, Bourbon and BBQ cocktail?

Not only does this cocktail have an interesting flavor, but it’s also rather strong. On average and with the recommended brands, it shakes up to an alcohol content of around 22 percent ABV (44 proof), so it will not go unnoticed at your cookout.

Stay Gold & cheers.


About Todd Smidt

Todd is a man of simple tastes: traveling, words, whiskey, & dad jokes. He enjoys first-rate banter, long walks along the coast, High West, and Vonnegut. He spends his free time traveling the world, drinking whiskey, and writing about it.

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