You’ll be sure to impress all your friends and family when you learn How to Make a Black and Tan. It’s quick and easy (if you know the right way to do it! Keep reading to find out how!)
We love having guests over! Whether it’s long-time friends or our adult kids with significant others or inlaws and grandparents, we all have such a great time when we all come together for some home-cooked food and handcrafted drinks.
Yes, the drinks are certainly part of the fun! But plain old wine and beer can get a bit boring (well, not really… but it’s fun to change it up too!)
So we like to get creative with our drinks on occasion and that’s why I learned how to make a black and tan. Keep reading for the secret trick to making it work every time!
It’s such a cool drink… that super dark, rich beer floating on top of a light ale. It looks like it defies gravity. But there’s a method to the madness.
The Origin of the Black and Tan Drink
The mixing of two or more beers began in the 1700s in London where different beers were taxed at different rates. So bar owners decided to mix a lower taxed beer with a higher taxed one to reduce the overall tax rate of the drink.
The result was a beautiful combination of beers that remains popular to this day.
Keep in mind, though, when traveling to Ireland not to call it a Black and Tan. That is considered offensive to the Irish. The name also references the invasion of the Royal Irish Constabulary Reserve Force that was sent to Ireland in the 1920, resulting in much violence. It’s best to call it a half and half when in Ireland!
What Beers are Used in a Black and Tan
Normally, I’d say to pick your beer of choice. But after lots of experimenting, I’ve gotta say that you’ll get the best results if you use the canned Guinness with the CO2 cartridge for the dark layer. But if you can’t find it, just go with any old dark porter and pour carefully. (Here’s a great article on how the CO2 cartridge in beer works.)
And for the light layer, just use your favorite pale ale. This give the black and tan a nice body, taste, and contrast.
How Do You Make a Black and Tan at Home?
Grab yourself a couple of nice tall beer glasses and crack open a full-bodied pale ale. Pour half the pale ale quickly into the glass (you want a nice head on it).
Then open the Guinness. Hold a spoon over the top of the glass and turn the spoon over so it is convex. Slowly pour the Guinness over the back of the spoon and let it dribble into the glass. This will facilitate the dark beer staying on top. Pour slowly until the glass is full. Repeat the process for the second beer. (FULL RECIPE BELOW)
What is a Traditional Black and Tan Beer?
The original, traditional black and tan is half Guinness and half Bass Ale. Over time, though, people have modified the concoction to satisfy personal tastes. Most still do always use Guinness.
Another variation is the black and blue. This is a similar combination of two beers but using Blue Moon for the ale. This is put together in a similar fashion as the black and tan, but will give you a slightly different taste. It is equally beautiful.
It’s all about the density. Guinness and ales have different densities, which allows the Guinness to float on top if poured carefully. It takes a little practice, but once you know how to do it, you’ll be the hit of any party!
Now you know the secret! Use the back of the spoon and pour slowly and you’ll get great results. And if you’re looking for other fun and interesting cocktails, try these:
Tools Used for this Cocktail
How to Make a Black and Tan
Here's how to make a Black and Tan. This is a classic cocktail made with two kinds of beer that will impress your friends and family.
- 1 12 oz. can of pale Ale Beer
- 1 12 oz. can of dark porter beer, preferably canned Guinness with a CO2 cartridge
- Pour half the Pale Ale into a beer glass fairly quickly. You want it to get a good head on it.
- Then open the Guinness. Hold a spoon over the top of the glass and turn the spoon over so it is convex. Slowly pour the Guinness over the back of the spoon and let it dribble into the glass. This will facilitate the dark beer staying on top. Pour slowly until the glass is full.
- Repeat the process for the second beer.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 253Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 23mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 2g
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