As if the original 1990 ABC miniseries wasn’t scary enough, Stephen King’s cult book “IT” has been adapted for the big screen, freaking viewers out since it released last month. A fan of the film, Outlier bartender John Walter created his “Georgie” cocktail for the young, trustful boy of the same name that is dragged into the sewers by the villainous clown Pennywise in the opening scene of the movie.
“I wanted a fun, simple rum cocktail that packs a punch to pay homage to the innocent yet visceral fear that ‘IT’ inspires in people who came of age during its time,” the Seattle bartender says. “We’re all a bit like Georgie, just trying to make the best of a stormy day and meet new people.”
The cocktail, which mixes the spiced rum from Seattle-based 3 Howls Distillery with tropical juices and a float of Caribbean black strap rum in this crowd-sized punch recipe, continues to pay tribute to the movie with its red lollipop garnish meant to mirror the red balloon carried by Pennywise. “Rum and juice cocktails are always fun, young and happy,” Walter explains. “You’d think a balloon would evoke a similar feeling, but instead – in this context – it’s a sense of fear, and I wanted to play off that with the garnish. Pennywise can bring out the sinister side of a single red balloon.”
For Walter, the 3 Howls spiced rum supplies the right amount of baking spice and mouthfeel to the drink, without the cloying sweetness that can come from other rums. He also recommends pairing the cocktail with the ZOTZ hard candies, providing “a lot of flavor to stack up to the tropical flavors in this drink,” he says. “Once you get past the hard candy threshold, ZOTZ just let loose with ebullience.”
So what is Walters going to be for Halloween when he is serving this punch? “The CW11 channel pumpkin guy that has a full body black leotard and pumpkin mask that dances to Ray Parker Jr.,” he says. As one does.
By Bartender John Walter of Outlier
1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) 3 Howls Spiced rum
1 cup (8 ounces) orange juice
1 cup (8 ounces) pineapple juice
1/2 cup (4 ounces) blackstrap rum
Garnish: shaved nutmeg, 8 red lollipops
Combine the spiced rum and juices in large vessel. Portion out individual servings over crushed ice and float 1/2 ounce of black strap rum on each drink. Garnish with shaved nutmeg and a red lollipop “balloon.”