With the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day holiday, it’s time to brush up on the classic cocktails to celebrate the day.

While many of us are celebrating at home, this will be the perfect drink to sip while eating corned beef and cabbage this week.

A term that was likely to be originated in England, Black and Tan refer to the mixing of beers. Until the 1980s, the Black and Tan cocktails were a mix of ale and stout. It then was referred to as a layered drink. Although any beer could be used traditionally, Bass Ale and Guinness are used to create this drink.

The beers aren’t just thrown into a glass together; they’re layered. The ale goes in first, quickly, which creates a sturdy base to help with layering. An inverted spoon can be used to help create the top layer of Guinness. This method helps with dispersing the beer so it doesn’t go in all at once.

Why shouldn’t you order a Black and Tan while visiting Ireland? Actually, ordering this American drink at a bar in Ireland could be offensive. Black and Tan was the nickname given to the British paramilitary force during the Irish Independence Movement in 1920 and 1921. They were ex-servicemen who would wear khakis and dark shirts. Their methods were often terrible. So this isn’t the drink you should order at any pub in Ireland.

However, for those staying home and wanting to create a beer cocktail, check out this recipe below.

Black and Tan

Irish Layered Black and Tan Beer with Lager and Stought

Black and Tan


  • 6 oz. Pale Ale Beer
  • 6 oz. Stout Beer

Preparation: Fill a pint glass halfway with the pale ale of your choice. Slowly pour the stout over the back of an inverted spoon to layer on top of the ale. Serve and enjoy!