Here in Denver, we’ve said our goodbyes to summer and are in the midst of an exceptionally beautiful autumn. We’ve turned away from the margaritas and mojitos and instead are looking for cocktails that are warming and evoke all the best things about the season. You don’t need to be a mixologist to create great cocktails at home, and you definitely don’t need a lot of supplies. We have chosen two spirits that are perfect for autumn beverages and three easy recipes to get you inspired!
Calvados may be the quintessential autumn spirit. An apple brandy from France, it can be used in many of the same ways other brown spirits are. At 80 proof, a little goes a long way. Calvados is typically aged for at least two years. The longer it is aged, the smoother and more dangerous it becomes! Along with the lovely apple aroma and flavor, look for hints of pear, vanilla or caramel. While it’s never wrong to enjoy it on its own, it’s perfect for a little mixing! Apples and ginger are a classic pairing in this Moscow Mule inspired drink.
Ginger Beer and Calvados:
Lemon/apple slice for garnish
Add ice to a cocktail glass and then pour in the Calvados. Add a dash of bitters and top it off with ginger beer. Garnish with a twist of lemon and an apple slice, if desired.
The Block Distilling Co. is a local Denver distillery located in RiNo. They produce excellent craft gin and vodka, both of which you can find here on the shelves at Amendment XXI. What sets The Block apart from other distilleries is the seasonal spin they put on their gin. Their Autumn Gin has notes of cinnamon and cardamom, which makes it the perfect spirit in a cozy autumn cocktail.
Apple Cider and Autumn Gin:
2oz apple cider
2oz Autumn Gin
Tsp of lemon juice
Tsp of maple syrup or honey
Dash of bitters
Pour all ingredients into an ice filled shaker. Shake and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a cinnamon stick/grated nutmeg.
Don’t have a cocktail shaker? Use a mason jar or a to-go coffee mug with a lid, with your finger over the sipping hole, of course.
This would also be great as a spiked hot cider. Just heat the cider and stir in the rest of the ingredients.
The last recipe is a twist on an Old Fashioned, using either the Autumn Gin or Calvados. The simplicity of this classic cocktail really showcases the unique flavors of both spirits, making it a fun experiment!
Autumn Old Fashioned:
2oz Autumn Gin or Calvados
1 tbsp maple syrup or honey
Orange or Angostura bitters
In a mixing glass, stir all ingredients with ice cubes. Strain into a cocktail glass over ice. Twist an orange zest over the drink to release the oils and garnish with a cinnamon stick.
Stop by our shoppe in LoHi! We have all the craft spirits, bitters, and other flavorful components for your autumn cocktails. Our staff will be happy to assist you in finding what you need.