It only started to feel like fall here on the Central Coast, but it's already November and perhaps time to shelve the tequila and rum until next summer.
With the holidays coming, I did some research on fall cocktails, hoping to impress guests accustomed to uncorking a bottle of Pinot Noir or bringing a six-back of Jubelale, a magical seasonal beer from Oregon's Deschutes Brewery. (Though, friends, I wouldn't turn down either.)
Autumn-infused cocktails read like a list of girly bath products or the spice aisle at a grocery store, but the drinks also display rich, fresh flavors that are sure to brighten up the darker, colder nights coming our way.
Here are my four favorites:
1. Blackberry Ginger Mojito So maybe you're not quite ready to let go of summer. Take those summer berries (hopefully you froze some blackberries, raspberries or olallieberries) and cook them down into a simple syrup. Standing Stone Brewery in Ashland, OR, shared directions for making the syrup on its blog. This is the brewery's mojito recipe:
Fresh Mint, 3-4 large leaves, chopped
½ Lime, cut into small slices
1 ½ oz. Bacardi Light Rum
½ oz. Canton Ginger Liqueur
Blackberry Simple Syrup
Standing Stone also shared a harvest-y recipe for a Pear Gin Smash made with home-infused pear gin.
2. Apple-Pie Spiced Cider Breathing in the smell of fresh apple juice (or cider—did you know they're the same thing?) might just be the unofficial start of fall. Martha Stewart must know that, because she has this body-warming recipe for cider-and-brandy cider. The best part is her portions are to make it for the whole party, not just one mug.
1 1/4 quarts apple cider
3 tablespoons firmly packed light-brown sugar
7 whole cinnamon sticks, (6 sticks for garnish)
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
Freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 cup Calvados, or other brandy (optional)
3. Holy Basil Vanilla Twist A Southern California restaurant shared this drink with Westwood-Century Cith Patch. (Thanks!) The Grey Goose-based drink blended with vanilla and spice, Thai basil and fresh lime.
2 oz Pumpkin Infused Sobieski Vanilla Vodka
1 oz Bacardi Oakheart
.5 oz St. Elizabeth All Spice Dram
fresh sweet cream topping
Didn't spot your favorite liquor in these recommendations? Huffington Post also has a broad selection of fall cocktail recipes.
And, remember, a flavorful local wine, cold beer or just a glass of Martinelli's Sparking Cider also will warm up a fall get-together.
What are your favorite autumn cocktails? Share a recipe or tip in the comment section below.