Drink of the Week: Rock The Boat (Don’t Rock The Boat, Baby)

July 29, 2011

My goodness, New York. You really know how to get us all hot and bothered, now don’t you? I hope folks out there are taking advantage of our previous DOTW entries to keep cool. The Blue Bubbly and the Lemon Basil Julep are certainly a breath of fresh air, a summer breeze with a bit of sauciness – or a lot of sauciness, depending, naturally, on your taste for sauce.

Summer continues; tempered slightly, but unabated. And so our drink this week again offers a refreshing, simple escape, taking advantage of an unusual combination of easily obtained ingredients. Because, you know, summer is hot, and it makes sense to swing a cocktail party that requires fewer shopping stops. Less sweating, more drinking! drinking responsibly!

Bess McGill’s “Rock the Boat” is also excellent reminder of beer’s value as a quality mixer. A great beer can harbor such a complex, intriguing palate – and a great beer cocktail can work with the flavor profile of a finely craft brew to create a unique drinking experience.

Ms. McGill explains that the drink was “inspired by the Brown Betty (via Liqurious) but utilizing ingredients available from a nearby convenience store while staying at the Boggsville Boatel in Far Rockaway (think: camping (no electricity or running water), but on private yachts).”

When you’re slumming it up on a private yacht, your drinks have got to be classy, right? Rock away in the Rockaways with the Rock the Boat!

Rock The Boat
-Put a lemon wheel at the bottom of a wide snifter
-Add 1 sugar packet, 2 pinches of allspice/ground ginger
-Pour a splash of cognac on top and swirl until dissolved
-Add an additional 1 oz of VS Cognac
-Pour in 6 oz Newcastle Brown Ale

Enjoy in snifter or pour over ice – the result is like a cold cider. Snifter is optional, though highly recommended.

Our guest mixologist adds the following helpful advice:

When your Sodastream runs out of CO2, or you showed up late to the party and all the seltzer is kicked, consider this – beer is a great mixer for cocktails. If the thought of combining hard alcohol and beer in the same drink rocks your boat [ha! – Ed.] too much, try thinking about flavors of beer like “fermented soda.” Most beers range in 4%-6% ABV (alcohol by volume) – pick beers that are on the lower end of the ABV spectrum. Consider the flavors of the beers too – for example: Newcastle Brown Ale, nutty; Magic Hat #9, peachy; Ballantine XXX, slightly apple.

Once again, we encourage you to experiment and play with the recipe. No ingredient or quantity is set in stone – if you find a delicious combination, let us know!

Many thanks to Bess for sharing her delicious drink with us! Got a cocktail you’d like us to feature? Let us know.

About our mixologist: Bess McGill is a cocktail designer. Presently, she is staffing a newly formed Brooklyn-Based Liquor Manufacturing Plant & Distillery. For more information, contact

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