Food & Drink

Drink Like the Pros: Bartender’s Go-To Boilermakers

The Boilermaker is an everyman’s drink. Simply a beer and shot combo, this classic tipple can be as cheap or pricey as you want it to be, depending which spirit and brew you choose to pair. To find out how the pros do it, we asked 13 bartenders about their go-to Boilermakers. Consider these combos the next time you’re feeling thirsty, and learn to drink like the pros.

Green Chartreuse + Tecate

“Tecate with lime and shots of Green Chartreuse. It’s a nice, clean, simple beer (the lime brightens it up) and one of my favorite dives has green Chartreuse for way cheaper than it should be. A blue collar beer with a high-brow shot.” — Alex Burch, Bastion

Rum + Presidente

“The go-to shot for most bartenders is whiskey. But for a cool, Caribbean twist, a high quality rum also pairs really well. I love an ice cold Presidente beer with a shot of Flor de Cana 12.” — Michael Sin, Nikki Beach Pop Up at Oreya

Mezcal + Golden Ale

"A glass of Gold Style (our house beer which is made special for The Whistler by Revolution Brewing) plus whatever is the newest mezcal on our shelf.” — Billy Helmkamp, The Whistler

Laird’s Applejack + Cider

"I like to pair Laird’s 100° Apple Brandy with a dry cider. The apple bases are a natural pairing.” — Kris Nagy, Scofflaw Group

Tequila + Grapefruit Beer

"In the summertime, I like to jam out with a Stiegl Radler and a shot of blanco tequila—preferably Tequila Ocho. Light, bright and citrusy, it is everything I love about summer in two glasses.” — Jacyara de Oliveira, El Che Bar and La Sirena Clandestina

Spiced Bonded Rye + Schlitz

“On our menu, my favorite is a cocktail named the ‘Old One and a Cold One.’ We pair Bonded Rittenhouse with a Schlitz. The house spin is that our rye shot is spiced with ginger, candied sugar, cinnamon and citrus oil, getting it closer to actual rock and rye. It's a lovely marriage of sugar, spice and citrus that almost acts as a standalone cocktail shot." — Laurent Lebec, Big Star

Bourbon + Lager

“A Nashville Original Lager from Nashville Brewing and then a shot of Belle Meade Bourbon.” — Mark Burkhalter, L27 Rooftop Lounge

“My go-to for a Boilermaker is a shot of bourbon and a lager, preferably Eagle Rare and House Beer Lager.” — Sean Brown, Brack Shop Tavern

Rye + Watermelon Beer

“Like my grandma always used to say, ‘add some spice to your life.’ My go-to Boilermaker orders starts with a rye whiskey—I prefer Bulleit Rye for its russet color and oaky aroma. The hints of vanilla, honey and spice pair well with a wheat ale, and make it a watermelon wheat ale—I like 21st Amendment’s Hell or High Watermelon—and you’ve got yourself sugar and spice and everything nice. The sharp spice of the rye whiskey and the crisp, dry flavor of the watermelon ale leaves your palate bursting with flavors and lots of fun.” — Raphael Cordova, Filifera

Tequila + Cider

“Tequila and a dry hard apple cider with Angostura bitters.” — Elmer Mejicanos, Doors Open

Becherovka + Cider

“A nice dry cider and a shot of Becherovka. Becherovka is an herbal liqueur with big notes of cinnamon and Christmas spices, so this Boilermaker is like a delicious, and lazy, mulled cider.” — Rafa Garcia Febles, Roof at Park South

Mezcal + Cider

“Mezcal neat and a dry cider, if available.” — Andrew Hannigan, Bastion

Soju + Light Beer

“Soju and light beer is always fun. But flavored yogurt soju and light beer is better.” — Juyoung Kang, The Dorsey at The Venetian Las Vegas