The Hop Betty at Alewife.

The Hop Betty at Alewife. (Barbara Haddock Taylor/Baltimore Sun / March 29, 2012)

Picture a curvy-but-cute, sassy-yet-sweet lass with a passion for beer. She is buxom, bawdy, smooth-bodied and straight up. Is she every man's fantasy? Pretty close.

She's the image that developed in my mind when when I tried Alewife's signature beer cocktail, the Hop Betty.

A beer … cocktail? Talk about a dream come true. Don't question it; just trust general manager and co-owner Bryan Palombo and his team on this one. After all, this is revolutionary stuff here. Palombo takes pride in claiming that his cocktail is the first hops-infused drink in the city.

Sloop Betty Vodka is infused in house with Citra hops, creating a tropical, herbal taste — picture a subtle take on juniper-based gin. Grapefruit juice plays up the citrus flavor, while simple syrup and a dash of the potent Luxardo maraschino liqueur help to sweeten the tart taste. Alone, these ingredients are already a knockout for any palate. But this is Alewife, a beer bar at heart, so they don't stop there.

The beer is the Stillwater Stateside Saison, an IPA that's medium-bodied and honey-colored, a touch lemony and earthy. When it's added to the fruity ingredients, the finished cocktail becomes sugar and spice and everything nice.

An added plus? The Hop Betty is truly a local girl about town. Sloop Betty Vodka is made by Blackwater Distilling in Stevensville, while the Stateside Saison is from Stillwater Artisanal Ales in Baltimore.

What you get is exotic yet approachable, refreshing yet intense. Sounds like the perfect girl to get into trouble with.

How to make a Hop Betty

2 parts Citra hops-infused vodka (Sloop Betty preferred)

1 part grapefruit juice

1 part simple syrup

Luxardo liqueur

Stillwater Stateside Saison

Mix vodka, grapefruit and simple syrup; top with Saison. Serve up (no ice); garnish with Luxardo cherries if desired.

Where to get a Hop Betty

Alewife

21 N. Eutaw St., Downtown

410-545-5112

alewifebaltimore.com

$8.50