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Black & Tan Cocktail Recipe

Apr 16, 2018 | Post By Danny Mahoney
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The Black and Tan is the original beer cocktail, and has been around for centuries.  It almost certainly originated in England, and spread throughout Europe afterwards. It soon made its way worldwide, however, as the first recorded usage of term was in an American magazine named Puck, in 1881, according to the Oxford English Dictionary.  The beer cocktail is so popular that there are many breweries that actually even premix “black and tan” beers (such as the brewery Yuengling), which goes to show you just how popular that it has become.

Image of Black & Tan   Drink


  • 6 ounces of pale ale beer (often Bass)
  • 6 ounces of stout or porter (often Guinness)


  1. Pour 6 ounces of the pale ale into a pint glass.
  2. Slowly pour 6 ounces of the stout or porter over the back of a bar spoon, to create the gradient effect.


  • 1 pint glass
  • 1 bar spoon

It should be noted that there is even a customized bar spoon for black-and-tans, which is bent in the middle for an easy way for the spoon to properly balance on the edge of a pint glass.  One great aspect of this drink is that you can mix and match the beers to your particular liking, as many people have their own favorite porter, and pale ale, etc. It must also be noted that they aren’t exactly popular in Ireland – this is because the Royal Irish Constabulary Reserve actually was nicknamed the “black and tans”, so there is a tense historical association with the phrase.  As a result, in Ireland, the beer cocktail is referred to instead as a “half and half”. Enjoy a Black and Tan today to see what the fuss is about!



Photo of Danny Mahoney

Danny is a Melburnian liquor enthusiast and ex bartender turned web developer. Although an avid whiskey drinker he likes to practice the arts of cocktail making and mixing drinks. Danny believes there are always new concoctions just waiting to be explored and enjoyed.


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