Thirsty Thursday: A Beer and a Ball Cocktail

By: Kelsey Vala
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It’s more than just alliteration; it’s a statement, a proclamation that Thursdays are when the weekend should really start. Kicking it off right is the key, and what better way than with a cocktail that not only takes the edge off, but tastes good too. A hard thing to disagree with, we know. Drink up, get down and go to sleep happy.

Since Oktoberfest means there’s no point in drinking anything except beer, let’s raise a glass (ahem, a beer stein) to this beer-based sipper that will help us celebrate the drinking traditions of Germany. This Beer and a Ball cocktail offers some refreshment and variety, but it will also help you hold onto the traditional values of this beer-filled holiday season.

Start by muddling sage and grapefruit together, and add Campari, Aperol and a touch of simple syrup to round out the bittersweet flavors. Splash some pale lager into the mixture, and garnish the glass with a fragrant wedge of grapefruit. Sage-kissed and touched with sweetness, all you’ll need with this cocktail is a soft pretzel and a sausage to celebrate Oktoberfest in style.

Bottoms up, folks!

P.S. This cocktail would also make a great addition to your next football party spread.

Recipe courtesy Dave Fernie at Playa


  • 2 fresh sage leaves
  • 1 fresh grapefruit segment
  • 1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 1 ounce bitter Italian aperitif (recommended: Campari)
  • 1 ounce Italian aperitif (recommened: Aperol)
  • 1/2 ounce Simple Syrup, recipe follows
  • Ice cubes, for shaking
  • 1 1/2 ounces pale lager beer (recommended: Miller High Life)
  • 1 grapefruit wedge, for garnish
Simple Syrup:
  • 1/2 cup turbinado sugar
  • 1/2 cup distilled water


In a cocktail shaker, muddle the sage leaves and grapefruit segment with the lime juice. Add the Italian aperitifs and Simple Syrup. Fill the shaker with ice cubes, top the shaker, create a seal and shake vigorously. Remove the top and add the beer. Strain into a double old-fashioned glass and garnish with the grapefruit wedge.

Simple Syrup:

In small skillet, bring the sugar and water to a boil, stirring until dissolved. Allow to cool to room temperature. Seal and store what is not used in the refrigerator.

Still thirsty for beer-based mixed drinks? Check out more beer cocktail recipes to celebrate Oktoberfest.

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