The autumn season brings cravings of hearty soups, warm roasts and aromatic spices. But don’t let your meals have all the fun. You can also infuse fall into your cocktails by using seasonal ingredients like apples and cinnamon. That’s what you will find in Fall from the Tree, an original recipe from bartender Jim Kearns that he created while working at The Happiest Hour in New York City.
“It’s an autumnal mix of baking spice, apple and brown spirits,” says Kearns. “It’s served the way we make all of our signature cocktails at The Happiest Hour, by combining the secondary ingredients first and then allowing guests to pick their base spirit.” Kearns like to use applejack for an extra dose of apple, but you can also try bourbon or scotch for good results. Your chosen spirit is then mixed with fresh apple juice, fresh lemon juice, cinnamon syrup and aromatic bitters.
If you have a juicer at home, you can extract that apple juice yourself. Otherwise, try to procure some good juice from a green grocer, market or juice bar. It’s worth the effort, as fresh apple juice will add that seasonal sweetness you want alongside the tart lemon and kicky cinnamon.
Make the drink with the portions below, if you’re only serving a party of one. But if you are serving a crowd, you can easily scale up the recipe as needed to accommodate your guests, or even make a couple versions featuring different spirits. That way, you can see how the base liquor changes the final product while still maintaining that fall flavor profile you want.
- 1 1/2 ounces Laird’s applejack (or bourbon or scotch)
- 1 ounce fresh apple juice
- 1/2 ounce cinnamon syrup*
- 1/4 ounce lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 1 dash The Bitter Truth aromatic bitters
- Garnish: apple slice
Add the applejack, apple juice, cinnamon syrup, lemon juice and bitters into a shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled.
Strain into a chilled coupe glass.
Garnish with an apple slice.
*Cinnamon syrup: Add 1/2 ounce cinnamon bark, 2 cups turbinado sugar and 2 cups water into a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Cover saucepan and let simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit, covered, for at least 24 hours. Strain into a container. Will keep, refrigerated in an airtight container, for up to 2 weeks.