Top 7 Steps to Autumn 2016 Mixology 

Learn how to make a deliciously balanced fall cocktailinsights based on our 2016 Culinary Trend Research


1. Brown Spirits

Adds warm depth to an autumn cocktail. Suggestions: Scotch, Rye, Bourbon, Dark Rum.


Some of our favorites for under $40 / bottle:


Glenlivet 12 Single Malt Scotch ($32-38) or Glenfiddich 12 Single Malt Scotch ($36-39)

Bulleit Rye ($30-35)

Buffalo Trace Bourbon ($25-30)

Smith & Cross Navy Strength Rum ($24-27)


2. Seasonal Juices & Sweeteners

Juice: Apple cider is autumn's mascot. It's the perfect seasonal juice and essential for fall. 

Sweetener: Playing with unique sweetener sources adds a layer of nuance to a cocktail and is an opportunity to add thoughtful flavor.

Some mixologists default to a flavorless simple syrup (typically made with white granulated sugar) for certain drinks in order to add sweetness without disrupting the other flavors. But in a warm, brown autumn cocktail, we find maple syrup a terrific, gently flavorful, natural sweetener that adds a hint of toffee, molasses, and butterscotch notes. 


3. Warm Spice Kick

Make a "Brown Spice Blend". Mix the following ground ingredients: All-Spice, Cardamom, Clove, Nutmeg, Cracked Black Pepper. Add a pinch (or to taste) to your cocktail shaker. 

Yes, "Cracked Black Pepper" in a beverage. A lot of mixologist are playing with different cracked peppers in cocktail development -- pepper adds an intriguing heat and bite. If used at a very small level, cracked pepper can make a beautiful libation. (Foodie fact: Cracked black pepper is a classic addition to many traditional Gingerbread Cookie recipes.)


4. Nutty Bitters

Just a few drops of nut-based bitters adds two (obvious) things to a cocktail: bitterness and trace nutty flavor. 

Black Walnut Bitters are especially popular in 2016. We also suggest playing with Chicory-Pecan Bitters.


5. Dry Bitter Liqueurs

Some bartender favorites: Cynar, Nardini Amaro Bassano.


6. Flavorful Garnish

Use a thinly sliced apple, a "cinnamon stick" or cinnamon-sugar mixture on the rim.

How to Make Cinnamon-Sugar: Equal parts cinnamon to sugar. We suggest a "woody" cinnamon, such as Korintje, and light brown sugar (instead of white granulated sugar, since it contains slight molasses flavor).


7. Finish with a Little Brightness

Lemon juice helps bring all the flavors together. A classic autumn cocktail has warm brown spices, bitterness, and toffee-like sweetness. The acidity from lemon juice balances out the warm fall cocktail -- this is called "brigthness".



And there you have it, the perfect autumn cocktail for 2016.

Looking for a detailed recipe? Check out this fantastic autumn cocktail recipe from Imbibe.

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