First is a Jack & Rose, no not that Jack & Rose, this drink is all about tart and sweet not freezing in the Atlantic Ocean. These are perfect for those of us in a less chilly climate who want a snappy cocktail to remind us of the leaves changing in other more deciduous places. Since fall is all about the apples I love applejack as it is one of the most delicious ways to drink them. Applejack is an American apple brandy and Laird’s is the easiest to find.
Glass Type: cocktail glass
- 2 ounces applejack
- 1 ounce lime juice
- 1/2 ounce grenadine
Shake the applejack and other ingredients well with cracked ice, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
I tend to go a little lighter on the grenadine because this can get too sweet if you aren’t careful. Also be aware that Rose’s Lime Juice, which is a common bar component, is sweetened (and says so in the name!) so use fresh lime juice for this one. The best part of this cocktail is that tartness and you don’t want to cover it up with a lot of sugar.
Second is a drink I call an Autumn Breeze. I found two incredible things last year, one was Red Jacket New York and the other was a spirits company called Art in the Age. Red Jacket is juice from apples so fresh it’s like you pressed your own. But I’m busy so they did it for me, do we live in a wonderful age or what? Art in the Age has a line of craft spirits and they are all delicious but my favorite is Snap. It’s a gingersnap in a bottle and wow, it is amazing! I couldn’t resist combining it to make something refreshing for those yummy fall afternoons.
Glass Type: highball glass
- 3 ounces of Red Jacket Fuji Apple Juice
- 2 ounces of Snap
- Blood Orange Italian Soda
Pour the apple juice and Snap over ice, top with blood orange soda
These are great made by the pitcher for brunch. The blood orange soda gives it a very pretty colour and these don’t pack a big punch so you don’t feel hung-over by noon!
Third and last a nice spicy drink with a kick for those nights when it actually starts to get cold and you need a warm up. I love mulled cider and spiked mulled cider is even better. If you can get your cider locally pressed it’s always preferable but for those who can’t Zeigler’s is a grocery store standard that’s perfectly serviceable. I like to doctor mine up with extra spice so it does double duty of being delicious and making the house smell good at the same time. This one is a tad bit time consuming because of the mulling but it’s so worth it.
Mulled Cider *Adapted from Jamie Oliver's Jamie Cooks Christmas
- ½ gallon of apple cider (not hard cider, Spiced Zeigler’s is a favorite if I can’t get local pressed)
- 6 cloves
- 3-4 star anise
- ¼ nutmeg, finely grated into the pan
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 vanilla pod, halved
Pour the cider into a large pan on a low heat and let it warm through for a few minutes. Add all the spices turn the heat up. Once you see bubbles, turn down to a simmer and leave to tick away for 5–8 minutes. Be careful not to let this boil and do give it a stir. If you happen to wander off you will have lovely apple syrup but that's not what we want here. I wonder how I know that?
Once your cider is nice and warm and smelling fantastic, ladle about 4 ounces into a big mug and go for the spike! I add 1ounce of Applejack (Lairds) and 1 ounce of Scotch (preferably a very peaty one, I like Laphroig 10 year). The applejack is such a complement to the cider and the scotch adds the perfect smoky note that I love. If you really cannot stand a peaty scotch I would go with the more traditional bourbon, I keep Woodford Reserve in the house and it’s a good substitute that will give a mellow mapley note.
Let me know if you make any of these and enjoy!