Here are five fall-inspired cocktails recipes to break you out of your summer rut.
Spice it up!
What could be better on a fall day than a Dark and Stormy fall cocktail with spiced rum?
The classic Dark and Stormy is a 2:3 ratio of rum to ginger beer, in a tall glass over ice with a lime squeeze. To spice it up, trade out your rum for one of the spiced varieties like Kraken Black Spiced Rum. Kraken adds to the traditional flavors of molasses and vanilla and offsets them with ginger, galangal, clove, cinnamon, and pepper. Mix it up with Fever-Tree Ginger Beer or Reed’s Strongest Ginger Beer.
Spiced Dark and Stormy Cocktail
2 oz. spiced Rum – Kraken Dark
3 oz. ginger beer – Reed’s Strongest Ginger Beer
1/2 oz. fresh lime
Try it in our barrel whisky glass: add the ice, pour in rum and ginger beer, add lime, and gently mix with a swizzle stick.
Create a new favorite by adding a dash of fall to an old standard – try a Pumpkin Spiced White Witch.
The White Witch variant of the White Russian leaves out the heavy cream and substitutes vanilla ice cream.
For the ice cream, simple is best. Go for ice cream with Madagascar vanilla, ice cream from Talenti for an added vanilla kick, or Haagen-Dazs’ 5-ingredient vanilla ice cream. The lack of corn syrup produces a creamier mouthfeel. You can make your own pumpkin pie spice: 4 parts cinnamon, 2 parts ground ginger, 1 part cloves, and 1/2 part nutmeg (or pick up The Spice Hunter’s Pumpkin Pie Spice Blend).
Pumpkin Spiced White Witch Cocktail
1 oz. vodka – check out some of our picks
1 oz. liqueur – either creme de cacao or Kahlua
1/2 cup Vanilla ice cream
1 – 1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
Mix in an Old Fashioned glass or one of our whimsical whiskey glasses, mixing together the vodka, liqueur, and spice, then scooping in the ice cream and swirling gently–or, slowly let it melt, producing the classic white Russian double-layer look. Sprinkle with grated cinnamon or shaved chocolate to garnish.
Unlock Halloween night with the Skeleton Key cocktail
Designed by Travis Fourmont, the Skeleton Key comes with a unique value add. According to myth, the Elderberry tree’s fruit will keep you safe from the fairies (and anything else that goes bump on Halloween night).
The Elderflower liqueur’s complex flavor makes this fall cocktail unique. Layered scents of grapefruit and jasmine combine with the aroma of roses and violets. Once sipped, notes of pear, passionfruit, and Meyer lemon predominate.
The Skeleton Key balances the floral flavors of the liqueur with spices by adding ginger beer, lemon juice, and bitters. Drop the bitters in at the end to add an eerie bloody tinge to the golden-hued drink.
Skeleton Key Cocktail
1 1/2 oz. bourbon
3/4 oz. St. Germain’s Elderflower Liqueur
1/2 oz. fresh-squeezed lemon juice
3 – 5 oz. Fever-Tree Ginger Beer
8 dashes Angostura bitters
Fill one of our Old Fashioned glasses or a Collins glass with ice. Pour in bourbon, liqueur, and lemon, and top off with ginger beer. Shake in 8 dashes of bitters, allowing the drops to filter through the drink undisturbed.
Liven up your Manhattan cocktail. Fantastic shaken or stirred!
The Manhattan is a simple recipe that dates back to 1874. According to popular legend, it was invented at the Manhattan Club in NYC.
This recipe kicks it up with the addition of cranberries and orange bitters.
The classic 2:1 ratio of rye to sweet vermouth is altered to balance the tartness of the cranberries.
2 oz. of rye
1/2 oz. of sweet vermouth
Add 2 tablespoons cranberry sauce (if shaken) or 1/2 oz. 100% cranberry juice (if stirred).
Equal dashes orange bitters and Angostura–usually 1 each
If it’s too much of a pucker, add in 1/4 ounce of simple syrup to sweeten it up.
Shaken: add rye, vermouth, and cranberry sauce to shaker, shake until cold, and pour through a fine-mesh bar strainer into a glass, adding the bitters last.
Stirred: layer into a Manhattan or martini glass, and stir gently.
For either, add fresh cranberries or a lemon peel for garnish.
Smoking Blood Cocktail, anyone?
Named after the movie that inspired it, Blood and Sand is considered by some to be a classic scotch whisky cocktail. This version adds dry ice to create an iconic Halloween fall cocktail, Smoking Blood.
The original cocktail is a 1:1:1:1 ratio of scotch whisky, cherry brandy, sweet vermouth, and orange juice; this version substitutes a liqueur for the brandy.
3/4 oz. blended Scotch Whisky
3/4 oz. Cherry Liqueur
3/4 oz. Sweet Vermouth
3/4 oz. fresh-squeezed orange juice
Add all ingredients to an ice-filled shaker, then put some muscle behind it: a nice foam should form before it is poured. Carefully, using tongs, place a few chips of dry ice into the glass. Don’t drink it until the dry ice dissolves and the smoke has cleared. Your drink won’t warm; the dry ice is too cold. Just sit back and enjoy the show. (Imagine that billowing smoke wafting from our diamond whiskey or spinning globe glasses.)
If you’re feeling brave, Whiskey Advocate has an excellent method for adding fire rather than smoke: a flaming orange peel.
Safety first when playing with smoke!
Dry ice adds a dramatic flair to any Halloween cocktail with the added benefit of not changing the flavor of your drink. Dry ice isn’t water–it is solid carbon dioxide. So rather than melting, it sublimates, changing directly from a solid to a gas. Always make sure you use food-grade dry ice.
With Dry Ice, care is required.
First – do not touch!
Use gloves and good tongs when manipulating dry ice. Handle it carefully, in a well-ventilated space. Keep your dry ice in an insulated cooler with the lid slightly open to allow for airflow. At -195 degrees, dry ice can do a lot of damage. Break up bricks of the dry ice carefully, wearing gloves, and making sure you have safety goggles.
When using dry ice in a punch, make sure the bowl is deep enough so you can continually add small amounts to the bottom. This will keep your caldron bubbling without harming the guests.
For individual drinks, deliver a small amount to the finished drink using tongs – and remember, don’t drink until the dry ice is gone.
Leftover dry ice should be left out to evaporate in a well-ventilated, safe place away from children and pets.
Have fun celebrating the flavors of the season with these five fall cocktail recipes! Whether you choose a twist on an old favorite or something new, we’re sure you’ll enjoy it.
Feeling inspired? Let us know in our comments. Post a picture of one of the drinks you try or tell us about your own favorite fall cocktail. Check out our Halloween Drink Coasters.
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