In case beer has become humdrum, this beer and tomato juice recipe is a perfect switch to liven things up. It’s also a fitting accessory for International Beer & Pizza Day (October 9th) and National American Beer Day (October 27).
What Is Beer and Tomato Juice Called?
This cocktail is often called “red beer”, the Midwest’s cult-favorite morning beverage. Like the name indicates, this red drink is a mix of tomato juice and a bottle of your favorite beer.
There are many theories as to why this strange drink became a thing. Some say it’s a hangover killer, others claim this is nothing more than a marketing tool for some beer companies.
All we know is, people in Nebraska love it more than any other place and we don’t see why not. It’s absolutely delicious.
Is This Recipe Healthy?
Alcohol has been listed in the food-you-should-limit section of any diet ever since its creation. Many people still chug down a bottle or two… or more every Friday night though, so we’ll say this cocktail is a healthier option.
So what makes our recipe sort of “healthier”? It’s simple— not using a lot of beer.
The USDA does not encourage drinking, but they do recommend not exceeding certain amounts if you do drink. We went through the guidelines for you and recreated this kind-of-healthy beer and tomato juice recipe.
This recipe contains a healthy amount of vitamin C, thanks to the tomato juice. It is an immune-boosting antioxidant with a powerful range of benefits.
Compared to other cocktails, this beer and tomato juice only yields 60 calories per serving. More than half of the calories come from natural juices and added sugar (yes, the rest is from beer).
Afraid to put on pounds? Try to make drinking an occasional thing. Remember, 16 fl oz (one pint glass of straight beer) already gives 200 calories, what a chicken thigh provides.
1. Tomato Juice
As health enthusiasts, we encourage you to get fruit juices from a juicer instead of bottles or cartons. With many brands claiming their products are organic and all-natural, it’s difficult to tell which is certified and look over what else is added.
To get the juice, simply add quartered tomatoes to a juicer and collect what comes out. It only takes 3 minutes, yet you know for sure it’s 100% pure and natural.
We want our tomato juice clear, so we ran it through a cheesecloth to leave the white-ish sediment behind. It takes only another 2 minutes, but the result is a rewarding clear glass of cocktail.
Any beer would work for red beers, as long as it’s your favorite.
The beer we used for this beer and tomato juice recipe is 5% alcohol. If yours is 7.5% or higher, you might want to use a bit less than what’s called for.
Our beer and tomato juice recipe also includes:
Worcestershire sauce, which is a must-have. It adds a little tanginess and the savory fifth flavor, crucial for a red beer.
Then of course, hot sauce. Spicy cocktails have been a thing for centuries, and they come in an array of flavors.
Next in line are lime juice and sugar, to add a sharper tanginess backed by a sweet undertone.
Last comes celery juice, for flavor and additional vitamins. Now this is optional because you may like a hint of celery aroma or may not; skip it if you want.
As far as we’re concerned, no one wants a reheated cocktail, so it’s a no. But just between us, there is a trick to recreate this beverage in less than 10 minutes.
As soon as you make the juice, divide it into one cup portions and freeze the juice in Ziploc bags.
To make any cocktail, defrost the juice for 5 minutes in the microwave (with the bag removed first). Meanwhile, measure and add other ingredients to a glass so when the juice is ready, you can just mix, add ice, and serve.
Within a month, you can make any tomato cocktail you want, whenever you feel like it.
Cocktails are not to be waited on because they can go flat in just 1 hour. This is the best timeframe to enjoy them, before they lose their characteristics.
But if you have the juices ready and something suddenly comes up, you can’t enjoy it right away, can you?
When this happens, refrigerate the juice mixture (covered with cling wrap) and put the beer bottle cap back on. Doing so allows you to keep the cocktail for up to 24 hours, enough time to get your business resolved, we hope.
Juice 8 oz tomatoes and 3 oz celery if you haven’t already. Place a large piece of cheesecloth onto a sieve over a bowl. Pour the juice into the cheesecloth and collect the clear juice (wring the cloth a little to speed this up).
Add 2 tbsp sugar to the bowl and stir until dissolved. Stir in other ingredients (1 tsp tabasco, 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce,1/2 tsp lime juice).
Top serving glasses halfway with ice and pour in the juice. Make sure to divide the portions evenly among the glasses.
Get your beer and pour a healthy amount into each glass. Plunge stirring spoons in and get ready to enjoy.
Beer and Tomato Juice
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
% Daily Value*
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Vitamin A 257IU
Vitamin C 32mg
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tuyet Pham is an award-winning Saigonese chef who believes that joy is the secret ingredient to delicious food. At Healthy Recipes 101, Tuyet personally tests and simplifies every recipe, ensuring maximum flavor with minimal effort. With a background at prestigious French restaurants P’TI Saigon and Le Corto, Tuyet knows how to make every dish exceptional.
Luna Regina is an accomplished writer and author who dedicates her career to empowering home cooks and making cooking effortless for everyone. She is the founder of HealthyKitchen101.com and HealthyRecipes101.com, where she works with her team to develop easy, nutritious recipes and help aspiring cooks choose the right kitchen appliances.
Lizzie Streit is a Minneapolis-based dietitian and founder of It’s a Veg World After All. She completed her MS in Human Nutrition from Drexel University, and is an expert in culinary nutrition, recipe development, and nutrition communications. Lizzie’s philosophy is centered around making nutrition recommendations, and especially the advice to eat more vegetables, approachable and realistic. She is excited to be working with the team at Healthy Recipes 101 to ensure that their recipes are both nutritious and delicious.