The Boilermaker is less a recipe than a tradition, a manly marriage of beer and whiskey. Though they’re served in the traditional drop-shot combination of large glass and a small shot, they’re not meant to be combined. The Boilermaker is the essence of blue-collar sophistication, with the shot downed first and followed by leisurely sips of the beer.
Though the ingredients are simple, there’s an incredible amount of variety in the beer and whiskey options you can select. Gary Regan gives a couple suggestions in The Joy of Mixology, like a wheat beer mated with a wheated bourbon (Maker’s Mark is a classic choice), or a rich stout paired with a shot of fruity Wild Turkey.
As for us, we take our Boilermakers with Rolling Rock and a shot of Old Grand Dad Bonded, garnished with a good cigar.
Serve the beer in a glass, and the shot glass of whiskey on the side. The shot goes first, followed by the beer (which should be sipped, not downed).
- The Joy of Mixology by Gary Regan