Friday, November 4, 2011

Fall Cocktails

Good Friday Morning! Dan Wells writing, I hope this note finds you well and in good spirits.

With the weekend mere hours away, I thought I'd dig up some cool fall cocktails, if you're in the mood.

According to a "mixologist", (yup, it's a real profession) as the sweltering days of summer lead into the unsettled, chilly days of autumn, most of our tastes change accordingly.

We tend to seek out warm drinks which help the body beat the new chills to which we're exposed. We are also inclined to choose flavors of the season: the apples are ripe, the cranberries that are prime for picking, and sweet honey (significant during Rosh Hashanah). Many of these flavors are found in some of our favorite fall cocktails. These are just a few.


Apple cider is a big hit in the fall months and this warm drink features that wonderful, distinct taste. The liqueur used is Tuaca, a hidden treasure from Italy which has deep roots and a hint of vanilla and citrus flavors. Just as the season is a transition between summer and winter, these flavors mark a smooth transition between the fruitier and warmer libations.

•2 oz Tuaca
•hot apple cider
•whipped cream
•cinnamon stick for garnish

1.Pour the Tuaca in an Irish coffee glass.
2.Fill with hot apple cider.
3.Top with whipped cream.
4.Garnish with a cinnamon stick.


Taste a bit of the Old World with a tradition that stretches back centuries. Mulled Wine is perfect for fall entertaining when something warm and zesty is called for. The trick to the perfect Mulled Wine is a slow warm up that allows all of the spices and sweet flavors to meld together.

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

•One bottle (750 mL) of red wine (suggestions: Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Merlot)
•One peeled and sliced orange (keep peel to add zest to taste into cooking pot)
•1/4 cup of brandy
•8-10 cloves
•2/3 cup honey or sugar
•3 cinnamon sticks
•1 tsp fresh or 2 tsp ground ginger (allspice can be substituted)
•Serves 4-6

To make the perfect cup of Mulled Wine, combine all ingredients in either a large pot or a slow cooker. Gently warm the ingredients on low to medium heat (avoid boiling), for 20-25 minutes. Stir occasionally to make sure that the honey or sugar has completely dissolved. When the wine is steaming and the ingredients have been well blended, it is ready to serve. Ladle the Mulled Wine into mugs (leave seasonings behind) and enjoy!


Save the traditional Hot Toddy for later, this is the season of apples. This toddy is a taste infusion of hot apple cider, honey and lemon. Depending on the brand, apple brandy can create an overpowering appleness, but a smooth Canadian or rye whiskey is a perfect blend with the sweet flavors.

•2 oz whiskey or apple brandy
•1 tsp sugar
•hot apple cider
•lemon wedge for garnish
•cinnamon stick for garnish
•2-3 whole cloves for garnish
1.Coat the bottom of an Irish coffee glass with honey.
2.Add the whiskey or apple brandy.
3.Fill with hot apple cider.
4.Stir well.
5.Garnish with the lemon, cinnamon stick and cloves.

It's a tradition that every fall thousands of hunters pack their gear, don their long johns and trek through the fields with one goal, getting the big one. Returning to camp, whether successful or not, cannot get much better than if there's a great drink waiting for you.

Prep Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 2 minutes
Yield: 1 Drink
•1 1/2 oz whiskey
•1/2 oz cherry brandy
•maraschino cherry for garnish
1.Pour the whiskey and cherry brandy into an old-fashioned glass with ice.
2.Stir well.
3.Garnish with a maraschino cherry.

5. Manhattan
Classic and classy. When a Martini just won't do, the Manhattan steps in and takes care of all desires. Sweet flavors, warming whiskey and smooth palate are characteristics which place this drink into the fabulous fall cocktail line-up.

Prep Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 3 minutes
Yield: 1 Drink
•2 oz rye whiskey
•1/2 oz sweet vermouth
•2-3 dashes Angostura bitters
•maraschino cherry for garnish
1.Pour the ingredients into a mixing glass with ice cubes.
2.Stir well.
3.Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
4.Garnish with the cherry.

Just a few ideas to make the weekend a bit "warmer" (pun intended)! Have a good weekend!

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