Think fall cocktails and almost instinctively visions of apples and pears, cinnamon and nutmeg, bourbon and rye come rushing in. At Danny Meyer's landmark dining institution, Gramercy Tavern, such seasonal expectations are met with a lineup of drinks that breathe new life into familiar flavors. Here are 5 recipes so you can mix them up at home.
'fall cocktails' on Serious Eats
This play on the classic Blood & Sand cocktail from Gramercy Tavern in NYC crosses the rich flavors of rum with sweet Cherry Heering and bitter, aromatic Bonal.
This simple-looking cocktail from Gramercy Tavern's fall lineup boasts a surprisingly complex flavor profile. The elegantly layered drink mixes belly-warming Scotch with slightly sweet pear liqueur, plus nutty walnut liqueur and Oloroso sherry.
This cocktail from Gramercy Tavern in NYC is a take on a Boulevardier (which is like a Negroni, but with bourbon instead of gin). Here, however, spicy rye is the star, complemented by the bittersweet Sicilian amaro, Cynar.
Sometimes on a cold fall evening all you want to drink is a bright, sunny cocktail to remind of warmer days recently passed. This Gramercy Tavern creation draws inspiration from both the classic Hemingway Daiquiri and Audrey Saunders' Old Cuban. It's at once tart and refreshing with a touch of richness from the golden rum.
Tart and aromatic cider blends with sweet orange curaçao, and spicy bitters to create a warming autumn cocktail.
Looking for a bit of crisp-weather cocktail inspiration, I convinced a few bartender friends to share their recipe secrets so I could test them out at home. In the slideshow, you'll find 10 of my favorite bourbon cocktail recipes, from classics and twists on the classics to originals from bars in New York City.
Erik Lombardo at Maialino in NYC introduced us to this classic cocktail, which is basically an Old Fashioned sweetened with maraschino liqueur (we used Luxardo) and fancied up with a big spiral of an orange twist.
Stepping outside my apartment one morning this week, I noticed the air smelled crisp and autumnal. Summer doesn't officially end until September 22, but plenty of things that herald the fall season are already upon us: the first day of school; the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah; and of course, apple-picking season.
In the Jewish faith, Rosh Hashanah marks the new year, and is often celebrated with apples and honey to symbolize the sweet year that is to come.
Coupling applejack with Campari, lemon, and orange juice, this tart drink is best enjoyed with a hearty coating of sugar on the rim.
This version of the Pink Lady, a classic cocktail dating to the early 20th century, is definitely on the paler side of the color spectrum.
This refined rum cocktail from Chicago's Sepia hides a festive tiki core. A burnt-sugar backbone from the aged Guatemalan rum is deepened with the sweet, nutty, baking-spice notes of falernum, a syrup typically made from almond, ginger, clove and lime that's a staple of many a Caribbean bar. Calvados, the French apple brandy, lends a telltale flavor of the season.
You wouldn't necessarily expect anything you're served at Danny Meyer's elegant Gramercy Tavern in Manhattan to be easy to make. But by focusing on fall flavors, and enriching classic cocktails with a seasonal spin, these five recipes are simple for mixing and sipping at home (and perhaps for serving as a pre-Thanksgiving dinner tipple.) And they're super-delicious, too.
Each element of this fall cocktail from Gramercy Tavern mingles with the others beautifully; be sure to use an earthier, dry style of mead.
When asked how he is inspired to come up with new drinks, Bourbon and Branch bar manager Ian Scalzo says, "Cookbooks. I look for flavor profiles that I can accomplish with booze, and map it out from there." The drinks almost all use fresh herbs and spices, often in combinations rarely seen outside the kitchen. You'll find these cocktails have a remarkable freshness and fullness of flavor. Best of all, the newest batch of cocktails is perfect for fall, when a little nutmeg in my Porto Flip couldn't be more welcome.
Campari, black pepper, and basil make for an herbal and earthy drink.
A refreshing, minty, whiskey based drink from Jayson Wilde of Bourbon and Branch.
Maple syrup, paprika, and sage make an unexpectedly delicious combination in this rum based cocktail by Ian Scalzo of Bourbon and Branch in San Francisco.
The new PDT Cocktail Book, officially released November 1, is bound to become the tome tipplers reach for at happy hour—it's chock full of recipes for classic drinks dating back before Prohibition as well as the innovative cocktails created over the years at Jim Meehan's iconic East Village bar. Here are five great apple brandy cocktail recipes for fall, plus a chance to win the book!