As if on cue, this past weekend we saw a refreshing drop in temperatures after a bit of much needed rain, gracefully welcoming in the start of fall. And, with slightly cooler temperatures palates shift to sipping slightly richer cocktails filled with warming spices and autumn flavors. Here are a few cocktail suggestions to get you in the mood to welcome the fall season. A few spirit selections were sent for editorial consideration.
I had a chance to try a few new tequilas recently from Tarantula, Tarantula 100 Plata Silver Tequila and Tarantula Reposado 100 Tequila, both made from 100% blue agave and both an impressive 100 proof. When we think tequila in Texas our mind immediately ventures to our most beloved tequila drink, the classic margarita, often frozen, not the ideal warming cocktail to welcome fall. However, good tequila can easily be sipped on its own, which this potent, oak barrel aged Reposado is ideal for, or mixed into savory or sweet cocktails like a Mexican Martini or kicked up Mexican coffee.
2 oz. Tarantula 100 Plata tequila
2 Lime wedges (squeezed)
0.5 oz. Spicy olive juice
Directions: Shake all ingredients with ice and serve in a martini glass. Garnish with olives.
Mexican Iced Coffee
0.5 oz. Chocolate Syrup
2 dashes of Cinnamon
1.5 oz. Tarantula 100 Reposado Tequila
1 oz. Sweet cream
1 dash of nutmeg
Directions: Add chocolate syrup and cinnamon to glass, top with ice. Pour Tarantula 100 Reposado Tequila and sweet cream into a shaker with ice. Shake and strain. Add whip cream, espresso beans, and a dash of nutmeg.
Not a tequila lover, how about gin. Nolet’s Silver Dry Gin blends a combination of herbs and botanicals that are not the norm for gin. Instead of the traditional pronounced flavors of juniper, Nolet’s adds rose, peach and raspberry, creating a fruit and flower filled gin that melds perfectly with it much loved partner tonic, or with a variety of fruit and citrus juices, like in this cocktail from Mixoligist Theo Lieberman of Milk & Honey in New York that tastes like fall in a glass. I substituted lavender honey for regular, adding an extra hint of floral notes to the combinations….incredible.
2 oz. NOLET’S Silver Dry Gin
1 oz. Fresh Apple Juice
.5 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
.5 oz. Honey
Directions: Shake all ingredients, strain over fresh ice in a rocks glass. Garnish with apple slice.
I am a huge fan of ginger, often adding Domaine de Canton Ginger Liqueur to anything from my hot tea at night to a glass of Prosecco or Champagne any time of day. I recently had a chance to try a new ginger vodka though that is perfect for cocktails. Skyy Vodka has created an extensive line of infused vodkas, including their Moscato, introduced earlier this year, Pineapple, Passion Fruit and Blood Orange, each delicious sipped simply with a splash of club soda and a lime. The Skyy Ginger Infusion feels like fall though, with warm spice elevating the clean vodka taste, especially with the addition of fresh lemon juice and a dash of agave or simple syrup in this Ginger Lemon Drop.
Ginger Lemon Drop
2 parts Skyy Ginger Infusion Vodka
1 part fresh lemon juice
.5 part simple syrup or agave
Lemon twist for garnish
Directions: Add all ingredients to an ice filled shaker and shake until cold and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a twist of lemon.
The national spirit of Peru continues to gain popularity in America with Mixologists around the country creating inventive cocktails with Pisco. This spicy one adds heat to the sweetness of the grape based spirit with an earthy herbal note from the rosemary.
1-1/2 parts Portón Pisco
1 part Lime Juice
1 Sprig Rosemary
2 Sliced Jalapeños
3/4 parts Agave Nectar
Directions: Muddle one jalapeno, rosemary and agave, add lime juice and Portón and shake well. Strain over ice in rocks glass and garnish with one jalapeno and rosemary.
Pink Pigeon Rum hails from the island of Mauritius with idyllic temperatures year round, yet their vanilla, orange peel and orchid infused, sugar cane based rum is a surprisingly warming spirit, perfect for fall, when mixed with fresh cream and baking spices, or a distinct aperitif when mixed with bitter Italian Aperol.
Flip the Brid
Created By Kate Grutman
1 egg yolk
¾ ounce simple syrup
½ oz Punt e Mes Red Vermouth
1 ½ oz Pink Pigeon
Directions: Shake without ice, to whip and emulsify ingredients until frothy. Add ice to shaker and shake vigorously. Strain into port glass or small fluted glass. Garnish with shaved cinnamon or nutmeg
The Pigeon Aperitivo
Created By Ryan Chetiyawardana
2 parts Pink Pigeon Rum
1 part Aperol
1 part Red Vermouth
2 dash Peychaud Bitters
Directions: Stir over cubed ice, double strain into small chilled martini glass, garnish with black olive on a pick.
Scotch may just be one of the most warming spirits to enjoy, especially a well aged single malt from Speyside or the Islands filled with baking spice notes of nutmeg and clove, mixed with dried oranges and smoky oak, or earthy, peat filled scotch from Islay. I prefer those from Speyside, like those from Macallan or the Islands, like Highland Park, the northern most distillery in Scotland on the island of Orkney. Highland Park 15 year aged single malt is rich and robust with flavors of spice, smoke and dried fruit, balancing refined elegance and finesse with bold flavor.