It's Bitter to Be Hoppy

This beer cocktail gets its bright orange tint from Aperol.

It's Bitter To Be Hoppy Cocktail Recipe

Matt Taylor-Gross / Food Styling by Lucy Simon / Glassware from Laila Gohar for The Luxury Collection

Prep Time:
5 mins
Total Time:
5 mins
1 1

At first glance, one might not realize that this sleek cocktail served in a coupe glass (we're obsessed with this limited edition collaboration between artist Laila Gohar and The Luxury Collection) is actually made with beer. No, this is not a Cosmopolitan or even an orange-hued Paper Plane — this cocktail is made with a balanced blend of scotch whiskey, Aperol, and citrus and it all gets topped with some zippy IPA. 

While we love a pint glass filled with an ice cold Michelada or even a simple Shandy, the It’s Bitter to Be Hoppy cocktail cheerfully pushes the boundaries of traditional beer cocktails. A blend of Aperol and scotch whiskey creates a complex flavor profile with notes of orange, caramel, and toasty oak notes from the barrel-aged scotch. While any scotch whisky will work here, this drink’s developers prefer Auchentoshan American oak single malt scotch whisky. This whisky is aged in American oak bourbon casks known for their aromas of toasted coconut and vanilla — think of the flavors of a buttery California chardonnay which often get aged in American oak. The result is a smooth, lucious single malt scotch whisky that plays well with a variety of cocktail ingredients. 

To brighten up the scotch, this drink leans on a variety of citrus: bright and slightly bitter fresh grapefruit juice, six dashes of savory lemon bitters, and sweet Aperol. Layering citrus flavors, whether that is multiple types of citrus juice or through bitters and liqueurs, is a great way to add depth and complexity to any cocktail. 

To bring everything together, the It’s Bitter to Be Hoppy gets topped with a few ounces of IPA (for the hops, of course). The beer adds brightness and an extra hit of herbaceous bitter flavor. This drink is balanced, with just enough sweet and bitter notes and plenty of citrus flavor. With just one sip this cocktail will convince you that beer deserves a spot in both your coupe glass and pint glass alike. –– Lucy Simon


  • 1 1/2 ounces Auchentoshan American Oak single malt scotch whisky

  • 1/2 ounce Aperol

  • 1/4 ounce grapefruit juice

  • 6 dashes lemon

  • 2 1/2 ounces IPA beer


Combine single malt scotch whiskey, Aperol, grapefruit juice, bitters, and IPA beer in a mixing glass and stir until combined. Strain into a coupe and garnish with lemon peel.

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