How to make beer taste better
Salt? Lime? Ice cubes? Sometimes you need a little something extra to help that cold really hit.
I recently had the unique misfortune of being stuck with all the leftover hard seltzer and beer from a hotel wedding. So, for several weeks now, half of my fridge has been filled with Miller Lite, which I’m not going to drink anytime soon. Don’t get me wrong, Miller Lite is head and shoulders above most beers I’ve had in my life, but I’m not one to casually open a Miller Lite to savor and relax afterwards. a long day.
That being said, if I could give some more cheap beer punch through heavier or richer flavors, I might reconsider. To that end, is it possible to make crap beer taste better?
According to Aysegul Sanford, cookbook author and food blog provider rock-solid life, there are a number of things worth trying. Before adding any type of flavoring substances to beer, Sanford recommends cooling it. “Putting your beer in the freezer for a bit makes it crispier and gives the bubbles more oomph,” she explains. “You’ll feel positively refreshed after your first sip, and it’s a great way to mask any unwanted aromas. But only do this with bottled beer and don’t leave it for more than 20 minutes,” otherwise your beer won’t be drinkable because it will have exploded all over your freezer.
Speaking of cold beer, there is a school of thought that adding ice to beer makes it taste better. It’s not for me, but I know a handful of grandparents here in Chicago who have their beers in a glass with a few ice cubes. Hey, it works for whisky, who’s to say it won’t sweeten the flavors of a hard, bitter beer?
For National Beer Day last month, Miller Lite produced a viral marketing stunt with “Beer Drops.” The product, that actually existed and has since sold outaimed to “make other light beers taste better” by squeezing a few drops of serum into your glass. However, “better” in this case meant “more like Miller Lite”, and we specifically try to avoid that.
Luckily for us, it’s easy to replicate the same logic and process behind Miller Lite Beer Drops and get better results. Instead of pouring concentrated Miller Lite flavor into your beer, try a squeeze of lime juice. “It’s not unheard of that citrus fruits are a great way to add a little more life to a missing lager,” Sanford tells me. “It adds a bit of freshness and the sour flavor feels like adding a bit of bubbly.”
According to Thomas Feeley of FindMeABbrewery.com, limes should be used specifically in lagers, “while a dash of cilantro works for cheaper witbiers and a few ounces of lemonade works best for hefeweizens”. “It’s kind of like overdecanting a cheap red wine,” he tells me. “You’ll still know it’s a cheap beer, but you’ll be much happier.”
Apart from infusions of various citrus fruits, you can always try adding a pinch of salt to your beer. In the hallowed halls of Reddit, in addition to “drink more” and “smoke weed before you drink”, a number of people claim that a pinch of salt is the best way to improve the taste of the cheap beer.
Not only will a little salt increase the carbonation if your beer has gone flat, but it’s a natural flavor enhancer, which might just be the slight tweak your taste buds need. As for other things people have tried to add to beer, there are those who swear by pouring espresso into their beer, as well as putting a pinch of Sprite or Gatorade in their beer and calling it a “shandy”.
Finally, you can opt for the tried and true hot sauce hack. A few drops of Tabasco in the beer is the perfect way to enhance its flavors and give it some bite as well. “The acid and salt in a few drops of hot sauce will bring out the beer’s subtle sweet or malty notes, which for a light beer is hard to find without frills,” the chef and food writer told me. Jim Mumford last year. “Also, the hint of spice helps cleanse the palate, so to speak, of some of the bitterness in these beers.”
Since I only bought a new bottle of Tabasco, I guess that’s my sign to start munching on the mountain of Miller Lites in my fridge.