Summer’s over. Hope you’re past the first step of the grieving process. We definitely all have that friend or coworker who would read the first sentence and chime in that “actually summer isn’t over until the September Solstice.” Ok, cool your jets, Carol from Accounting, no one cares about your pagan holiday.
Summer’s gone, folks. So, what are we going to do now? Well, to celebrate the arrival of fall, let’s expand our horizons a bit and cover a topic that’s been woefully absent from past blog posts: Booze! While no non-alcoholic drink is likely to dethrone the Pumpkin Spice Latté from its reign of total seasonal dominance, a boozier avenue not only opens us up to more complex and nuanced fall flavors, we’ll have a little bit more fun with them too!
Today, we’ll be sharing three of our favorite fall cocktail recipes and instructions on preparing each of them. Remember this above all else, DO NOT FORGET THE GARNISH!!! Sometimes all you need to take your drink game from good to great is a little visual flair. Follow these tips and you’ll be on the leaf-covered road to becoming a master mixologist in no time at all.
Apple Cider Old-Fashioned
Surely a drink that needs no introduction, the Apple Cider Old-Fashioned is the perfect twist on a tried-and-true cocktail to usher in the coming of fall. We all know that fall is the only time of year we can justify dropping half a paycheck on a gallon of apple cider. So, if we’re taking out a fourth mortgage to afford it, we’d better use it to its full potential, right? This cocktail recipe comes from sweetphi.com so be sure to show them some love after you try this one out. As long as you’ve got some sugar, bitters, cider, your favorite bourbon, ice, and a few apples, you are good to go.
Grab a glass and stir in 2 dashes of bitters with a 1/2 tsp. of sugar until the sugar dissolves. Pour in 4 oz. of your cider and 3 oz. of the bourbon, add the ice cubes, and stir to combine. Now, grab one of those apples and slice it up for the garnish so you can dress up the glass a little bit. Hook ’em on the rim of the glass, slice ’em real thin and stick a toothpick through ’em, or just drop ’em in for a splash of color. Whatever you want, you’ve got yourself a universally respected cocktail , dressed up with the flavors of autumn.
An ambiguously titled creation to be sure, but this is a Martha Stewart original so we’re giving her the benefit of the doubt on this one. For the FSC, as it will from this point be referred, you will need some applejack, rye whiskey, maple syrup, orange bitters, champagne, and orange rind for the garnish. We know, we’re salivating too.
You’ll need a cocktail shaker to make the FSC, so if you don’t have one, sorry, this is the end of the road for you (just kidding). If you don’t own a cocktail shaker, you can just as easily make one. Grab two glasses of varying circumference and invert them to seal in the liquid. Then at the end, post-shake, just crack the seal and empty into a martini glass. Now, if all of your glasses are exactly the same, first of all, why? But, a travel mug can be used in a pinch.
To make the FSC, simply combine 1 1/2 oz. of applejack, 1 1/2 oz. rye whiskey, 1 tbl. of maple syrup (emphasis on “maple”), a few dashes of orange bitters, and 2 oz. of champagne. Add the ice, shake it up, strain into a 6 oz. martini glass and slice off some of the orange rind so you can twist it up and garnish. Boom. Instant fall showstopper.
Vanilla Vodka Chai
It’s really a shame that pumpkin spice has such a stranglehold on the number one spot where fall flavors are concerned because chai is truly the season’s unsung hero. Having played second fiddle for years, we would argue that chai is the superior option. It’s warm, comforting, but packs a little extra punch that hits your throat in a more soothing way than the sugar bomb so characteristic of a PSL (again, Pumpkin Spice Latté, to the uninitiated).
From mylifeasamrs.com, the Vanilla Vodka Chai, pictured above as the featured image, is a drink that comforts and refreshes. It’s perfect for this transitional time as the leaves start to change and the days become shorter. This one starts with brewing some Chai Tea, so steep 4 tea bags in 3 cups of water. This will get you approximately four drinks. You’ll need your shaker for this one too, be it a true shaker or your DIY-in-a-pinch creation.
Each will require 6 oz. of the strong Chai Tea, 2 oz. of vanilla vodka, 3/4 oz. of amaretto liqueur, 1/2 oz. of simple sugar, and a 1/2 oz. of half ‘n half. Combine the ingredients into the shaker with some ice and empty the liquid into a tall glass with some fresh ice. Now to finish it off and make it nice and social media friendly, again, hit it with the garnish and place a cinnamon stick or two into the glass.
Seasonal drinks are underrated, in our opinion, and there are many many more out there that we didn’t have time to share, today. But, to be sure, these three should provide our dear readers with a rock-solid foundation for the coming of fall. Remember, while it’s natural to lament the passing of summer, hello’s and good-bye’s are made all the sweeter with a drink in your hand.