Looking to upgrade virtual happy hour? Cocktail expert, Deke Dunne, discusses 5 must-try fall cocktails for his latest post on Nomtastic Foods. Learn more about each drink below and see how you can recreate everything in the comfort of your home with the utmost ease.
1. Cuba Libre
Some would call this beauty of a cocktail a Rum and Coke, and they wouldn’t be wrong. It can be so much more though. Don’t be like Tom Cruise from the 1988 timeless, blockbuster smash hit movie Cocktail and confuse a Cuba Libre for a simple rum and coke. It’s a deep cut reference, but a damn good one.
A proper Cuba Libre relies on the quality of its ingredients. You want to use nice, clear ice. You want to use fresh squeezed lime. You want to use Coke made from sugar cane and not high fructose corn syrup. You want to use a quality white rum. Contrary to popular belief, Bacardi Superior is a solid white rum entry and is the original choice for a classic Cuba Libre.
Put all those elements together and you get a complex cocktail that will surprise you. The rum will add a dry crispness to the drink that will make it less sweet thus more enjoyable, and you’ll get notes of peppery spices, vanilla, citrus peel, and brown butter; all the flavors that you want in a fall cocktail, and it will be downright crushable.
- 2 oz Bacardi Superior White Rum
- .5 oz Fresh squeezed lime juice
- Top with Mexican Coca Cola
Add sexy clear ice spear to glass – click here for a tutorial on how to make said ice in the comfort of your home – before building your ingredients in a glass and enjoying. Viva Cuba!
2. Rob Roy
Want something boozy for the fall? Love Manhattans but haven’t had a chance to branch out into something different? Look no further than the Rob Roy – it’s like the Manhattan’s scotch cousin.
This cocktail is old, over 120 years old, but don’t sleep on it because of its age. The Rob Roy has it all. It’s woody, smokey, slightly herbal, smooth but spicy. It’s rich in chocolate, finishes with bitter orange, and is remarkably smooth for having 2 full ounces of scotch in it, leaving you with a nostalgic warmth in your belly.
- 2 oz Blended Scotch
- 1 oz Cocchi Di Tornio Sweet Vermouth
- 2 Dashes Angostura bitters
Pour your ingredients into a mixing glass and fill it with ice. Stir it for 30 seconds before straining into a stemmed glass. Slice an orange peel and squeeze the oil over the top!
3. Lion’s Tail
What’s the best fall cocktail? I got my money on the classic Lion’s Tail. It’s got fall flavors that will comfort your soul. You need warm spice notes such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove so thankfully for us, the Allspice berry exists. It’s the key ingredient in Allspice or pimento dram, which in turn is the key component in the Lion’s Tail cocktail. It’s light, vibrant, and will hit you with all of the aforementioned flavors, making it the perfect cocktail for the season.
- 2 oz Wild Turkey bourbon
- .5 oz Cotton and Reed allspice dram
- .75 oz lime juice
- .5 simple syrup
Add the aforementioned ingredients into your Cocktail Kingdom Koriko shaker. Shake and strain before garnishing with a smoked star anise!
4. Trinidad Sour
The Trinidad Sour isn’t just one of my favorite fall cocktails, but it’s one of my favorite cocktails PERIOD! What makes this drink so freaking good? Giuseppe Gonzalez changed the game when he invented this beauty by incorporating over a full ounce of Angostura bitters! Usually you only put a dash or two bitters into your cocktail.
Prior to 2008, very few people ever dared to go over .25 oz, let along over a full ounce! The reason? Bitters are very high proof, extremely pungent, and packed full of flavor. Their job is to impart flavor with only the small is amount added. Giuseppe puts an entire ounce of Angostura bitters into the Trinidad Sour.
Normally, this cocktail would blow your flavor socks off, but with a stroke of genius, he paired it with almond orgeat syrup, a delicious, tropical syrup that tamed all the boldness and tannins of the Angostura. The addition of lemon juice brought some acid, balancing this drink’s sweetness.
A bit of rye whiskey was added to proof the cocktail up just a tad. What shouldn’t have worked on paper is one of the best drinking experiences you will ever have. Trying this cocktail will put you on a one-way trip to flavor town, and your taste buds will be inundated with wonderfully warm flavors such as toasted almonds, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, allspice, cloves, and caramel.
- 1.25 oz Angostura Bitters
- 1 oz Almond Orgeat syrup
- .75 oz Lemon Juice
- .5 oz Rye Whiskey
Combine your ingredients in your Cocktail Kingdom Koriko tin and shake. Strain it into a Nick and Nora glass, and garnish with nutmeg.
5. The Espresso Martini
Need caffeine for a Friday night pick-me-up but don’t want to subject yourself to a shitty energy drink? Check out the Espresso Martini! It’s like a Vodka Red Bull but for adults. A lot of people are turned off by the idea of mixing caffeine and booze – for good reason – but if you enjoy that extra pick me up while drinking, the Espresso Martini will be your new best friend.
It’s shockingly, dangerously delicious. What makes it a killer fall drink is the taste of rich espresso, toffee, vanilla, and hints of chocolate. It might not be great for the heart (consult your doctor before mixing caffeine and alcohol), but it’s delicious and will get you moving.
- 1.5 oz Ketel One Vodka
- 1 oz Espresso Cold Brew
- .5 oz J Rieger Caffe Amaro
- .5 oz demerara simple syrup
Shake and strain said ingredients into a rocks glass over ice. Whip your heavy cream and float it on top of your drink before garnishing with espresso beans.
For more on drinks, make sure you give him a follow on instagram, and check out the following posts for more: The Best To-Go Cocktails in the DMV Area, How-to Make the Perfect Old-Fashioned, and How-to Make a Classic Daiquiri from Scratch.