Cocktail & Other Recipes By Spirit Scotch Cocktails

Harvest Time

A white mug with blue drawings on it holds a brown drink with a clove-studded lemon wheel floating in it.
Image: Zandy Mangold

Both locations of RedFarm are local New York City go-tos for hip dim sum and a red-and-white-checkered farmhouse vibe. Beverage director and veteran bartender Shawn Chen designed the Harvest Time as a pleasing, warming cocktail for when autumn and winter come to The Big Apple. While it’s a bit unconventional to mix smoky scotch and bittersweet Campari with hot apple cider, the end result is a balanced and warming cocktail that evokes the cozy comfort of a campfire on a cool night. It might even become your go-to hot drink for fall and winter revelry.

For the boozy base, Chen would use BenRiach Curiositas, a peat-heavy scotch from Speyside. Any other single malt with a strong peat presence could also potentially work, so feel free to use what you have on hand—stick to the smokier scotch brands if you want to maintain the campfire vibes of the original recipe. To the scotch, Chen adds a small measure of Campari. This vivid red Italian liqueur is not commonly used in hot drinks or mixed with apple cider, but the small amount of it adds nuance and depth to the Harvest Time.

Along with a house made ginger syrup (which is made with brown sugar for extra depth and richness), Chen also adds yuzu, an East Asian citrus fruit, for tartness and balance. If that’s not readily available to you when making the drink, lemon juice is an acceptable alternative.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 ounce BenRiach Curiositas peated 10-year-old scotch
  • 1/4 ounce Campari
  • 1/2 ounce ginger syrup*
  • 1/2 ounce yuzu or lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 4 ounces apple cider, warmed
  • Garnish: cinnamon powder
  • Garnish: lemon wheel
  • Garnish: cloves

Steps

  1. Bring the apple cider to a simmer in a medium saucepan.

  2. Add the scotch, Campari, ginger syrup and yuzu (or lemon) juice to the pot and stir until warm.

  3. Remove from heat, and pour into a heatproof mug or glass.

  4. Garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon powder and a lemon wheel studded with 3 cloves.

*Ginger syrup: Puree 2 cups peeled and sliced ginger and 2 cups boiling water on high in a Vitamix or other blender. Add 4 cups light brown sugar and stir or blend to combine. Let macerate for a day, strain out solids and store syrup in the refrigerator.