Just like that, summer has left us. Good by beach days, cookouts, and warm weather cocktails. Fall is here. Growing up in New England, the changing of seasons has always impacted me greatly. The excitement of new weather, different clothes, and outdoor activities. But most importantly is the seasonality of flavors. Fall brings such wonderfully vibrant flavors that only make sense, in the fall. While I love cooking seasonally, there is also something welcoming about drinking seasonally. The festive nature of cocktails that are created just for the season in which they exist. So pull on your boots and find your favorite wool sweater. Here, I present to you a couple of my favorite fall cocktails complete with garnish. Cin Cin!
I love the Aperol Spritz but I cannot get myself to drink it in non summer weather. However, its darker, more mysterious cousin is a must try. Simply substitute Amaro for the Aperol (or Campari depending upon your allegiance). Instead of an orange slice, take just the peel of the orange and twist over the drink to allow the oils to release before dropping into the glass. Enjoy!
My mother very much enjoyed a Cosmopolitan during the holiday season, as do I. However I am not a huge fan of cranberry juice as I find it lends a watered down version of distinct tart flavor. Instead I create a cranberry simple syrup to use instead of cranberry juice. The best part is while you are making the simple syrup, you are making the garnish. Simply take the cranberries out of the finished simple syrup and sprinkle with sugar. Once dry, skewer cranberries with lime peel to perfectly garnish this classic.
The One and Only Manhattan
The classic Manhattan. Period. Pro tip: Splurge on your cherries. The fire engine red maraschino cherries that top your ice cream sundae have no place here.
Pumpkin Spice Latteini
On to warm beverages…Although slightly more complicated this is well worth your time and effort. Pick your milk (dairy or non dairy). Warm it up on the stove with two tablespoons of pumpkin puree, one tablespoon of sugar, a dash of cinnamon, and nutmeg. Bring to a boil. In a heat safe mug, pour 1 oz. of espresso or strong coffee, 2 oz. of your favorite Irish cream, and 1 oz. of vodka. Top with pumpkin-milk mixture. Add whipped cream and finish with a cinnamon stick. It’s decadently warming
Mulling spices signify the beginning of the holiday seasons. While I am not a fan of seeing Christmas decorations up at the same time as Halloween decorations, I do believe that utilizing mulling spices earlier in the fall is appropriate. There is something about these smells that creates a happy atmosphere, whether in a cocktail or not. Enter mulled wine – a crockpot is a beautiful tool to utilize here, but the stove top will do just fine. Denser wines that are higher in alcohol are best here, but to each their own. Mulled wine recipes are completely customizable which makes them very personal. Star Anise is definitely my garnish of choice here.
What are some of your favorite fall inspired cocktails or mocktails? Please share in the comments below!