Black And Tan Cocktail Recipe

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Black And Tan Nutrition Facts






Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 7, 2024


The Black And Tan cocktail has its roots in the British Isles, specifically in Ireland. It's a traditional pub drink that was originally made by layering a dark stout beer over a lighter pale ale or lager. The name 'Black And Tan' comes from the contrasting colors of the two beers. It's a favorite among beer enthusiasts who enjoy the combination of the rich, dark stout and the lighter, more refreshing ale.

How Black And Tan Tastes?

The Black And Tan cocktail is a delightful mix of flavors. The stout brings a rich, creamy, and slightly bitter taste, while the ale adds a crisp, refreshing, and slightly sweet note. The result is a balanced, full-bodied drink with a smooth finish.

Interesting facts about Black And Tan

  • The Black And Tan cocktail is traditionally served in a pint glass.
  • The 'layering' effect is achieved by slowly pouring the stout over the back of a spoon to disperse the flow.
  • Despite its Irish origins, the Black And Tan is more popular in the United States than in Ireland.


  • Pale ale: 8 oz(240ml)
  • Stout: 8 oz(240ml)

Pale Ale

Used as the base of our Black and Tan, the Pale Ale provides a crisp and malty backbone, which balances the bolder flavors of the stout. It’s lighter in color and flavor, making it the perfect canvas. Pour too little and your drink might become stout-heavy; too much and you won't enjoy the creamy stout layer as much. You could swap in an IPA if you prefer a hoppier undertone, just know it'll turn the taste up a notch!

Emma Rose


We lay the Stout on top of the Pale Ale and it's responsible for the 'black' part of the name. It brings in a creamy, coffee-like bitterness which contrasts beautifully with the lighter ale. Pour too slowly or quickly and you risk muddling the two layers—part of this drink's charm is its striking visual. Use a less dense stout and you might find it hard to layer; use one that's too heavy and it might overpower the Pale Ale. A Milk Stout could be a sweeter alternative, while keeping the look intact.

Alex Green

Recipe. How to make Black And Tan Drink

  1. Fill a pint glass halfway with pale ale.
  2. Slowly pour the stout over the back of a spoon held just above the ale surface.
  3. Allow the stout to settle before serving.

Pro Tips

  • The key to a perfect Black And Tan is in the pour. Pour the stout slowly to maintain the distinct layers.
  • Use a spoon to help disperse the stout and create a clear separation between the two beers.

Perfect Pairings

Food Pairings

  • Grilled Meat: The rich and robust flavor of the stout in the Black and Tan pairs well with grilled meats like steak or lamb. The caramelization on the meat mirrors the toasted notes in the beer.
  • Burgers: A classic burger is a great match for the malty sweetness of the pale ale and the creamy bitterness of the stout.
  • Fish and Chips: The carbonation and varied malt profile help to cut through the greasiness of this pub staple.
  • Roasted Nuts: A bowl of roasted nuts with sea salt can enhance the nutty and caramel notes in the ale.

Drink Pairings

  • Coffee or Espresso: A great non-alcoholic pairing due to its similar dark and roasty flavor profile, which complements the stout.
  • Whiskey: A neat glass of Irish whiskey alongside your Black and Tan can bring out the complexity of both drinks.

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What you could change in Black And Tan

If you can't find a stout, you can substitute it with a porter. Similarly, if you can't find a pale ale, you can use a lager instead.

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Irish CO2 Black and Tan

  • Use Nitro Stout to achieve an even creamier head. The nitro charge will give a silkier texture and cascading effect. Recipe: Replace the regular stout with a nitro stout, poured slowly over the back of a spoon. Expect a smoother drinking experience with less pronounced bitterness.

Vanilla Black and Tan

  • Pale Ale (8oz)
  • Vanilla Stout (8oz) Sweeter and with a dessert-like twist, vanilla adds another layer of complexity to your drink. Recipe: Use a vanilla-flavored stout in place of the traditional stout. The drink should have a subtly sweet and aromatic finish.

Spicy Black and Tan

  • Pale Ale (8oz)
  • Spicy Stout or Porter (8oz) Add a little heat to the mix with a stout or porter that has hints of chili. Recipe: Substitute the stout with a spicy variant and follow the regular pouring method. The heat should cut through the malts, giving a surprising kick.

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Frequently Asked Questions on Black And Tan

Can I use any type of Pale Ale or Stout for this cocktail?

Yes, you can. However, traditional English or Irish varieties are often preferred for their authentic flavor.

Is there any preferable time or season to enjoy this cocktail?

A Black And Tan is great all year round. However, due to its strong flavor, it is often enjoyed during the colder months or at beer festivals.

Can I make a non-alcoholic version of the Black And Tan cocktail?

Yes, you can. There are non-alcoholic versions of both Pale Ales and Stouts available commercially that you can use.

Does the order in which the beers are poured matter?

Yes, the order is important. The Pale Ale is poured first and the Stout is then carefully added on top to create the layering effect.

Is there a specific type of glass to use in serving the Black And Tan cocktail?

While the cocktail is traditionally served in a pint glass, any large glass that allows for the beers to layer and settle will work.

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