As the weather cools down in the fall, cocktails get richer to warm the body and tempt the nose. Bars this fall are highlighting a range of cocktails made with brown spirits that have aromatic woodsy and nutty notes, smoky flavors and hints of house-made bitters. Check out these 12 cocktails served at a bar near you.
Can't make it to any of the bars serving these great woodsy drinks? Try making this Smoky Sour at home.
Bartender E. Carter Wilsford created this cognac-driven drink and named it after the famous children's book. This craft cocktail bar serves this heady blend of Rémy Martin 1738 Accord cognac, hazelnut orgeat, Nux Alpina walnut liqueur, lemon juice, whiskey barrel bitters and a whole egg in a coupe with crushed hazelnuts on top for additional aromatics.
image: E. Carter Wilsford
Bar manager Isabella Vannoni’s is featuring this smoky blood-red cocktail for the week of Halloween at this Spanish restaurant. It was inspired by her favorite animated film, and the cocktail, made with Yzaguirre red vermouth, peppered syrup, lemon juice, a dash of Tabasco and the aroma of burnt, rustic rosemary, is served from a smoking Aladdin’s “magic lamp.”
image: Jesper Mcilroy
Bartender Dan Rook created this rich and spicy drink for the fall season. It’s a mix of Smith & Cross Jamaican rum, birch bark syrup, cold-brew coffee, Cynar 70 Proof liqueur, orange peel studded with cloves, whipped cream and powdered cocoa. The house-made birch bark syrup is made with birch bark from Terra Spice Company, sugar and water.
image: Michelle Banovic
When Kimpton Hotel Vintage guests are not playing pool or shuffleboard at this hip bar, they can try one of these calvados-based cocktails. Bartender Bryan Galligos mixes apple cider with rosemary simple syrup, lemon juice and calvados, tops it with a handful of basil leaves and strains the drink into a Martini glass.
image: Allison Ferre
Bartender Pierce McCully likes to play with smoke in his drinks as he believes it triggers memories through your olfactory senses. This cocktail was created to deceive patrons with an initial smell that’s quite different from the taste. It’s made of passion-fruit-tea-infused El Jimador blanco tequila, Aperol, lime juice and black cherry syrup, and the glass is smoked with cherry wood.
Bartender Nathaniel Smith created this complex cocktail from birch-leaf-infused Bombay Sapphire gin and duck-fat-washed birch bitters. Embodying the flavors of fall, it also includes spruce hib birch; maple and honey syrup; citrate with foraged mushrooms, prairie grass and fresh juniper; wild rice aquafaba; and a pinch of cedar-smoked sea salt, campfire embers and charred corn husk, all topped with LaCroix sparkling water.
In a tribute to Mexican spirits, this drink includes bitters made from Palo de Sangre (Blood Wood), the bark and root of a tree indigenous to Mexico that has a warm spice-like flavor. The cocktail is also made with gin, Luxardo Maraschino liqueur, lime juice, cardamom and house-made allspice syrup, and the Palo de Sangre bitters are actually frozen within an ice sphere.
This mulled cider cocktail was created by head bartender Jennifer Knott. Apple cider is heated and mulled with pecan-infused Cutty Sark blended Scotch whisky, Fonseca Bin 27 Port, honey syrup, cinnamon sticks and cloves. It’s then served in an Irish Coffee mug garnished with a soft caramel candy.
image: Michelle Banovic
This classic steakhouse serves up innovative drinks including this mix of Bulleit bourbon, simple syrup and house-made bitters. A plank of maple wood is then torched for three seconds, and the glass is placed over the smoke before the cocktail is served.
Mixing your cocktail