The dozen weeks between Labor Day and the holiday season look like Thursday in the calendar year. There is still enough structured energy to put the effort into life, while the proximity to the weekend gives some freedom to let off steam. Fall is also a time of plenty, with harvest festivals dotted throughout the season, with a vast cornucopia of flavor.
I’ve reached out to some of my favorite bartenders from across the country to tap into their creativity to bring you the best this season has to offer. Fall sets the stage for festive, intriguing and slightly ambitious (but still no-frills) large-format cocktails like these. The North Star of Shannon Mustipher presents a seductive blend of spices and citrus fruits and Chris Elford‘s Sharpie Mustache, a Seattle staple, unexpectedly combines overpowering whiskey, gin, and bitters in an invigorating concoction that’s perfect to sip on while you admire the multicolored foliage.
A few words of encouragement: Since they come from the best mixologists in our country, these drink recipes are relatively advanced, but they are worth it. For example, the sublime braiding of vibrant kumquat, roasted green tea and blended Scotch whiskey make Masahiro urushido‘s Yakan Punch is well worth the extra time spent, and the five spice grenadine in Austin Hennelley‘s Jack Rose Royale and Spicy Honey Syrup Lauren Paylor‘s Bourbon and Coffee might require a visit to Spice Alley, but you’ll be glad you went.
All recipes serve 6-8 people.