Bourbon and Beer Belong Together, Here’s Proof

Cherry heering gives this beer-bourbon cocktail its striking red hue.

Dog Days of Summer (Ale) Cocktail Recipe

Matt Taylor-Gross / Food Styling by Lucy Simon

Cook Time:
5 mins
Total Time:
5 mins

If you haven’t had the pleasure of enjoying a drink at the institution that is Long Island Bar (ironically in Brooklyn, not on Long Island), let this be your sign to add a trip to your calendar. In addition to perfecting the gin martini, Boulevardier, and gimlet, this 55-year old spot is also known for its signature burger and fries. Bartender Tristan Willey has created whiskey-beer cocktails featuring Samuel Adams beer, perfect for summertime drinking, like this sweet, surprisingly complex mix of bourbon and summer ale.

This simple cocktail gets its eye-catching red color from cherry heering, also known as cherry liqueur or cherry cordial. In addition to coloring the cocktail, the heering adds strawberry jam notes, along with hints of marzipan and pine. If you don’t already have sweet vermouth in your home bar — and if you haven’t been making vermouth spritzes, where have you been? — consider adding a bottle to make this cocktail, and later using it in tried-and-true drinks like a Manhattan, which calls for Carpano Antica Formula along with rye and Angostura bitters, or a beloved low-alcohol cocktail like an Americano, which also uses Campari and club soda

Beer is, obviously, a core component of this drink, which is why your choice makes a significant impact on the overall flavor profile. Samuel Adams Summer Ale is a classic American wheat ale with notes of lemon and lime peel, the acidity of which complement the inherent sweetness of cherry heering. At just 5.3% ABV, it’s a low-alcohol component to mix with bourbon and sweet vermouth. We prefer to serve our Dog Days of Summer (Ale) in a highball glass, but a Pyrex drinking glass also makes for a stylish and simple way to enjoy this warm weather-friendly cocktail. This recipe calls for a lemon wheel for garnish, but we’ve also enjoyed using a blood orange, or even a lime when we’re whipping up a batch. —— Oset Babür-Winter


  • 1/2 ounce cherry heering

  • 1/2 ounce sweet vermouth

  • 1/2 ounce lemon juice

  • 1/2 ounce bourbon

  • 8 ounces Sam Adams summer ale


  1. Combine cherry heering, sweet vermouth, lemon juice, bourbon and Sam Adams summer ale in a highball glass.

  2. Garnish with lemon wheel.

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