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Beermüth: Room 11 Updates the “Amer Bière”

photo of Beermuth cocktail
photo by Elmer Fudd

Shortly after Room 11 opened in Washington D.C.’s Columbia Heights neighborhood in 2014, Food & Wine named it one of the best new bars in the U.S. That’s no doubt because of cocktails like the Beermüth, featuring Byrrh Grand Quinquina. (“Beermüth” is a play on the German root of the word vermouth: vermut, meaning wormwood, the botanical that imparts bitterness to the fortified wine. Quinquina is another type of fortified aperitif wine that is bittered with, you guessed it, quinine.) Mixologists like Gavin Pierce, general manager of Room 11, have taken a drinking tradition in Europe, the Amer Bière ("bitter beer") — a sort of workingman’s Spritz — and used it as a canvas for all sorts of innovative riffs featuring American craft beers and ingredients raided from the kitchen.

Beermüth 

Shake with ice:

1.5 oz Byrrh Grand Quinquina

0.5 oz coffee syrup

0.25 oz lemon juice

Strain into an ice-filled collins glass.

Fill with Bell’s Two-Hearted IPA (or any “well-rounded IPA with established but not overwhelming hops,” says Pierce)

Garnish with cocoa nibs.

For the coffee syrup: combine two parts freshly brewed coffee to one part granulated sugar. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Steep some cocoa nibs in the still-hot syrup for 15 mins. Strain, cool and bottle.

—Gavin Pierce, Room 11, Washington D.C.

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