Contrary to conventional wisdom in the mid-Atlantic states, you can enjoy a cocktail made from brown spirits when there’s no snow on the ground—even when it’s slightly chilly (to us, at least). These four cocktails are infused with the season’s traditional flavors such as pumpkin spice, cinnamon, apple cider, honey and dark chocolate.
Dark Chocolate Old Fashioned
Created by Cristobal Srokowski, Ron Abuelo Global Brand Ambassador
2 oz. Ron Abuelo Two Oaks
1/3 oz. simple syrup (2:1)
1/3 oz. dark chocolate liqueur
5 dashes Angostura bitters
Preparation: Stir all ingredients in a mixing glass. Pour into a tumbler over ice and garnish with a pink grapefruit peel and cherry.
1 1/2 oz. Old Pulteney 12-Year-Old Single Malt
1/2 oz. Fino Sherry
1 oz. apple cider
1/2 oz. honey syrup (equal parts honey and water dissolved)
Preparation: Shake ingredients very well with ice and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a slice of apple.
2 oz. Speyburn 10-Year-Old Single Malt
1 1/2 oz. pineapple juice
1/2 oz. cinnamon syrup
1 oz. fresh lemon juice
Preparation: Shake ingredients very well with ice and strain over ice into a rocks glass. Garnish with a pineapple slice.
Pumpkin Spice Spritz
Recipe by Walter Pintus, Head of Bars, The Conduit, London
1 1/4 oz. Caorunn Gin
1 1/2 oz. spiced pumpkin shrub*
1 3/4 oz. soda water
5 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
Preparation: Build in a glass over ice. Garnish with pumpkin ash**.
Spiced Pumpkin Shrub:
1 part Caster (or fine, granulated) Sugar
1 part Fresh Pumpkin, strained through a cheese cloth
1 part Apple Cider Vinegar
Cinnamon, to taste
Ginger, to taste
Cloves, to taste
Vanilla, to taste
Preparation: Mix caster sugar, spices and pumpkin and leave it to rest in the fridge for 48 hours. Add the vinegar and blend the ingredients. Fine strain, bottle it, and refrigerate.
**Pumpkin Ash: Spread a layer of the leftover pumpkin pulp (what remains after the pumpkin is strained through cheese cloth) over a baking sheet and bake at max temperature. Once dried and slightly burned, place it into a blender and blitz it until powdered.
Mark Spivak specializes in wine, spirits, food, restaurants and culinary travel. He is the author of several books on distilled spirits and the cocktail culture, as well as three novels. His first novel, Friend of the Devil, has been re-released on Amazon in print, e-book and audio book formats.