What are the holidays without some kind of celebratory cocktail concoction? And of course, infusing the flavors of Fall into seasonal creations that will make your guests and family think you’ve got a clandestine bartender part-time job.
FALL SANGRIA – 1 LARGE PITCHER
This is a Fall fave. The trick is to acquire the brandies well before hand, as most liquor stores will be out of these particular types, as a lot of holiday drinks utilize these flavors. This sangria will be such a colossal hit, you might have to make 2 pitchers as they’ll be polished quickly. The macerated, drunken fruits are devoured along with the sangria – make this ahead 24-hours prior. I am not a big fan of cinnamon but don’t omit it in the simple syrup; it flavors the sangria beautifully without overpowering the other flavors. I’ve used white for this take, as there’s no written rule you have to utilize red wine.
1 bottle of Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio
1 ½ cups of apple cider
1 apple – cored and sliced thinly
1 pear – cored and sliced thinly
4-5 fresh figs
7 TBSP of Calvados – (apple brandy)
7 TBSP of Pear brandy
¼ cup of Cinnamon simple syrup (recipe below)
3 cinnamon sticks
1 cup of white sugar
½ cup of pomegranate seeds or cranberries (frozen for garnish)
½ orange sliced thinly and then sliced into half moon
Juice of the same orange
Simple syrup: In a small saucepan add 1 cup of water with the cup of sugar. Bring to a boil to dissolve the sugar and remove from the fire. Add the cinnamon sticks, 3 cloves and some orange zest. Cool and refrigerate for at least 48 hours. Strain the syrup.
In a large pitcher, add the chopped fruit and the cinnamon sticks from the syrup. Add the brandies, wine, orange juice, cider and as much of the simple syrup to sweeten to your taste. Refrigerate for at least 24 hours, preferably for 48, to allow the fruit to macerate and the flavors to strengthen.
Serve in glasses rimmed with sugar (optional) with and some mint.
Note: If you are unable to find any Calvados or Pear brandy, you can use regular brandy, however the flavors will be more robust and rounded if you do.
MAPLE MANHATTAN – YIELDS 1 COCKTAIL
Whiskey, sweet vermouth and bitters are the typical contenders that make a Manhattan, with a Maraschino cherry for color. It’s usually stirred and strained into a rock bottom or a martini glass which are the preferred choices. The maple syrup and orange zest makes it a festive Fall cocktail.
½ oz dry vermouth
1 TBSP Maple syrup
2 oz rye (Knob Creek is a good choice or Bourbon can also be used)
2 dashes of Angostura bitters
Large orange zest
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the rye, vermouth, maple syrup and bitters. Shake well and strain into a chilled cocktail glass, with large whiskey ice cube. Garnish with orange zest.
SIDECAR MARTINI – YIELDS 4 MARTINIS
This may have acquired its history deriving from the Ritz Hotel in Paris in the early 20th century, but it’s still a classic and the perfect cocktail for the fall. The use of Limoncello instead of lemon juice in this case adds a very distinct twist to this timeless cocktail.
1 lime wedge
1 lime zested
½ cup sugar
10 oz cognac (Hennessy recommended)
4 oz triple sec (Cointreau recommended)
4 oz sweet and sour mix
4 oz of Limoncello
2 oz fresh lime
Chill 4 martini glasses. In a shallow bowl or a plate combine the sugar and lime zest. In a cocktail shaker add some ice and mix the cognac, Triple sec, sweet and sour mix, Limoncello, lime juice and shake well. Run the lime around the rim each martini glass and dip each glass in the sugar mixture. Strain the martinis into each glass.
The use of peppercorns might sound a trifle unorthodox, but it gives the mulled wine a welcome bite, without being overpowering. Don’t be skeptical, the results with all the other spices will yield the most extraordinary mulled wine you have ever tasted. This is an easy, stellar recipe and one that will grace your recipe holiday coffers, because the demand will become exponential.
½ TBSP black peppercorns
3 whole allspice berries
2 juniper berries
2 cinnamon sticks
3 star anise
2 large strips of orange zest
2 large strips of lemon zest
1 bottle of red wine – such as a Cabernet Sauvignon
¼ cup of honey
¼ cup of brandy
Juice of 1 orange
4 whole cloves
GARNISHES: Cinnamon sticks; orange slices studded with cloves
Combine all ingredients in a large sauce pan bring up the heat slowly and be careful NOT to boil it, as you don’t want to boil off the alcohol. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 1 hour. Serve warm in glass mug with the garnishes.
CRANBERRY CAIPIRINHA – 2 COCKTAILS
This is Brazil’s national drink, made with cachaça (which means firewater in Portuguese) and it’s a spirit distilled from fermented sugar. This version includes cranberries to keep the focus on Fall infused cocktails.
½ fresh or frozen cranberries
1 mime cut into eights
¼ cup of sugar
5 oz of cachaça
Splash of seltzer
Some whole frozen cranberries
Fill a cocktail shaker or a mixer glass with the cranberries, lime and sugar. With a muddler or a pestle muddle the ingredients until the sugar has mixed in with the ingredients and the limes and the cranberries are well mashed together. Add the cachaça, a small splash of seltzer and using a long mixing spoon, mix well. On two rock glasses, take a lime wedge and rub the rim of each glass and in a plate with some sugar, invert the glasses into sugar the rim. Add some ice into each glass, a few frozen cranberries, slices of lime and strain the contents into each glass.
SPICED RUM AND APPLE COCKTAIL – 1 COCKTAIL
Apple cider and spiced rum complement each other so well, it makes for a phenomenal Fall cocktail.
2 oz spiced rum (such Cruzan Aged Dark rum)
3 oz of spiced apple cider
Sliced apples for garnish
1 cinnamon stick
In a medium sized tumbler or glass jar, combine the rum, apple cider and mix together. Add some ice into the serving glasses, add the slices of apple and the cinnamon stick and pour the cocktail over the ice.
FALL APPLE MOSCOW MULES – 1 COCKTAIL
The ingredients called for the typical Moscow mule are vodka, spicy ginger beer and lime juice. However, since this is a Thanksgiving fall celebration and this variation will delight your guests and wonder why it’s so flavorful.
2 oz ginger beer
1 oz vodka
2 oz apple ale
Juice of half lemon
Combine all ingredients in a mixing tumbler and mix with a long spoon. Add some ice to serving glasses, with some apple slices and pour over ice.