Captain Chunk Blends Rum, Squash and Pirates at Squeaky Bean

Captain Chunk at the Squeaky Bean 1500 Wynkoop Street 303-625-2665

Captain Chunk ($10) is a boozy, rum-based cocktail on Squeaky Bean's Autumn drink menu. It's no coincidence that the drink shares a name with a character in the 1985 Steven Spielberg movie The Goonies. "We name our drinks after old movies and television shows," says bar manager Minetta Gould. "Right now, the theme of our seasonal cocktail list is The Goonies."

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In the movie, a group of misfit kids stumble upon a map leading to buried pirate treasure. One of the kids is named Chunk. Near the end of the movie, Chunk rallies to save the day, calling himself Captain Chunk.

The movie's pirate theme inspired Gould to look to rum as a base spirit for Captain Chunk. "This was my favorite drink to make," says Gould. "I wanted the whole list to be rum drinks because of the movie -- but you can't do that because not everyone loves rum."

Gould chose Scarlet Ibis, a dark brown blend of aged rums from Trinidad, as the base spirit.

Captain Chunk is not only a pirate-themed drink, it's also got a seasonal flavor profile, which comes from an atypical autumn ingredient -- at least for cocktails: squash. "We boil butternut squash in simple syrup, puree it, and strain out the solids," she says. The liquid that remains becomes a sweet, squash-infused syrup.

"I try to have a very seasonal approach," Gould says about her cocktail menu. The Squeaky Bean runs a farm on a few acres of land in Lakewood and a few beds of herbs in the Highland neighborhood, from which Gould sources some of her ingredients. "We try to use as much from it as possible behind the bar and in the kitchen," she adds.

Mellowing out the potent two ounces of dark rum is a half-ounce of tawny port, a fortified wine aged in oak barrels for at least two years. The time on oak mellows out the Port and gives it a darker color. It gives Captain Chunk a rich, warm flavor, and helps to balance the strength of the rum. "There's a lot of liquor in it," Gould says. "And I meant for it to be that way."

The rum, squash syrup and port are shaken with ice and strained over crushed ice in a metal julep cup. More crushed ice added to create a mound over the top of the cup.

After making her squash syrup, Gould cuts the pulp of the squash in to thin strips, then dehydrates and candies them to make the garnish.

"People have been loving it," she says. "People are a little freaked out by the squash -- they think it's going to taste like squash soup, or something, but it's just a subtle flavor. They are pleasantly surprised."

"And people love eating the candied squash," she adds.

Captain Chunk 2 ounces Scarlet Ibis rum .5 ounce tawny port .5 ounce squash simple syrup

Shake all ingredients over ice. Strain into a julep cup and top with more crushed ice. Garnish with candied squash.

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Kevin Galaba
Contact: Kevin Galaba