Top 7 Steps to Autumn 2016 Mixology
Learn how to make a deliciously balanced fall cocktail—insights 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
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.