When a major spirits company launches a new product, the event is usually a flashy affair featuring an exclusive Manhattan locale and maybe even DJs, models and B-list celebrities. To introduce Kahlua Cinnamon Spice Liqueur, a blend of rum, arabica coffee, cinnamon, and piloncillo (a traditional Mexican spice), I was invited on a press trip to the Hudson Valley for apple picking and an autumn-inspired dinner at the scenic Bedford Post Inn. Let me tell you, this was a brilliant way to get NYC writers' attention--pull us out of the cold gray city and bus us an hour north where fresh air, foliage and seasonal scents awaited us. LUPEC NYC president and mixology maven Lynnette Marrero whipped up the cocktails for the evening (recipes below), highlighting the liqueur's surprising versatility by using aquavit, Cognac and tequila as base ingredients.
Durango Royale 3/4 oz. Kahlúa Cinnamon Spice 1 oz. aquavit 1/2 oz. lemon juice
Top with dry french fermented sparkling apple cider (Cidre Doux Eric bordelet). In a shaker, add all ingredients except sparkling cider. Strain into a flute and top with dry fermented cider.
Zócalo Sidra (cider) 1 oz. Kahlúa Cinnamon Spice 3/4 oz. lemon juice 1 1/2 oz. Martell VS Cognac 2 barspoons apple butter 2 dashes Angostura bitters
Place all ingredients in a shaker. Shake and strain into a couple glass and garnish with cinnamon stick
Montanya Mermalada 1 oz. Kahlúa Cinnamon Spice 1 oz. Avión Tequila Blanco 1 oz. lemon juice 6-8 concord grapes
Muddle Grapes. Add rest of the ingredients. Shake and strain over fresh ice in a rocks glass.