Courtesy of Jasper's Corner Tap / Kimpton San Francisco Restaurants
Guinness is more than just a tasty stout you drink on St. Patrick's Day. The complex, malty bitterness makes it a fantastic mixer in a range of cocktails (and even frozen drinks) being served now from Boston to Virginia.
Even before Jasper’s Corner Tap & Kitchen opened in San Francisco last year, bar manager Kevin Diedrich and consulting mixologist Jacques Bezuidenhout knew they wanted to experiment with Guinness. Bezuidenhout had tried the beer in a fantastic flip with egg, gin and spices, and both men share an appreciation for the classic Black Velvet, a combination of Guinness and Champagne. “The Black Velvet is insanely good, but nobody knows about it,” Diedrich says. Bezuidenhout decided to merge that cocktail with a French 75 (gin and Champagne) to come up with a signature called the Velvet 75: Prosecco, Plymouth gin and Guinness. “All of the components work together,” Bezuidenhout says. “The yeastiness from the sparkling wine, the dry earthiness from the gin and the caramelized malty notes from the Guinness.” Diedrich loves the hard-alcohol backbone of the drink, which is served with an upmarket flourish, in a flute. “You’d be amazed how many people look at it and order it,” Diedrich says. “Before you know it, the people in all 12 seats are having Velvet 75s.”