Black and Tan - a Beer Cocktail Content from the guide to life, the universe and everything

Black and Tan - a Beer Cocktail

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It might well be called a Doberman in a jar; 'Black and Tan' is the name given to an alcoholic drink comprising a 'mixture' of ale and stout, or sometimes lager and stout1.

The name itself is derived from a political reference to the black and khaki military uniforms worn by the special auxiliary force - 'The Black and Tans' - who were brought in to Ireland fight the Irish nationalists in 1920.

Normal practice for making a Black and Tan is to first pull half a pint of ale into a pint glass, and then, using a spoon placed under the tap, to roll the stout oh-so-gently on to the top of the ale layer.

Done properly, the procedure produces a Black and Tan; black stout on the top and tan ale, or lager, underneath. Brownian Motion aside, the two beers won't mix in the glass until they are disturbed, for example, by drinking.

A classic Black and Tan consists of a foundation of Bass Pale Ale topped by thick black Guinness, the combination of English and Irish beers somehow cementing the origin of the name.

1Ale, stout and lager are kinds of beer.

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