There is a new craze sweeping through UK bars …
Boilermakers (beer cocktails)!
The Boilermaker is effectively a beer cocktail: a glass of beer with a shot of whisky consumed in one of two ways. The drinker drops the shot of whiskey into the glass of beer and downs the entire drink with one long draw, not lifting his (or her) lips from the glass until it’s all gone or the drinker can drink the shot as a chaser after drinking a glass of beer if preferred.
However you choose to do it, there can be no doubt that beer and shot combinations can be delicious and are great for those who aren’t so into sweet mixers and traditional cocktails.
How this drink came to be named after the workers who build and repair boilers is unknown. The Oxford English Dictionary, widely regarded as the foremost authority on word origins, says the term “boilermaker” was first used to refer to the craftsmen who built and maintained steam locomotives in the early 1800’s.
Here’s one story of the drink’s origin we found that we particularly liked …
In 1801, on a Christmas night in the Cornwall village of Cambourne, Richard Trevithick, an inventive Cornish blacksmith who was an early experimenter with steam-propelled vehicles set out to test his latest invention, a steam-propelled road vehicle.
Trevithick’s vehicle succeeded in climbing the hill into the village carrying the inventor and some of his friends. When they reached a pub at the top of the hill, they parked the vehicle in a shed and went inside to celebrate their success in true festive style drinking lots of beer and whisky shot chasers.
As the celebrations continued, everyone forgot about the fire in the vehicle’s boiler. It continued to burn until the water ran dry. When the party was over, they discovered that the wooden structural members had caught fire and the vehicle was reduced to a mass of tangled scrap!
Following are a few of the most popular ordered boilermaker combinations:
- Straight Boilermaker – ½ pint beer with a whisky shot chaser
- Caribbean Boilermaker – ½ pint beer with a rum chaser
- Mexican Boilermaker – ½ pint beer with a tequila chaser
- Russian Boilermaker – ½ pint beer with a vodka chaser