I can think of a million reasons to love fall, but at the top of the list are the flavors. Deep and rich, with notes reminiscent of mom’s freshly baked pies, autumn’s most memorable elixirs boast seasonal ingredients such as apples, cinnamon, cranberries, nutmeg and sage.
At Tequila Partida, for example, award-winning mixologist Jacques Bezuidenhout has got fall on his mind with a couple of creations made with the 100 percent blue agave spirit from Tequila Valley. He’s put a Latin spin on the classic Italian Negroni aperitif by replacing gin with Partida Repo as well as adding a touch of port and coffee liqueur. Here’s the recipe for the Fall Tequila Negroni.
Tequila Partida's "Them Apples" (Photo: Tequila Partida)
Bezuidenhout also indulges in a little apple picking with the refreshing Them Apples. He combines Partida Blanco, St. Germain and lemon juice in a highball glass, and then tops it off with hard apple cider. On those crisp, fall days, this drink could be your best friend. Here’s the recipe.
If you’d rather have someone else do the shaking and stirring, these cocktail bars should fit the bill:
Karyn’s on Green, the trendy vegan eatery in the West Loop, showcases a cocktail program with Michael Dziedzic at its helm. He refers to his fall lineup as “sweater weather” sippers and several feature comforting fruits like pears and apples. “I approached it from the standpoint of what would feel warm, but could be served cold,” Dziedzic explains. Seasonal standouts include Pickled Jenny (gin, pickled pears, cardamom, coriander, cinnamon sticks, cloves, ginger; topped with ginger beer), The Core of Manhattan (whiskey, Velvet Falernum, black walnut bitters; topped with French apple and pear cidre) and Baya Rosa (vanilla-infused Malort, homemade pink peppercorn, cracked black pepper syrup).
Punch House's "Space Juice For Jered" (Photo: Punch House)
At Pilsen newcomer Punch House, the lower-level lounge looks and feels like a 1970s basement bar. During those chilly nights, this will be the place to gather friends for punch-focused fixers like the Dusek (bourbon, lemon, raw sugar, dark ale, nutmeg), Space Juice For Jered (tequila, grapefruit, Aperol, black pepper, sage; topped with sparkling wine) and Milk Punch (brandy, lemon, whey, nutmeg).
And the Spanish-themed Tavernita showcases its best-selling kegged cocktails with the Colors of the Fall flight. The red-, yellow- and orange-hued beverages represent autumn's magnificent colors and will be available as a flight for $15 for a limited time. The trio: Big-O (vodka, Averna, vanilla, house-made orange soda), Devil's Claim (bourbon, raspberry, lemon, cinnamon, cayenne) and Booty Collins (green tea-infused vodka, passionfruit, lemon, cayenne, yohimbe).