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Making Beer Cocktails with Grape-Based Spirit, RAYS Spirit

by Caitlin
RAYS Beer cocktails

RAYS Spirits is a spirit from distilled grapes with real fruit making it a great addition for creating beer cocktails.

This beer cocktails blog post was created in collaboration with RAYS Spirits. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Big World, Small Girl!

I come across a lot of new and interesting drinks in my line of work. And just when I start thinking I’ve seen it all, a new craft beverage comes out that piques my interest.  

That’s the case for RAYS Spirits, a local Austin, Texas spirit distilled from grapes.

rays spirits cocktail recipes

I know what you’re thinking… But no, this stuff is not wine. It’s a 34 proof spirit that “packs a punch”!

RAYS Spirits reached out to me to help pair their line of citrusy spirits with local craft beer. Which is what led to creating this blog post!

I had tons of fun pairing beers with their products. Afterall, my beer fridge was still pretty full from my haul on my Texas Brewery Road Trip. So I had plenty of options to experiment and taste.

Read on to find out what I found pairs best, plus a very special beer cocktail recipe featuring a summertime brunch classic.

What is RAYS Spirits?

Let’s back up and talk about what RAYS actually is, because chances are you’ve never heard of a spirit like this…

RAYS Spirits is distilled from fermented grapes to 21% ABV. Then all-natural fruit is added. The final result is 34 proof. It’s gluten-free, 100% natural with no artificial sweeteners or colors, and lower in calories than many fruit-flavored spirits. Currently, there are three flavors: Lemon, Lime, Blood Orange.

  • RAYS Spirits is an Austin, Texas based company!
  • The final product is 17% ABV and sold in 750ml bottles.
  • If you’re in Texas, you can shop for RAYS in the mixer section at HEBs and Central Markets!

How to Use RAYS Spirits to Make Beer Cocktails

michelada beer cocktail recipe

There are endless ways to enjoy RAYS spirits. You can get really creative with this stuff!

Enjoy it straight on the rocks or with some sparkling water. You even can add a soda like ginger ale or Sprite to sweeten it up. But myself of course, I wanted to mix it with beer cocktails!

RAYS Spirit is a fun substitution for non-alcoholic juice typically used in a shandy. The three flavors that they currently have, Lemon, Lime and Blood Orange, are flavors and notes that you commonly see used in beer.

Note: It’s advised to use three to four ounces of RAYS Spirits for every six to eight ounces of beer in your beer cocktail.

Distilled from grapes with real fresh lemons added, RAYS Lemon is smooth and tangy– and not too sweet.


You’ve got nearly all the options for craft beer cocktails with RAYS Spirits Lemon! Just like with the other citrusy flavors though, you do want to avoid darker and malty beers.

From IPAs to Berliners, lemon is a common flavor note found already in many beer styles. However, when it comes to any food/drink flavor pairings, it’s best not to go overboard on the sourness of citrus.

But what I liked about RAYS Spirits Lemon was it made a great substitution for the usually shandy. I haven’t really ever been a fan of shandys. Mainly, because I always felt like the juice watered down the beer. I was happily surprised that was not the case with RAYS though.

In fact, it only enhanced the bright, fruit and tart flavors of the brews I experimented with. Here are some of the beer styles I liked most in making this lemon shandy-inspired beer cocktail.

  • Wheat beers
  • Hefeweizens
  • Blondes
  • Berliners
  • Pale Ales
  • Pilsners
  • Goses
  • Saisons (*some, not all*)
  • American IPAs
  • New England IPAs
  • Double IPAs

Using real blood oranges, RAYS Blood Orange bursts with juiciness and has just the right amount of tanginess.


In mixing blood orange flavors with beer flavors, it’s best to avoid the more malty, bready styles such as Ambers, Stouts, and Belgians.

I didn’t think the blood orange went with as many IPAs as the RAYS Lemon spirits did. The natural, fresh flavors of blood orange compete too much with the hoppy/bitter/piney flavors of many IPAs, especially the double-hopped and West Coast styles.

That’s not to say RAYS Blood Orange couldn’t be mixed with beer. There are still plenty of style options left! Some of the beer styles I like to use with RAYS Spirits Blood Orange:

  • Wheat Beers
  • Wits
  • Hefeweizens
  • Some sours, especially Goses
  • Pale Ales
  • American IPAs
  • Pilsners

The tart, all-natural flavor of RAYS Lime comes from the addition of real limes.


I’ve saved my personal favorite for last: Lime. I’ve always been a huge lime fan. From key lime pies to one of my favorite classic cocktails: The Daiquiri– I love this flavor.

With Lime, I felt I could start experimenting with more maltier, darker lager styles. For some of those styles, I did use a bit less than the recommended three to four ounces for every six to eight ounces.

But that flexibility to customize your beer cocktail to your taste is what’s awesome about RAYS Spirits!

Something about that delicious fresh lime flavor just felt so right with summer beer cocktails. I really enjoyed pairing this flavor of RAYS Spirits with light, sessionable styles of beer.  Here are some of my top picks:

  • Mexican Lagers
  • Pilsners
  • Amber Ales
  • Pale Ales
  • Wheat Beers
  • Helles Lagers
  • Negra Modelo <3
  • Berliner Weisse (for sour addicts!)

RAYS Spirits Michelada Recipe

I decided to do a bit of experimentation with the Lime flavor of this unique spirits that’s been distilled from grapes. And I’m happy to let you know that the results were so refreshing and absolutely delicious.

Instead of using fresh lime juice found in the typical Michelada recipe, I subbed in the same amount of RAYS Spirit Lime.

Michelada Recipe Beer Cocktail with Lime RAYS Spirit

  1. Rub rim of glass with sliced lime and dip glass is a small, shallow dish to create a chili-lime salt rim
  2. Fill glass with 2 ounces of RAYS Spirits Lime, 2 teaspoons of Tapatío and 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce.
  3. Add a pinch or two of salt before filling glass with ice. Top with beer and stir gently to mix.

What do you think? What beers cocktails would you like to make using RAYS Spirits?

RAYS Spirits is available in HEBs and Central Markets throughout Texas. For more information and details, please visit this website.

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