The Northwest gave summer a decent go of it, but it’s time to wake up and smell the (pumpkin spiced) coffee. You can fight it, but your tan is going to fade, and eventually, it will be time to ditch the Birks and dust off the rain boots. There is, however, one thing that can stick around: beer, and beer cocktails. Sip your way smoothly into fall with the Dark Night “beertail” from bartender Travers Romann of Seattle’s Elysian Brewing Co.
The beertail’s dark rum base is reminiscent of warmer months, while a topping of Elysian’s Dark Knife pumpkin schwarzbier whisks you straight into pumpkin territory. Why the rum-pumpkin combo? “The spices we use in our pumpkin beers always make me think rum, since tiki drinks share those same elements,” explains Romann, bartender at Elysian’s Tangletown location.
Said spices would be the 90 pounds of pumpkin entrails, cinnamon and ginger used per batch of the schwarzbier. “I love the deep molasses flavor of dark rum, and it creates a really bold drink,” he adds. Romann recommends using rum distilled nearby at Sun Liquor, whose Barrel Aged Sun Rum was is said to be inspired in its creation by a “love for tiki culture.”
Romann’s own admiration for tiki culture developed when he lived in New Orleans, where fall and Halloween are synonymous with rum and street parties in the French Quarter. His favorite way to enjoy the Dark Night is with a slice of pumpkin pie or crème brulee, noting it as “definitely a dessert drink.”
Makes 1 cocktail
1 1/2 ounce Sun Liquor Barrel Aged Sun Rum, or another dark rum
1 1/2 ounces Spiced Coconut Milk*
1/4 ounce lime juice
2 dashes Bittermens Tiki Bitters
3 ounces Elysian Brewing Dark Knife pumpkin schwarzbier
Combine all ingredients except the beer into a mixing glass. Shake vigorously for 10 seconds. Strain into ice-filled Collins or pint glass. Top with the beer.
*For the Spiced Coconut Milk, combine 12 ounces coconut milk, 12 ounces dark sugar, 2 cloves and 1 star anise in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a simmer for 10 minutes. Strain and refrigerate.