I never get sick of pumpkin-flavored everything. My new favorite is this pumpkiny bourbon cocktail I made with Savvy Housekeeping. It’s light and fluffy while being bold and spicy at the same time. It’s the perfect special-treat cocktail for all of autumn. Whether you have leftover pumpkins from Halloween or just want a Thanksgiving cocktail, this one will do the trick!
We used St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram, but you could also make it with homemade allspice dram. (I used up all my DIY allspice dram on Tiki creations already!) For the pumpkin puree, you can use the canned variety (just be sure it’s not flavored at all) or make your own fresh pumpkin puree. If you’re concerned about using raw egg whites, you can use pasteurized egg whites. However, we used fresh eggs straight from the Savvy Housekeeping chicken coop!
1 1/2 ounces bourbon
1/2 ounce allspice liqueur
1/2 ounce simple syrup
2 tablespoons pumpkin puree
1/4 ounce lemon juice
1 egg white
2-3 dashes Angostura bitters
Pour the bourbon, liqueur, simple syrup, puree, lemon juice, and egg white into a shaker without ice and shake hard for about 30 seconds. Add ice and shake again for about 1 minute. Ice will build up on the outside of the shaker if you’ve done it right, so you’ll need to cover the shaker with a tea towel first so your hands won’t get too cold. Crack the shaker open and pour out the drink through the gap. Top with bitters.
Cocktail history is a little fuzzy (no big surprise, huh?). As far as we know the Old Fashioned was the first cocktail. Hundreds of years later, it’s still an awesome drink. While this drink has gotten many embellishments over the years, the classic recipe is just spirit, sugar, and bitters. But you can do the “sugar” part a few different ways and still have the traditional tipple.
If you use a sugar cube, you’ll be getting one teaspoon of sugar in your drink. An easier (and smoother) way to get the same amount of sugar is to use a teaspoon of rich simple syrup. The “rich” just means you make the syrup by cooking 2 parts sugar with 1 part water. An even smoother way is to use a teaspoon of gomme syrup, which is a rich simple syrup with a little gum Arabic added as an emulsifier. All three drinks will be fantastic, but the gomme will add a silky texture and fullness to the drink that will make it even more luxurious. You can get the recipe for gomme syrup from my post on Serious Eats.
Whether you make gomme or not, you can (and should!) make yourself and Old Fashioned.
2 ounces bourbon or rye whiskey
1 teaspoon gomme syrup or rich simple syrup
2-3 dashes of Angostura bitters
Put the syrup and bitters in an Old Fashioned glass and stir, then add a couple of large ice cubes and the whiskey. Stir until well chilled. Optional: Garnish with an orange twist or slice.
(If you prefer to use a sugar cube or teaspoon of fine sugar, you may want to add a drop or two of water when you mix it with the bitters)
The Manhattan is one of my favorite drinks, and this variation made with nocino is really a treat!
I got together with fellow Manhattan enthusiast Savvy Housekeeping to play with nocino, a liqueur made from green walnuts. We tried one version that included sweet vermouth and one that didn’t, but the nocino-only version was the clear winner. She and I are big bourbon fans, but if you favor a rye Manhattan that would likely work really well with this liqueur, too.
Black Walnut Manhattan
1 1/2 ounces bourbon
1 ounce nocino
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the bourbon, nocino, and bitters. Stir the ingredients and strain into a glass. Optional: Garnish with a cherry.
Photo by Savvy Housekeeping
This recipe uses “The Life of the Party” cocktail ratio from my book (3 parts strong, 2 parts sweet, 1 part sour). It’s the same one you’d use to make a Margarita, but this drink is nothing like a Margarita! Bourbon, apples, and tea … it all sounds so Southern (as in The South and not South of the Border). The flavors combine well for a lightly sweet and herbal cocktail with the heat of bourbon.
Bourbon Apple Tea Time
1 1/2 oz. bourbon
1 oz. honey-tea-apple syrup*
1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice
Pour ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a cocktail glass.
*Honey-Tea-Apple Syrup (enough for four cocktails)
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup honey
1 apple, chopped
1 Earl Grey tea bag
Cook water, honey and apples together in a pot. When it comes to a boil, turn off and steep tea bag in the mixture for five minutes. Pour in container and refrigerate until needed. When used in a cocktail, strain out the apples. You could even save the apples to use as a dessert topping.
If you like figs and Manhattans (which you have to! because they are both delicious!), here’s a sweet, autumn variation on a Manhattan. It’s the perfect drink to sip by the fireplace.
Go DIY and make fig bourbon to use in this recipe. If you’re really feeling adventurous, make the bitters yourself, too. Dubonnet is an aperitif much like sweet vermouth, and it can be found in most liquor stores. However, this would taste great with vermouth as a substitute.
Pardon the punny name … I couldn’t resist.
Hey, Fig Spender
2 ounces fig-infused bourbon*
1 ounce Dubonnet
2 dashes cherry bitters
Stir all ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
1 part bourbon
1 part fresh figs, stemmed and quartered
Put the figs in a sealable glass jar and pour in the bourbon. Seal the jar and shake. Let the infusion steep for 3-5 days, tasting after each day until the desired flavor is achieved. For a stronger flavor, steep for even longer. Strain out the solids through cheese cloth. Store infused bourbon as you would any other spirit.
This recipe was invented using a ratio from the book! For tips and recipes for more simple yet amazing homemade drinks, check out DIY Cocktails
Photo by wickenden
Horse racing and bourbon go hand in hand, so here’s a recipe from the book In honor of the Kentucky Derby. You don’t have to be in the stands wearing your best seer sucker suit or fancy hat to enjoy a little bit of Kentucky at home!
Kentucky Apple Sour
1 1/2 ounce bourbon
1/2 ounce Grand Marnier
1/2 ounce fresh apple juice
1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake for about 15 seconds. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with an apple slice, if desired.
Photo by Jackson Stakeman
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