As mixologists, our favorite times of year are when the seasons change – especially during summer and fall when we have new seasonal ingredients at out fingertips. This is when we get most creative.
We challenge ourselves to find rare liquors and uniquely pair them with yummy seasonally-inspired ingredients and garnishes.
Mixologist Casey Melone said one of her favorite fall cocktails she created this autumn is her Pumpkin Spice Martini.
“The coloring and flavoring are just outrageous,” she said.
One of her other favorites is her spin on the Perfect Manhattan.
“Traditionally a Manhattan is made with scotch, but I wanted to try something different, so I went with Zacapa Rum,” Casey said. “The dry Vermouth and sweet Vermouth give the cocktail its Manhattan taste, but the rum teases your brain a little bit.”
Since last year’s NJ Wine and Food Festival, Casey said she’s also been incorporating Basil Hayden Bourbon, which she was first introduced to at the event.
“It’s a really good bourbon and not many restaurants or liquor stores offer Basil Hayden,” she said.
This season Casey spiced up the rare bourbon with some fruit juices and garnished it with brandy-soaked cherries.
The most important part of the drink is the garnish, Casey said.
“It makes or breaks the drink,” she said.
Casey tends to take a minimalistic approach to garnishing.
“Simple is best,” she said. “It’s more classy, and classic.”
Casey said a perfect example is her Candied Apple Martini garnished with a boiled apple slice, coated in sugar, then dried over night to top of her martini.
“It’s simple, clean,” she said.
Casey said this cocktail was also the perfect opportunity to take advantage of local seasonal ingredients, picking the apple straight from the branches of Penning’s Orchard in Warwick, N.Y.
“The fresh ingredients make all the difference,” she said.
Casey said the resort uses local cider, like for her Autumn Whisky Smash; Apple Pie Wine from Hamburg’s Cava Winery for her Harvest Pie Sangria; and pears from local orchards for her Sparkling Pear Champagne.
So, now we invite you to sit down, raise your drinks up, and fall for our new autumn cocktails. We sure did.
View Our Fall Cocktail Recipes!