The colors, the sweet wind chill, and the sweet & spicy flavors of Fall are finally upon us! Fall is my absolute favorite season. Fall when I non-arbitrarily become obsessed with nature. I love showing my appreciation for the abundance of beauty by spending lots of time outside and around the whimsical array of color and animal activity that becomes evident when the weather begins to change. In turn, I believe, I’m gifted with my most creative ideas and inspiration. Behind the bar, I’ve been eager to experiment with Fall forward flavors: spicy liquers, apple, and pumpkin are my favorite accouterments to make cold weather drinks. Apple and cinnamon just happened to be the first to bless my hands and my taste buds with inspiration.
To make this Old Fashioned riff, I followed my usual Old Fashioned recipe:
- 1/2 oz. simple syrup (1:1)
- 2 oz. whiskey
- 2-4 dash Angostura bitters
- 2 dash Peychauds bitters
- 2 dash orange bitters
Mix it all together in a rocks or Old Fashioned glass, add ice, and stir to mix ingredients. I like to add an additional orange peel for garnish, but I leave the cherry out on this one because its sweetness will overpower the cocktail.
But instead of using simple syrup, I substituted it with an apple cinnamon demerara syrup, which I made. Making the flavored demerara syrup was incredibly easy. I heated 2 cups of water and dissolved 2 cups of turbinado sugar into the water. Once all the sugar dissolved, I soaked 2 cups of diced apples-I used all of the apple, not just the peel-and 2 cinnamon sticks in the syrup for 3 minutes, strained the liquid, and voila, apple cinnamon syrup. It smells and tastes just like apple pie. So does the cocktail.
Personally, I like my Old Fashioned a little on the sweeter side, so I prefer making this with a bourbon like Makers Mark, which has that sweet whiskey flavor going down and not too much of a burn afterwards. It brings the drink full circle. It also intensifies apple flavor a little more. I also prefer a good wheated whiskey, like Weller 12. The bready, malty notes work really well with the apple cinnamon flavor.
Thanks for reading! If you decide to make this delicious Fall cocktail yourself, let me know how it turned out. Be on the lookout for more cocktails this season. I have lots of ideas!