The Blackbeard

Guest post by Sean Lorre, PhoBlograpHusband.

Hello Readers! It's been quite a while since I last guest posted. As a matter of fact exactly four months, or in other words one semester of grad school. To my dismay, my writing and research of late has more to do with the Blues Brothers, Randy Weston and Fred Astaire than bars and cocktails. OK, it's not such a bad gig, but I did miss the rigorous mixological testing required to write a post!

Today I bring you the Blackbeard, a cocktail I've only found in one bar, once, more than fifteen years ago. Picture it if you will: My 21-year-old self, along with a certain friend I will only identify by his initials (TMO) are whiling the Spring 1997 semester away in London as part of the Syracuse University International Live Abroad and Pretend to Study Program. Spring break comes and we're off to Edinburgh, Scotland to meet up with my friend Andy, a true Scotsman -- gregarious, burly (former national U-19 rugby player), and generous to a fault -- who I met while working as a camp counselor the year before.

After a long evening of carousing and paradin' about the city, Andy suggests that we drive out to his hometown of Musselburgh for a nightcap at his local pub. TMO and I have never passed up a free drink in our lives, so we consent to the 10km trek in search of the perfect end to the evening. And found it we did! It was on this night that I was introduced to the Blackbeard, perhaps the most perfect last drink I've ever had.

The Blackbeard

1 1/2 ounces Kraken Black Spiced Rum

5 ounces homemade cola

about 2 ounces Guinness Stout

Mix Kraken and cola in a Imperial half-pint glass (or whatever 10 ounce-ish glass you happen to have on hand), top with Guinness (from a tap if you can, if not the draft cans/bottles will do fine).

Tasting notes

The original Blackbeard calls for Captain Morgan, Coke and Guinness, but we just couldn't resist trying a few substitutions. We found the Kraken added a depth to the flavor that the Capt. couldn't muster (while keeping the pirate theme in place) and the homemade cola... well, that stuff makes everything better!

So just why is this fairly odd-sounding, Frankencocktail a great way to end a night of drinking? Why have I been bugging bartenders for years to recreate this for me? I've never really been able to really pick apart just what it is... I think perhaps it has just the right mix of creamy texture (from the Guinness), sweetness (from the Coke) and kick (from the rum) that has something to do with it. What I do know is, that when made right, the Blackbeard leaves you with a warm, content, time-to-take-the-last-train-home feeling.

4 Comments
Print Friendly and PDF

The Samurai

In case you were wondering, I drink wine and beer, too. I drink wine because you've gotta drink something with dinner and because my husband likes buying Groupons for various wine delivery services which keeps us well stocked in vino. I drink beer because one thing liquor won't ever be is hoppy, and because I know a guy who works at Avery Brewing Company in Boulder, Colorado, who has hooked me up with some of the best beers of my life.

When I say I know a guy, I am talking about Andy Parker, one of my husband's best friends and a brewer at Avery. When I say hooked me up, I mean that when Sean and I are in Boulder (twice in the past year, very lucky us!) Andy basically gives us free rein to sample our way through Avery's tasting-room taps, plus the barrels in the back that haven't even been brought out yet. And when I say the best beers of my life, I'm specifically referencing a coffee-infused beer and a guava-infused beer that had my eyes rolling into the back of my head and that, to my recollection, never made it out of Avery's tasting room, as demand in that room alone outpaced the brewery's production.

Beer cocktails have become quite the thing lately, and Sean had been encouraging me for a while to try coming up with one. Gah. I wasn't sure how to do this. I just wasn't sure how to establish a sort of flavor-profile link, a note in common between hops and hooch. That was, I wasn't sure until Andy introduced us to Samael's Oak-Aged Ale. Oak! Now we speaky my language.

Simply introduce an oak-aged ale to an American whiskey (which is always aged in charred oak) and I'm in business. Pick a cocktail recipe I'm well-familiar with (the Manhattan, obvs) to use as my jumping-off point and I'm golden.

Samael's actually isn't very hoppy at all -- as the folks at Avery describe it on their site, it's "super-caramelly" -- so to play against that sweetness I picked a rye whiskey instead of a bourbon. (Yes, Maker's Mark is also widely considered quite "caramelly," but I felt that combining those two would either result in a way-too-sweet cocktail, or one that winds up tasting too one-dimensional, or both.)

If I make it to Boulder again this summer, I'll report back with a confiscated-guava-beer cocktail.

The Samurai

2 ounces Michter's U.S. 1 Single Barrel Straight Rye Whiskey

1 ounce Samael's Oak-Aged Ale

1/2 ounce Dubonnet

3 or 4 dashes Angostura Bitters

Combine all ingredients into an ice-filled shaker. Shake vigorously and strain into cocktail glass.

1 Comment
Print Friendly and PDF