Swamp coolers have been shut down for the season. The smell of roasted green chile is in the air. Burqueños are stocking up on firewood. People are making the annual pilgrimage to Flying Star for pumpkin spice lattes. While we're surrounded by our own fall rituals, home mixologists and bartenders are turning their attention toward pumpkin ales, bourbons and scotches. It seems like everyone has a desire to taste fall as the temperature starts to creep downward.
The icy, frosted cocktails of summer take a back seat to heartier liquors in the fall as we seek the warmth of our fireplaces and some drinkable companions for our holiday turkeys and hams.
What better way is there to welcome fall in New Mexico than with some great simple cocktails?
In the fall, as we find ourselves eating foods like yams, baked pies and breads, or cranberries served a hundred different ways, it's best for our cocktail choices match those foods. Cinnamon-spice rye whiskeys, honey liqueurs, ciders, or brandies are all great options, and local liquor stores offer some great flavorings, like cocktail bitters or syrups. So outside of roasted green chile (let's be honest, nothing beats that), what better way is there to welcome fall in New Mexico than with some great simple cocktails?
2 ounces bourbon
1/2 ounce triple sec (orange liqueur)
1/2 ounce sweet vermouth
2 dashes of cocktail bitters
Stir with ice, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Drop a piece of candy corn into the glass.
Scotch, Soda and Cranberry
2 ounces blended scotch whisky
1/2 ounce club soda
2 dashes of Fee Bros. Cranberry bitters
Serve in an old fashioned glass, room temperature.
1 ounce añejo tequila
2 ounces spiced apple cider
1 ounce fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon powdered sugar
Shake in a cocktail shaker with ice, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Garnish with an apple slice.
Greg Mays is a New Mexico native, a writer, and a cocktail history buff. Those things occasionally converge at his site simple-cocktails.com, where he writes and educates about simple cocktails for home bartenders.