Where did the summer go? One minute we were celebrating Memorial Day, and the next minute was full of school bells, autumn leaves, and chilly evenings. Suddenly, it’s sweater weather, meaning it’s time for apple picking and pumpkin spice coffee drinks. The approach of fall also brings a shift in flavors — savory notes and warm spices replace the bright citrus and refreshing herbs of warmer days.
To help you snuggle stylishly into the season, we’ve put together a few cocktails featuring New Jersey’s best boozemakers and the flavors of fall. Cheers! And as always, drink responsibly.
Rye Not Sazerac
This cocktail is a twist on the classic Sazerac cocktail, known for its warm, spicy, citrusy flavor. This version uses Cooper River Rye Whiskey, the first whiskey to be mashed, fermented, distilled, aged, and bottled in New Jersey since Prohibition. For best results, start with a chilled cocktail glass and a mixing glass.
1 sugar cube
3 dashes Bitter Truth Aromatic Bitters
1½ oz Cooper River Rye Whiskey from Cooper River Distillers
¼ oz Granier Mon Pastis
Lemon peel, for garnish
1. Add the sugar cube and bitters to a mixing glass. Muddle until the flavors are combined, then add the whiskey.
2. Rinse the chilled cocktail glass with the pastis, pouring away the excess. Add the rye whiskey mixture and garnish with fresh lemon peel.
This gluten-free cocktail is designed to evoke the feeling of a brisk day at the apple orchard. This cocktail works best with unfiltered apple juice or apple cider.
1½ oz Lazy Eye Barrel Aged Vodka from Lazy Eye Distillery
Unfiltered apple juice or apple cider, as needed
Freshly grated cinnamon, for garnish
Orange peel, for garnish
1. Combine the vodka and apple juice in a mixing glass.
2. Shake well and serve over ice in a highball glass. Garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon and twist of orange peel.
This a cozy twist on the classic Dark and Stormy cocktail, perfect for those autumn rainy days. For a lighter flavor, substitute the ginger beer with ginger ale.
3 oz ginger beer
2 oz Morena Rum from Jersey Artisan Distilling
2-3 dashes Angostura bitters
Sliced lime, for garnish
Brandied cherry, for garnish (optional)
1. Add the rum and ginger beer to a cocktail shaker or mixing glass. Next, add the bitters to the mixture and stir to combine.
2. Pour the mixture into a cocktail glass filled with ice and garnish with a thin slice of lime and brandied cherry (if desired)
It’s autumn, which means it’s time for pumpkin spice everything. So why shouldn’t your cocktail get an infusion of the popular fall flavor? Settle into those chilly evenings with this smooth and spicy cocktail.
¼ oz simple syrup, or more to taste
Freshly grated ginger, as needed
2 ounces High Point Vodka from Great Notch Distillery
1 ounce pumpkin puree
½ ounce lime juice
Freshly grated cinnamon OR cinnamon stick, for garnish (optional)
1. First, combine the simple syrup with some of the ginger. Set the mixture aside to infuse for 10-20 minutes.
2. Pour the vodka, pumpkin puree, lime juice and ginger-infused simple syrup into a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
3. Shake well and strain into a chilled cocktail glass over ice. If desired, garnish with freshly grated ginger and either a sprinkle of cinnamon or whole cinnamon stick.
Looking to step up your kitchen game? Click Here to see Best of NJ’s Top Recipes & Kitchen Tips!
About the author: Michele Thomas is professionally curious; she likes to learn stuff. A certified sommelier with 15 years of experience writing about food, wine, education and the arts, she chronicles her wine escapades as the Bed–Stuy Sommelier (@BedStuySomm) on Instagram and Twitter.
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©Brent Hofacker/Adobe Stock