Few things go together like football and enjoying a drink with friends. And while it’s most often beer that is associated with football-related revelry, a cocktail can fit just fine, especially when that cocktail is made by a bartender specifically as an homage to an NFL team. That’s the origin of the Autumn Wind, a Caribbean style drink made with rum, tequila, falernum and lime juice, which was made in honor of the Raiders.
“With 2.5 ounces of liquor, this is the perfect cocktail for an Oakland Raiders fan,” says bartender Martin Delgado. Delgado made the drink while working at Prizefighter in Emeryville, California, well before the Raiders made their move to Las Vegas. “Bold and strong while pleasantly refreshing, that is always my take away from a Raiders tailgate and a Raiders win,” he says.
The Autumn Wind is a bit like a variation on a Daiquiri or a Mai Tai, with some tequila thrown in for good measure. The Raiders’ pirate theme inspired the base of the Autumn Wind, Delgado explains. “And as we are the Raiders, rum was without question the base spirit. Go, Raiders!” However, the rum is used in an unconventional way. While it makes up half the volume of the drink and provides most of the alcohol, it does not get incorporated with the other ingredients. Rather, the tequila, falernum and lime are shaken together and served over crushed ice, while the black strap rum is floated on top. The result is a visually compelling double-layered drink. Of course, imbibing said cocktail will naturally blend the two sides together, or just give it a stir to incorporate the elements.
Delgado uses Cruzan black strap rum, but any other black rum can do the trick. It’s important use a black rum though, not something like an añejo. Dark and rich with notes of spice and molasses, the rum adds both a depth of flavor and enhances the double decker look.
Falernum is another key element in the Autumn Wind. Similar to orgeat, this syrup is generally flavored with ginger, lime, almond, cloves and allspice. Often referred to as velvet falernum—including by its most popular producer, John D. Taylor’s velvet falernum—it can be made as either a low-proof liqueur or a non-alcoholic syrup. Either work here, and the low volume called for means the drink won’t be too much stronger when using the boozy variety.
- 1 1/2 ounces Cruzan black strap rum
- 1/2 ounce silver tequila
- 1/2 ounce falernum
- 1/2 ounce lime juice
- Garnish: lime wheel
- Garnish: straw
Add the tequila, falernum and lime juice to a shaker with ice and shake until cold.
Strain into a double rocks glass filled with crushed ice.
Top with the black strap rum, fill with more crushed ice, and garnish with a lime wheel and a straw or two.