Fall is my favorite time of year. The clothes are better (especially if you knit). The food is better – root vegetables, winter squash, and roast meats – yum! And the drinks are better – dark, molasses-tinged and heavy.
In that spirit I decided that I wanted to make a cocktail that said autumn to me – one that was dark, sweet, and a little spicy. Bourbon would be the base, with maybe a bit of brandy, but what else would add that smell of fall leaves, pumpkin-pie spice I was craving?
I considered infusing the bourbon, but decided on a simpler and easier to adjust route – spice-infused simple syrup. To make it, I put into a pot:
1 cup of water
1 cup of sugar
1 star anise
1 cinnamon stick, broken up
a small piece of vanilla bean.
I brought this to a boil, then adjusted the heat to simmer for 10 minutes. After the mixture cooled, I strained it and had a lovely dark syrup that smelled like heaven. It was time to experiment!
For what I had in mind I thought some orange flavor would also be nice, so I tried to add it with Cointreau. I also threw in Becherovka for a bit more cinnamon kick, and some Fee’s Whiskey Barrel Bitters. The resultant drink was ok but a bit too sweet for my tastes.
This was hardly surprising with the number of sweet components I’d thrown in there – clearly I needed something more bitter to balance it. What did I have that had citrus elements and a more bitter flavor?
Aha! There’s Punt e Mes in the refrigerator! Perfect!
If you’d like to play along at home, here’s the recipe:
2 oz bourbon
1/2 oz brandy
1/4 oz Becherovka
1/4 oz Punt e Mes
1/4 oz spiced simple syrup
2 dashes Fee’s Whiskey Barrel Bitters
Combine all of the ingredients in an ice-filled shaker. Shake vigorously. Strain into chilled glass. Enjoy!
So that’s the cocktail. Now on to the contest!
I have no idea what to call this drink. I thought about Harvest Moon, but apparently that’s some sort of inverted tequila sunrise. Ideally the name would either be fall-related, or something to do with spices. Rather than rack my brain to come up with something clever, I’m asking you!
Post a name for this cocktail in the comments by Friday, October 23rd. The best name will win a fabulous prize, to be determined by me! It might be homemade chocolate chip cookies, it might be a ridiculous knit puppet! Possibly both! Feel free to enter as many names as you can think up. And if you try the cocktail let me know what you think!