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A recent foray to a new bar in town left me with a huge realization: a well-prepared drink has the power to really set a mood. So, as the leaves begin to fall and the temperatures slowly-yet-steadily drop, I’ve gotten into the bartender game. Whether you’re looking for a little buzz or enjoying a sober-curious autumn, shake up your evening routine with one of my new favorite fall sips.
Nightmare in Florence
- ¾ oz Martini & Rossi Fiero
- ¾ oz AMASS Dry Gin or Bombay Sapphire Gin
- ¼ oz Martini & Rossi Riserva Speciale Bitter
- ¾ oz cold brew coffee
- Orange peel
If you came to my house and said you wanted “an espresso martini, but make it fall,” this is the drink I’d make for you. It’s easy to make: combine the above ingredients and top it with an orange peel garnish in a coupe glass. The combination of the Martini & Rossi Fiero vermouth and the bitters creates a really fun-tasting profile that starts sweet and has an elevated bitter finish. Plus, the cold brew keeps you going throughout the night, and the liquor… well, you know what that does.
- 1 ½ oz apple cider
- 1 oz Better Booch Ginger Boost kombucha
- ¼ oz ginger juice
Anything recipe with kombucha immediately has my attention – what could be better than a cocktail that improves my gut health? To boot, this version is totally non-alcoholic. Simply combine the apple cider, some Better Booch Ginger Boost kombucha, and freshly pressed ginger juice and put it over ice in a rocks glass. For extra credit, top it with an apple slice and a bit of nutmeg.
- 2 oz Ritual Zero Proof Whiskey Alternative or your favorite bourbon
- ¼ oz sweet vermouth
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- A few dashes of bitters
- Cherry for topping
There was a time in my life when I thought bourbon was absolutely vile… then I went on the Bourbon Trail in Kentucky. Magically, through many-a-Manhattan, I fell in love with the complexity of bourbon and its depth of flavors. Manhattans, or “non-hattans,” are easy to make; simply combine the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice and strain into a coupe glass.
Apple Cider Martini
- 2 oz apple cider
- 1 ½ oz NEFT Vodka
- ½ oz triple sec
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- 1 pinch cinnamon
- Apple slices
- Cinnamon sticks
For the die-hard martini lovers, I present: the Apple Cider Martini. Combine the ingredients in a shaker over ice and strain it into a martini glass. Top it with apple slices or cinnamon sticks to add to the aesthetic. One of my favorite vodkas is NEFT, which comes in a gorgeously simple barrel. NEFT’s barrel keeps the vodka cold for up to 6 hours, so it’s the perfect companion for cocktails on the go.
- 1 ½ oz cold Unsweetened Rose Earl Grey Tea Drops tea or lapsang souchong tea
- 1 ½ oz lemon juice
- 1 tsp marmalade
- ½ tsp honey
- Sliced dried orange
Another fun N/A cocktail to try is the Sidecar, which is made by combining cold tea, lemon juice, and marmalade into a cocktail shaker (it’s similar to a whiskey sour). Once this is broken down a bit, you can stir in the honey and add ice to the shaker. Shake it well and then strain twice into a coupe glass. I’d recommend using Unsweetened Rose Earl Grey Tea Drops, which will easily dissolve and create the cold tea you need for the recipe.
- 1 oz Martini & Rossi Riserva Speciale Ambrato
- 1 oz sparkling apple cider – or more to taste
- 1 oz Martini & Rossi Riserva Speciale Bitter
I thought spritz season was over when the warm weather left us. Then I found this recipe. Even better, it’s another easy cocktail to make. The Ambrato is surprisingly full of flavor and gives me strong floral and honey notes to compliment the bitters. For those expecting a bit of a lighter spritz, I’d recommend channeling your inner bartender and upping your cider to balance the bitters. If apple cider doesn’t get you feeling all of the fall feels, I’m not sure what will!
Whether you’re into bourbon, gin, vodka, or aperitifs, there is certainly a fall-inspired cocktail for you to make and enjoy at home. If you’re too cozy in your favorite sweater watching football to go to the liquor store, there are many brands that will send the booze (or alternatives!) right to your door – what a world. Happy bartending!