Mott & Mulberry
Leo Robitschek of The Nomad Bar in NYC uses fresh apple cider and maple syrup in his perfect cold-weather cocktail.
Autumn Fruit-Infused Bourbon
Don’t throw away fruit scraps like juiced citrus and the cores of apples and pears; instead, use them to make this aromatic infused bourbon.
Blood Orange-Rosemary Fizz
Designer and blogger Athena Calderone fell in love with Aperol in Sicily. “It’s like the national anthem there,” she says. The aperitif is made with bitter orange and rhubarb, among other ingredients. Its citrusy flavor is delicious with rosemary.
“Our Founding Fathers were drinking whiskey and rum flips served in taverns,” says bartender Pamela Wiznitzer. For this flip (a sweetened cocktail made with a whole raw egg and spice), she adds sweet sherry, balsamic vinegar and chocolaty mole bitters.
Jay Schroeder created this beer-and-tequila cocktail for Frontera Grill in Chicago. He sweetens it with a syrup made from panela, a dark, molasses-y Latin American sugar (known as piloncillo in Mexico). Schroeder spices the syrup with cloves and ginger—“flavors that remind me of baking with my mother at Christmastime,” he says.
Mixologist Ryan Fitzgerald felt inspired to create this spicy fall cocktail after eating apples with peanut butter—a combination he loves but that wouldn't quite work in a drink. His solution was to mix almond syrup (available at most coffee shops) with apple juice and fiery apple brandy.
Hard Cider Sangria
Instead of wine, this juicy sangria is made with hard cider spiked with lemon juice and apple brandy.
This cocktail is a delicious blend of fig-infused vodka, Earl Grey tea and fresh tangerine juice.
Ginger's Lost Island
Bryan Dayton’s mixture of cardamom, cinnamon, ginger liqueur and smoky mezcal evokes everything from Mexican food to the flavors of Asia and India.
Root is a relatively new liqueur. Distilled from sugarcane, it’s flavored with birch bark, smoked black tea, citrus peels, cloves and other spices. Francis Schott combines it with a cinnamon-infused simple syrup to create a replacement for coffee liqueur in a White Russian. The result tastes like a spiked root beer float.
Chef Linton Hopkins named this Calvados-based twist on a sidecar after the Citroën 2CV, known informally as a Deux Chevaux.
When Jackson Cannon was growing up in Virginia, he would suck the nectar out of the honeysuckle flowers that grew on the long fence across from his house. This sparkling, pear-scented cocktail reminds him of that time. Leftover spiced syrup can be stirred into tea or lemonade or poured over fresh fruit.
At the time she was preparing her bar menu, mixologist Molly Finnegan felt under the weather and uninspired. After a 2 a.m. brainstorming session, this sensational hot toddy improved both her cold and her drink list.
Pomme en Croute
At Arnaud’s French 75 Bar in New Orleans, Chris Hannah makes this apple-accented riff on the Brandy Crusta using Calvados instead of the classic’s Cognac.
Mixologist Hidetsugo Ueno uses the exquisite French Dolin rouge vermouth in his Negronis, but you may want to experiment with different sweet vermouths—Martini & Rossi, Cinzano, Carpano Antica Formula—or try a bittersweet one like Punt e Mes.
Mixologist Suzanne Bozarth sweetens this winter whiskey sour with cassis to give it a pink blush.
Pear of Desire
When naming this pear-flavored cocktail, Todd Thrasher turned to a French quote on Restaurant Eve’s dining room wall. It roughly translates as: “The savage man eats out of necessity; the civilized man eats out of desire.”
Old Irish Cure
According to the Irish-born Sean Muldoon, Irish people often drink whiskey mixed with ginger, honey and lemon to treat colds. This is a version of that potion. “With a bit of hot water,” he says, “it becomes a terrific toddy.”
One of Anthony Schmidt’s favorite drinks is the Monaco Friar. “I love how the honey and herbal qualities of the Bénédictine pair with a fine Scotch,” he says. “It’s a perfect drink during the colder months.”
To give this tequila smash an autumnal feel, bar manager Devlin DeVore adds apple juice (“apple” is manzana in Spanish) and cinnamon.
Chef Tim Love says this variation on an old-fashioned is just the kind of cocktail he likes while sitting around the fire at his ranch after a day of hunting. He prefers making it with Crown Royal, “the unofficial whisky of Texas,” he says. The black lime powder he uses in the syrup is sour and citrusy, with a subtle fermented flavor.
Francesco Lafranconi teaches mixology seminars on amari, bitter Italian digestive liqueurs. (There are scores of amari, mostly made from secret combinations of herbs and spices.) He chose Amaro Abano for this drink because its cardamom flavor goes so nicely with the rich, nutty cream sherry.
Mixing beer like the apple lambic here into a cocktail may sound like a new trick, but old cocktail books are filled with beer concoctions. Lambics are Belgian beers that are fermented with wild yeasts.
Bittersweet, artichoke-flavored Cynar and citrus bitters stand in for the Aperol in this light, dry cocktail, with rosé Vermouth adding a spicy, floral accent.
“I just love pomegranates,” says chef Govind Armstrong, who uses the tart fruit in everything from salads to sauces. “Last winter, so many farmers brought me pomegranates that I had to think of something else to do with them. So I came up with this cocktail.”
This updated version of a Stone Wall mixes rum with ginger beer and apple cider for a refreshing cocktail.
Hot Mulled Cider
Ken Oringer preheats the Thermos he uses to transport his deliciously spiced cider by filling it with boiling water and letting it sit for a few minutes. Pouring the mulled cider into a Thermos that's already warm helps keep the drink hot.
Fall flavors are created with the combination of tart cranberries, earthy bitters, and Aperol.