Sipping a shot of booze alongside a beer is a seemingly simple pastime, but the combo—making waves at bars across the country—actually creates alluringly complex flavors. We tapped shot-and-beer specialist Erick Castro, bartender at Boilermaker in New York’s East Village, to give us four perfect pairs, from the classic to the clever.


SMOKED FRUIT
Del Maguey Vida Mezcal & Liefmans Fruitesse
Robustly smoky mezcal is tempered by a cherry-forward Belgian fruit beer.

NATIONAL ANTHEM
Brooklyn Lager & Old Weller Antique Bourbon
Slightly bitter amber lager finds synergy with the subtle sweetness of wheated bourbon.

APPLES AND VANILLA
Doc’s Cider & Angostura 1919 Rum
Fruity, dry cider lends a crisp backbone to the rum’s warm vanilla notes.

NOT EXACTLY A PALOMA
Stiegl Radler & Siete Leguas Blanco Tequila
Citrus-forward tequila paired with grapefruit-spiked beer is essentially a deconstructed paloma cocktail.