Update: We tried making a black and tan again with much more success this time. Learn how to pour the perfect black and tan.

This was supposed to be a tale about how easy it is to make the glorious drink that is the black and tan. But, instead it is a recount of my struggle and ultimate defeat of the classic beer cocktail. You see, on Wednesday afternoon I had the brilliant idea of making myself a black and tan.

A black and tan is equal parts pale ale and stout. The pale ale is poured into a glass first, and the stout is slowly added over the back of a spoon to create a layer of tan and a layer of black. Although I've never made one before, I assumed it would be simple enough. Instead of purchasing Bass, like the recipe recommended, I bought Harps. I tried over and over again and was, each time, unsuccessful. Thus, I turned to the pros. I called up my friend Aaron, one of the owners of 15 Romolo, and he informed me that I had to use Bass or another ale with a specific gravity higher than Guinness.

A trip to the store later and I was ready to try again. Unfortunately, I couldn't get the Guinness to layer even with the Bass, so after wasting six beers, I gave up. If you wish to make the black and tan, best of luck to you; here's the recipe.

Black and Tans

Black and Tans


  1. 6 ounces chilled Bass or other pale ale or lager
  2. 6 ounces chilled canned draft-style Guinness stout


Pour Bass into a 12- to 16-ounce tall glass. Holding a bent spoon right above Bass, slowly pour Guinness over spoon into glass.

Makes 1 drink.

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