I was walking around downtown near my office a while back when I noticed a bar offering pumpkin pie shots. Now, I’m not normally a shots type of gal, but I had to give that one considerable thought. Pumpkin pie in liquid form? Yes please! I ultimately decided to forego that particular temptatation, not because my taste buds were insufficiently intrigued, but because it was about 9:30 a.m. and thus too early for a liquid lunch. Especially on a weekday. But it did get me thinking: Where can I get some seasonal drink action near home?
Well, it turns out Wallingford is a veritable jackpot of seasonal suds, which is great news for those struggling to cope with holiday creep. Yes, I’m looking at you, Costco, for trying to make me buy Christmas ornaments in early October. Also good news for anyone hosting the annual family drama known as Thanksgiving. (I kid, I love Thanksgiving.)
So without further ado, your Wallingford seasonal drink menu:
- Blue Star Cafe and Pub (4512 Stone Way N) has Elysian Pumpkin Ale and Ninkasi’s Sleigher Christmas Ale on tap. They’ve also added some Fall Specials to the menu, including a Hot Toddy, Hot Brick Coffee and a really delicious sounding Autumn Refresher Cocktail. Hey, here’s a thought: Try one at the Wallyhood Meetup tonight!
- Babalu (1723 N 45th St) tells me they’re offering cotton candy martinis with real cotton candy. I don’t know how exactly that works, but I want to find out.
- At Murphy’s Pub (1928 N 45th St) you can find Deschutes’ Jubelale, Lazy Boy’s Mistletoe Bliss and Sierra Nevada’s Celebration Ale. The bar is also featuring a Hot Pumpkin Brandy, though if you fancy another fall-inspired mixed drink, the barkeep says just ask.
- Iron Bull (2121 N 45th St) is currently sporting Odin’s Smoky Bacon Ale, which, apparently, is especially popular among the ladies. (Taking notes for date night, gentlemen?) Additionally, the staff has concocted a spiced apple cider shot, which they’ll mix up for you on request.
- Seamonster Lounge (2202 N 45th St) is serving up what they call Pirate Coffee. I don’t want to give away the whole recipe, but suffice it to say you’ll get enough sugar and spice to get on Santa’s nice list.
- The Grizzled Wizard (2317 N 45th St) has some of the most interesting sounding concoctions, and honestly I don’t think I can do them justice here. They’re calling one of them “Shrubzerac” – a blueberry shrub-infused sazerac. An eggnog and cinnamon-inspired drink is also in the works, though the barkeep is still noodling whether he can successfully introduce an apple flavor into the mix. The Wiz will also be serving Maritime’s Jolly Roger Christmas Ale once it becomes available on tap.
For those who want to take the party home, Bottleworks of course has a vast selection of seasonal beers, from both local breweries and national brands. I asked Robert, one of the beer gurus over there, to give me some of his top local picks: Scuttlebutt’s 10o Below Ale, Hub’s Abominable Winter Ale, Snoqualmie’s Avalanche Winter Ale, Diamond Knot’s Ho! Ho! Winter Ale and Port Townsend’s Winter Ale. Why, that’s a different flavor for every weeknight!
Here’s where I admit that my research methods may have been less than complete, consisting primarily of me wandering in and out of random watering holes as I strolled home from my bus stop. (And yes, you SHOULD be jealous that there are so many bars on my way home from work.)
But, ’tis the season for sharing after all, so I say we turn this into a crowdsourcing exercise. Who else should be on this list? And… who’s gonna make me a pumpkin pie shot?