It’s the time of year when brown spirits come out to play and really make autumnal cocktails shine! Can you imagine getting through fall & winter entertaining without a bottle of whiskey on hand? The layered spices, rich vanilla, and toasted grains from bourbons, ryes and scotches add a nice depth to whatever concoction you want to whip up for yourself or a crowd.
I tend to mix up cocktails that require some skill (which I gladly like to share with others), but once in awhile I want something that’s more of a no-brainer, something to mix after a loooong day. When I want an easy peasy cocktail, I turn to the classics. They’re usually simple — I have the spirits on hand already and have come across them enough that I can make them in my sleep.
Recipes for classic cocktails vary greatly (who decided a muddled, fruit cocktail mess was o.k. in an Old Fashioned?!) and are just as easy to screw up as they are to make, so I always turn to the International Bartenders Association for the right proportions and recipes. It’s also a great source for those wanting to learn the craft of the cocktail!
Although I love a good classic (Old Fashioneds & Mai Tais being my favorites), sometimes you gotta mix it up a bit! Recently I was craving a Manhattan with a twist, so I perused the farmer’s market for in-season produce to jazz up this traditional tipple.
Figs are my go-to fruit at the moment for their versatility in savory and sweet dishes or cocktails. This particular cocktail does require planning ahead – about two days for the infusion – but then takes just seconds to put together when you want a fruit-filled boozy beverage. It’s definitely worth it and your future-self will thank you!