Local bars pour autumn’s finest concoctions
As the weather begins to cool and leaves turn vibrant hues of orange, red and yellow, it’s the time of year for adult libations to transform with seasonal ingredients and rich liquors that will warm your palate this fall.
Here are a few inspired cocktails from Pignic Pub & Patio and Chapel Tavern.
Inspired by the harvest
We have, indeed, reached the period where squash and deciduous tree fruits are at their peak. Annalisa Suarez, manager and bartender at Pignic Pub & Patio, is all about incorporating seasonal ingredients into her cocktails.
“Whatever the season, I always love to use the ingredients that are ripe at that time. Something about it just makes the drinks taste better. With fall now here, pumpkin and apples both have nice flavors that can easily elevate delicious spirits,” Suarez said.
The El Borracho Pumpkin is a play on spiked horchata with Chamucos Reposado Especial tequila, Pumpkin King Cordial, housemade horchata and toasted marshmallow syrup with a cinnamon-coconut sugar rim and cinnamon stick. It has rich coconut and pumpkin flavors with a hint of vanilla.
The Fallen Apple is a blend of Kirk & Sweeney 12-year rum, Leopold’s New York Sour Apple Liqueur, housemade slow-cooked apple cider, housemade caramel syrup and lemon.
“This drink is served hot and perfect for fall,” Saurez said. “It’s filled with tastes of caramel, cinnamon, all spice and cloves.”
Peaches, spice, everything nice
At Chapel Tavern, there’s nary a vodka cocktail in sight – blessedly. With its menu filled with salted roasted peanut-infused bonded bourbon and house Earl Grey sherbet, owner Duncan Mitchell is eager to offer a slew of original spirits and fresh cocktails.
Try the Momotarō, a cocktail created in celebration of everyone’s favorite stone fruit and named after the little boy that hatched from a peach in Japanese folk tales. Served up, this drink includes London Dry gin, housemade peach shrub, house-infused peach Lillet rose wine-based aperitif, apricot eau de vie and peach bitters.
The peaches used in the Momotarō are from Kelly Canyon Orchard in Idaho — an orchard owned by Chapel staff member Nick Bietz’s family – a personal touch.
Chapel Tavern’s Sangaree mixes dry vermouth, grade-b maple syrup, allspice dram, orange zest and fresh nutmeg for a smooth cocktail with a lower alcohol content. According to the menu, "this classic from Professor Jerry Thomas’ 'Bon Vivant’s Companion' is infinitely quaffable.”
“Both the Sangaree and the Momotarō are perfect for fall in my mind because they both feature transitional flavors,” Mitchell said. “They both have a high acid content and freshness to the cocktail but are also very herbal and spice forward. Acidity and freshness bringing summer months to mind while the herb and spice combo brings to mind fall and the holidays. With the Momotarō particularly, stone fruit isn’t truly ripe until we are right on the cusp of fall so that flavor, for me, always makes me think fall is on its way if it hasn’t quite arrived yet.”