Fall cocktails

Dizzy Recap: Kahlua Cinnamon Spice Launch

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.

File Under: Party Tricks

Sweater weather, whiskey weather--whatever you want to call it, October is a sobering season. The gray sky, the leaves making their colorful exodus, the temperature dropping--it's all about ch-ch-changes, baby. If you're like me, you crave the comfort of pumpkin, maple, apple cider, cinnamon, dark rum, and of course, whiskey. And then there's the ritual of Halloween--an excuse to look ridiculous and get ridiculously plastered. Most Americans will probably be too hungover to mark Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) on Nov. 1 and 2, but if you're up for it, the Mexican holiday honors the dead and celebrates the living--with a splash of tequila, of course.

Looking for some killer party accessories and cocktail recipes to whip up for your epic bash? Well, looky here, just what Dr. Feelgood ordered:

 Apple Maple Manhattan

2 oz. Finger Lakes Distillery Maplejack liqueur 1 oz. walnut liqueur 3/4 oz. Drambuie

Combine ingredients in shaker over ice, shake vigorously and pour into a chilled coupe glass.

Ashes to Ashes by H. Joseph Ehrmann, Elixir, San Francisco

1.5 oz Espolón Tequila Reposado .5 oz Pedro Ximenez Sherry 1 oz lemon juice 1 tsp sweetened cocoa mix .25 oz agave nectar 1 pinch cinnamon

Place all ingredients in a mixing glass, fill with ice, cover and shake well for 10 seconds. Strain up into a cocktail glass. Garnish with cinnamon dust.

Appalachian Flip by Al Sotack, Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co., Philadelphia

2 parts ROOT liqueur 1/2 part rich demerara syrup 1 whole egg Pale ale

Dry shake (without ice). Then shake again with ice, and double strain. Pour into a pint glass and top with pale ale.

Great Pumpkin Fizz, Burritt Room, San Francisco

1 1/2 parts aged rum 1/2 part velvet falernum 1/2 part cream 1/2 egg white 1/4 part lemon juice Barspoon of maple pumpkin butter Dash of Fee Bros. Old Fashion Bitters

Fill shaker with ice, shake and strain into chilled cocktail glass.

Mulled Apple Cider by Rev. Michael Alan, Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, Philadelphia

1/2 gallon apple cider Zest and juice of an orange 1 piece of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced 3 cinnamon sticks 6 anise pods 1 tbsp of whole cloves SNAP liqueur

Combine all the ingredients except for the Snap in a pot, cover and heat over medium-low for about 20-30 minutes. Pour a shot of Snap into a heat proof glass and top off with the warm mulled cider.