Best Fall Cocktails
Pretty soon, fall will be upon us, so it’s probably a good idea to start transitioning your liquor cabinet away from all those summer staples and get it geared up for the oncoming colder months. Here we’ve pulled together a few of our favorite fall cocktails to help you ease into autumn. Enjoy!
Mamani Gin & Tonic
This is a great choice if you’re still clinging to the flavors of summer and want to ease your transition into fall. tomatoes will soon be out of season, as will cucumbers, but peppers are best toward the end of summer and into the early fall. Find some nice fresh jalapeños and a good sprig of cilantro and you’ll knock this one out of the park. Here’s how it’s done:
- 1.5 oz gin (we recommend Aviation or another kind of New Western gin)
- 2-3 fresh jalapeño slices (or, if you prefer, a milder pepper), seeds removed
- 2-3 sprigs cilantro or basil
- 2-3 chunks cucumber
- 1 chunk celery stalk
- 4 oz high-quality tonic water (Fever Tree or Q Tonic)
- 1-2 cherry tomatoes, along with a basil or cilantro leaf, on a pick for garnish
Fill a mason jar, Collins glass, or short tumbler with ice. In between the ice cubes, layer in a slice or two of pepper, a sprig of cilantro or basil, and a cherry tomato. In a cocktail shaker, combine the first five ingredients. Use a muddler or wooden spoon to gently crush the vegetables and herbs. Then add ice and shake well. Strain the gin and pour over ice. Fill the glass with tonic water. Garnish with a cherry tomato and basil or cilantro leaf on a pick.
Mélisse Whiskey Sour
Made with Buffalo Trace bourbon and fresh lemon, the Mélisse Whiskey Sour is a delicate, floral twist on the old classic. If you pull it off correctly, it’s a perfect balance of tart and sweet, with subtle hints of vanilla, and a meringue-like pillow of foam on top.
- 2 oz. Buffalo Trace bourbon
- 1 oz. fresh lemon juice
- ¾ oz. simple syrup
- White of one large egg
- Angostura bitters
Place the Buffalo Trace, lemon juice, simple syrup, and eggwhite in a steel shaker with a big block of ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. The egg qwhites will cause it the mixture to be bubbly and frothy, so give the glass a couple taps to disperse all the bubbles. Once foam gathers on top, garnish with 4 drops Angostura bitters, and then swirl them around in the foam with a toothpick.
This is one of our favorites. Made with a thick oatmeal stout, a good raisiny sherry, and honeyed Benedictine liqueur, it ends up tasting like “breakfast in a glass.” It makes a great brunch drink if you ever get tired of bloody Marys and mimosas, and a sprinkling of sweet, spicy nutmeg gives it a wonderfully autumnal slant. Here’s how it’s made:
- 1 oz. Lustau East India sherry
- .5 oz. Benedictine
- Oatmeal stout (we suggest Lost Coast)
- Grated nutmeg
Stir the sherry and Benedictine together and pour into a pilsner glass. Top it off with the oatmeal stout and garnish with grated nutmeg.
The Mr. Adams
This is another beer-based cocktail, and while the recipe is a bit more labor-intensive and time-consuming, it’s well worth the extra effort. It’s built on Sam Adams’s fruity, yeasty, Infinium brew, and rounded out with a rich black pepper syrup, leaving you with a sweet and spicy cocktail that warms in more ways than one. If you don’t have Infinium on hand, any full-bodied wheat beer will work as a suitable stand-in.
- 4 tbsp. fresh-ground black pepper, separated
- 1 cup sugar
- About 6 oz. Sam Adams Infinium beer
- ½ oz. apple cider
- ¼ oz. fresh lemon juice
- Thin strip of lemon zest, for garnish
First, you’ve got to make the black pepper syrup. Start by Bringing 2 tbsp. black pepper, sugar, and 1 cup water to a boil. Remove from heat and allow mixture to steep for 10 minutes. Strain out solids using cheesecloth and discard. Add remaining 2 tbsp. black pepper to the infused syrup and allow to steep, covered, overnight and up to 24 hours. Strain again and discard solids. The finished syrup should be a rich black in color, with only a few tiny particles of pepper. To make the drink, fill a glass halfway with beer, then, in a cocktail shaker filled with ice, thoroughly shake 1 oz. black pepper syrup, cider, and lemon juice. Strain mixture into the beer. Run the lemon zest around the rim of the glass to release the oils.