Cocktail #1 – Sparkling Apple Cider
Combine 1.5 oz Captain Morgan rum, 1.5 oz apple cider, touch of simple syrup and cinnamon powder in an ice-filled cocktail shaker. Shake and strain into champagne flute and top with Champagne.
“I’m not used to drinking so early in the evening. I usually start at like 2:00 a.m. because I tend to drink in crazy club scenarios – it’s extreme or nothing for me. This drink reminds me of apple pie. It feels like Champagne at first, then the apple and cinnamon come in and give it a seasonal taste. I like it a lot.”
Cocktail #2 – Whiskey Smash
Muddle 2 oz Jim Beam bourbon, 3 lemon wedges, and 3 dashes of bitters in a cocktail shaker. Add ice, shake, and pour into rocks glass. Top with ginger ale.
“I’m a big fan of whiskey, so I like it. This one is stronger and more bitter than the last—it’s not a drink I could pound. It’s lemony, and it does have that winter feeling. There’s a lot going on in this glass. Incidentally, I went to bartending school in Staten Island, and I passed the final test. But my school was so outdated that I was making drinks like Pink Cadillacs, Rusty Nails, and Rob Roys. The week I graduated they got a new textbook with all the modern cocktails.”
Cocktail #3 – Cinnamon Margarita
Combine 2 oz Don Julio Añejo tequila, 2 oz orange juice, and a pinch of cinnamon powder in an ice-filled cocktail shaker. Shake and strain into margarita glass. Top with flaming shot of Cointreau and garnish with a cinnamon stick.
“This reminds me of those cinnamon challenge videos on YouTube, where guys dare their girlfriends to eat a spoonful of cinnamon and they freak out. It’s not that extreme, but it’s got a kick. I can see how these are fall and winter drinks. This would be good for dessert.”
Cocktail #4 – Bacon Bloody Mary
Pour 2 oz Finlandia vodka into an ice-filled tall glass. Fill with Bloody Mary mix and stir. Rim glass with bacon salt and garnish with olives.
“It’s spicy. The bacon salt reminds me of barbecue potato chips. Bloody Marys in general skeeve me out, but the fact that the bacon salt is on the rim is pretty cool. When I mix drinks it’s usually something like Captain Morgan and ginger ale, or Patron and pineapple.”
Cocktail #5 – Bacon & Eggs
Muddle 2 oz of Woodford Reserve bourbon and 2 pieces of cooked bacon in a cocktail shaker. Let the bacon sit with bourbon for five minutes, then add ice and 1 oz maple syrup. Shake and strain over fresh ice in a rocks glass. On the side, shake whipped egg whites and sugar and float on top. Garnish with half slice of bacon.
“I don’t want dead pig floating around in my drink, but egg whites do make everything good. I respect the effort.”
Cocktail #6 – Fall Berry
Muddle 2 oz Patron silver, about 15 blueberries, and one spring of fresh tarragon in a cocktail shaker. Add ice, splash of white cranberry juice, and splash of fresh lime juice. Shake and strain over fresh ice and top with club soda. Garnish with a lime slice.
“This is really refreshing. It reminds me of when I go down to Miami Beach and drink raspberry mojitos. It’s quite good.”