Before the first cold front of the season hits, before you have to bundle up to go to the liquor store, and before hordes of kiddies come trick-or-treating, pre-plan your chilly weather cocktail game with handcrafted drinks featuring pumpkins, apples and seasonal flavors.
Liven up Halloween bashes and autumn get togethers with these favorite fall cocktails recipes by top New Jersey mixologists.
The Autumn Leaves:
Stage Left Steak, New Brunswick, NJ
Courtesy of Francis Schott
- 2 oz Jack Daniels Single Barrel whiskey
- ½ oz St. Elizabeth allspice dram
- ½ oz fresh lemon juice
- ½ oz honey syrup
- ¼ oz cinnamon syrup
- grated cinnamon and nutmeg, for garnish
Combine ingredients in a mixing glass and shake with ice. Strain to a rocks glass over ice (or a single large ice ball or cube). Garnish with grated cinnamon and nutmeg.
Smashing Pumpkin Martini:
Ho-Ho-Kus Inn & Tavern, Ho-Ho-Kus, NJ
Courtesy of Caitlyn Ritz
- 2 tsp pumpkin puree (recipe below)
- ¾ oz Nocello liqueur
- 2 oz vanilla vodka
- cinnamon sugar rim
- cinnamon stick for garnish
Add pumpkin puree, Nocello liqueur and vanilla vodka to a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake. In a small bowl, mix cinnamon with granulated sugar and place on a plate, wet the rim of the glass with any citrus slice available (or simply water). Pour shaker contents into martini glass. Garnish with cinnamon stick.
Homemade Sugar Pumpkin Puree
Slice off stem and top of sugar pumpkin. Place on cutting board sliced side down and cut in half. Scoop out insides and discard. Brush with olive oil and place on a lined cookie sheet. Bake at 350°F for about 40 minutes, until soft. When done, take off skin and reserve flesh in a bowl. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice over pumpkin flesh. Puree with a stick blender or food processor. Will keep for 2 days or place in ice cube trays and freeze for up to 6 months.
Restaurant Serenade, Chatham, NJ
Courtesy of Nancy Laird
- 2 oz Maker’s Mark bourbon
- 5 oz fresh apple cider
- ½ oz fresh lemon juice
- 3 dashes simple syrup
Build in rocks glass filled with ice. Garnish with apple slice and bourbon cherries.
The Velvet Vampire:
The Duke and Elephant Food + Spirits, Martinsville, NJ
Courtesy of Kelly Fell
- 2 oz Old Overholt Rye
- 2 tsp St. Germain
- 1 ½ oz pumpkin juice
- 1 tsp house made hibiscus juice (infused with lemon and orange)
- ½ oz fresh lime juice
- ½ oz simple syrup
- ½ oz ginger juice
Combine all ingredients in shaker with ice. Shake. Serve in chilled glass with ice.