Whether you're looking to jazz up a little bubbly with bitters and citrus or whet your appetite with an unusual aperitif, here's a little cocktail recipe inspiration for Thanksgiving day.
'fall drinks' on Serious Eats
Fall in New England is a great time for many things: sports and pie and politics are all peaking, and even the leaves throw cheap thrills to the nature perverts and tourist trappers. I find New Englanders to be a generally grumpy bunch, but everyone's in a good mood for the six-week stretch between the last blanketed pig of the wedding season and the first gravy-boat murder of the holiday season.
With Halloween next week and Thanksgiving on the horizon, pumpkin beers have taken center stage in just about every store with a decent beer selection. But with all the hype surrounding some of these beers, which is actually the best?
This year, I steered clear of the standard heavily spiced amber-colored ales and sought out pumpkin-spiked riffs on other styles. Along the way I found pumpkiny pilsner, Belgian dark strong ale, porter, stout, funky farmhouse beer, and even lambic. Beers I'd never thought would, could, or should incorporate pumpkin. My search turned up a few delicious brews that reinvigorated my thirst for this seasonal beer. Here are 6 tasty pumpkin beers that don't taste like pie.
I hate listening to people complain about how busy they are, so I've come to you not to whine about my increased busyness but merely to acknowledge it. After a decade of barely fettered leisure I've recently found myself with a full day's worth of chores to do every day, even on the days when there is a "Law and Order" marathon or unseasonable warmth and including one ghastly day in September when my ankle hurt and we were out of Advil and cyanide capsules.
There's just something cozy about pumpkin and spice, and once autumn's arrived, I want to cram pumpkin into everything I eat and drink. Getting pumpkin into a cocktail can be a little messy and goopy, so I like to whip up a batch of pumpkin liqueur to ensure that I can conveniently drink pumpkin pie cocktails for months to come. This recipe doesn't take long, so you can even finish it in time for that Halloween party you're having.
Who doesn't want to drink alcoholic pumpkin pie? DIY pumpkin liqueur involves the same ingredients as pumpkin pie—only instead of crust, there's vodka.
I moved to San Francisco from NYC in late June, and I have to say, seasons here are...confusing. July and August were pleasant enough, warmer than usual, I hear, and my spot in the Mission is perfect for sitting in the sun and watching the fog roll over other, less-lucky neighborhoods. Then I did a bit of traveling, to Germany's wine country and Oregon's fish-and-chips country, and arrived home in October and found out that it was summer. Like, sunburn weather, bonfire on the beach whether—iced coffee, not hot toddy weather.
All the flavors of fall come together in this boozy milkshake. Don't skip the maple whipped cream, it's totally worth the extra effort.
We like the way the cayenne cuts through the sweetness of this spicy chocolate milkshake, but if you're not a fan of heat, you might want to dial down the cayenne by half.
This afternoon pick-me up is a little less sweet than your regular milkshake, adding coffee into the mix—in the form of strong brewed coffee as well as coffee ice cream.
Cream cheese makes this pumpkin milkshake extra creamy and a little tangy. Consider serving in mini-portions: it's seriously rich.
Brunch is a great reason to share a meal with friends and family—but it's also a great excuse to have a cocktail in the morning with no sense of guilt. These autumn-appropriate cocktails evoke October with spiced pumpkin and cider as well as sweet maple, ginger, and tea. The recipes have all been written (and tested) to serve a crowd, so invite your loved ones over for bacon and a beverage.
Aged rum, blood orange juice, and bittersweet Campari make a vivid red punch.
The secret to this crisp drink from Suzanne Miller of Clock Bar in San Francisco is Neige Apple Ice Wine, a winter specialty from Quebec.
Making expert cocktails loaded with fresh, seasonal ingredients doesn't exactly set you apart in San Francisco. That's why the bartenders at Rickhouse let the spirits guide them. From applejack to mezcal, these cocktails use a combination of liquors and bitters to achieve the ultimate autumnal flavors. The resulting collection offers modern riffs on classic cocktails that can all be easily mixed up at home.
This bittersweet cocktail from Gramercy Tavern is a variation on a Negroni, with Aperol instead of Campari and a dash of herbal yellow Chartreuse.
I claim to like autumn, but the truth is I'd be perfectly happy with a dozen Julys a year. After a snowy October weekend of hermitism and the accidental introspection that creeps up on you after the seventh whiskey-and-I-think-there's-some-Sprite-in-there-or-maybe-sour-cream, I've come to the conclusion that I've never really liked the changing of the seasons except when they change into summer. I think I just say I like fall because so many of the rest of you do and I don't want to look like a grump all the time.
This creamy, pumpkiny cocktail from Jim Meehan of PDT captures rich fall flavors. Be sure to shake for a long time for a good foam, and don't skip the freshly grated nutmeg.