Despite the popularity of Guinness, a common complaint I hear is that the stout is just too heavy. Or stouts in general are too heavy for some people. Which is why today, on Saint Patrick's Day, I want to share with you one of my favorite "beer cocktails" - the Black Velvet.
The story goes that the Black Velvet was first created to mourn the death of Prince Albert in 1861 by a bartender of Brooks's Club in London. The black of the stout layered with (traditionally) champagne is said to resemble black armbands worn by mourners.
A Black Velvet is made by filling a glass halfway with champagne (or cider, which I prefer) and then (thanks to science! and the proper pour) the stout floats at the top of the glass (or champagne flute depending on your preference). Simply, the differing densities of the liquids allow for the cool two-tone effect - the stout and champagne / cider remain separate layers instead of mixing.
Of course, can only be achieved with the proper pouring technique. If you simply pour the stout directly in, it will mix with the champagne / cider. To create the effect, you need to have a spoon. Turn a spoon upside down over the top of the glass. Then pour the stout slowly over the spoon. This slows the speed that the stout hits the liquid already in the glass and allows it to rest on top of the the pale liquid instead of mixing together.
As you can imagine, this beer cocktail allows you to pick your favorites to pair. I, myself, adore traditional dry English or Welsh cider (not as sweet) paired with Murphy's Irish Stout (the stout of Cork County, Ireland).
I hope you will give my favorite a try, if not today, then a future date. The Black Velvet even pairs well with Thai Curry or Vietnamese Bun. or by itself, of course. You can also enjoy this beer cocktail while enjoying my favorite Irish double feature (Intermission & Perrier's Bounty) or when listening to my ultimate Irish playlist (That's F#@%ing Delish, Man!). Sláinte!