Amplify Citrusy Beers With Orange Juice And Never Look Back

Beer and orange juice are a match made in thirst-quenching, sigh-inducing, refreshing bevvy heaven. Even if you think you are not a beer lover, the addition of OJ transforms a cold one into a cocktail of its own — light, effervescent, pleasantly bitter, and just sweet enough.

There are plenty of beers with citrusy undertones that really shine in this preparation. Opt for something light and crisp, like a wheat beer or pale ale. You can also use a non-alcoholic beer as a zero-proof option. While you might be tempted to combine the juice with a super bitter IPA loaded with Citra hops, the result may end up being too syrupy and imbalanced. This blend of beer and orange juice really sings with a simple, crushable brew. As for the juice itself, opt for fresh squeezed if possible. Otherwise, a good quality store-bought orange juice will work just fine.

Start with a ratio of four parts beer to one part OJ, and adjust from there to suit your tastes. Enjoy this libation in place of a standard mimosa alongside your brunch spread, at a sunny poolside hang out, or anywhere you might normally partake in some day drinking.

What else can you add to your beer and orange juice cocktail?

Finishing your mixture with a sparkling wine topper is a great way to incorporate some extra bubbles, up the level of booze, and add a little complexity to the flavor. You can also use sparkling water instead if you want to keep your drink on the lighter side.

Add depth of flavor by incorporating a few dashes of bitters. Classic Angostura bitters would pair well with orange juice, but you can also get creative as there are so many different types of bitters on the market. The brand Fee Brothers has lots of complimentary options like grapefruit, lemon, lime, cranberry, or rhubarb bitters. 

Orange liqueurs like triple sec, Cointreau, Grand Marnier, and curaçao, or an aperitif like Aperol would all be fun, boozy, additions. In fact, the popular Spaghett cocktail combines Miller High Life beer, Campari or Aperol, and sometimes, a squeeze of lemon juice. This is a great option for those who prefer complex bitterness to juicy sweetness.

Try citrus juice and beer in the form of a Mexican michelada

If beer and orange juice together are not exactly the vibe you are after, look to Mexican beer cocktails. A very common upgrade to an ice-cold Mexican beer is an ample amount of salt and lime juice, often served in a glass rimmed with more salt or Tajin. This mix — typically attributed to a bar in San Luis Potosi — is said to have given birth to micheladas. Sometimes this simple version is referred to as a chelada or a cerveza preparada, meaning prepared beer.

These days, a michelada cocktail recipe can combine light-bodied Mexican beers with any number of flavorful ingredients like citrus and fruit juices, Worchestire or Maggi sauce, hot sauce, tomato juice, clam broth, or a blend of tomato and clam called clamato. A sweet, tart, and spicy chamoy drizzle is also a common adornment for the rim of the glass. If you want to gild the lily in the best way possible, order a michelada preparada, or prepared michelada. These types of michelada preparadas will often come topped with snacks like poached shrimp, cucumbers, jicama, Japanese-style peanuts, ceviche, aguachile, potato chips, fruits, or gummy candy.