4 Appleicious Drinks for Fall

From spiked cider to caramelly sippers, whip up these fall beverages stat

By Seattle Mag September 25, 2014


The recent chill in the air, though balanced by a few sunny spots, has me thinking of fall activities (everything from hay rides to harvest parties), and of fall drinks to accompany those activities. And when I think fall drinks, I start with apples. I know that may sound strange, but fall and apples go together like Halloween and costumes. And don’t get stuck thinking “apple martini,” either. The following apple-ish drinks have much more taste–as well as much more individuality.

The Fat Fisherman
Besides being a great season for sipping a fine apple-y drink, fall is also a lovely time to go fishing. And this is the drink you’ll want to make when telling fish stories afterwards. It utilizes the slightly smoky and spicey Fat Trout blended Scotch (there are also Lowland and Speyside single malt versions),Tieton’s Dry Hopped cider, which is a fine fall drink on its own, too, and Yzaguirre red, or what we’d think of as sweet vermouth. Coming from Spain, this vermouth has an herbalness and a bit of balsamic that go perfectly with the Scotch and cider.

2 ounces Fat Trout blended Scotch

1 ounce Yzaguirre red vermouth

Ice cubes

4 ounces Tieton Dry Hopped cider

Apple slice, for garnish

1. Add the Scotch and vermouth to a highball or comparable glass. Stir briefly.

2. Fill the glass three-quarters up with ice cubes. Add the cider. Stir, carefully, working to bring the bottom stuff to the top and vice versa.

3. Garnish with the apple slice. Talk about fishing.

The Lucky Apple
This is another drink that uses some local products, combined with one from a far-away locale. It starts with 3 Howls Whiskey, which has caramel and vanilla hints, then moves into Averna, a rich amaro (or Italian herbal mystical sipper) that brings just the right amount of headiness, all of which is rounded off by Tree Top 3 Blend apple cider (made from 100 percent USA-grown fruit).

Ice cubes

1-1/2 ounces 3 Howls single malt whiskey

3/4 ounce Averna

4 ounces Tree Top 3 Blend apple cider

Mint sprig, for garnish (if available)

1. Fill a highball or comparable glass three-quarters up with ice cubes. Add the whiskey and Cynar. Stir a bit.

2. Top the glass off with the apple cider. Stir a bit more. Garnish with the mint. Feel lucky.

Steaming Spiked Cider
This old favorite, from my book Good Spirits, is one I trot out every year when the chill starts to introduce itself in the air, and it stays in the rotation until at least the New Year. It’s fantastic for a group that’s trying to warm up a bit after being outside for fall activities.

Serves 8 to 10

4 quarts fresh apple cider

20 ounces cinnamon schnapps

16 ounces white rum

1 teaspoon whole cloves

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

10 cinnamon sticks

10 apple slice for garnish

1. Add the cider to a large nonreactive saucepan. Heat over medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes

2. Add the cinnamon schnapps, rum, cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon sticks. Simmer for 15 minutes, but don’t let the mixture boil.

3. Once thoroughly warm, ladle the mixture into heatproof mugs, making sure that each mug gets a cinnamon stick. Garnish each with an apple slice.

A Note: Here are three things to remember: 1. Be careful with the cloves when scaling (meaning, too many cloves can take over the flavor). 2. Use apple cider (which is good and cloudy) not apple juice. 3. Boiling boils off some of the alcohol. If getting mistakenly to a boil, or leaving the cider on the stove for an extended period, add more rum as needed.

Don’t Just Stand There
Another fall favorite, this recipe goes all the way back to Crosby Gaige’s Cocktail Guide and Ladies Companion from 1941, in which Robert S. Allison Jr. says, “Here is the recipe that made Aunt Dinah’s quilting parties such a success.” Following that quote along, this is a drink that’s at its best when made for a group. Whether it’s a quilting party or another party is up to you.

Serves 10

Ice cubes

One 750-milliliter bottle non-alcoholic sparkling apple cider

One 750-milliliter bottle Applejack

Apple slices for garnish (if desired)

1. Fill a large pitcher with ice cubes.

2. Add the cider and applejack to the pitcher. Stir well with a large wooden spoon

3. Pour into highball glasses until everyone looks happy. Garnish each deserving glass with an apple slice.


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