Whether you're looking to jazz up a little bubbly with bitters and citrus or whet your appetite with an unusual aperitif, here's a little cocktail recipe inspiration for Thanksgiving day.
'fall drinks' on Serious Eats
Fall in New England is a great time for many things: sports and pie and politics are all peaking, and even the leaves throw cheap thrills to the nature perverts and tourist trappers. I find New Englanders to be a generally grumpy bunch, but everyone's in a good mood for the six-week stretch between the last blanketed pig of the wedding season and the first gravy-boat murder of the holiday season.
With Halloween next week and Thanksgiving on the horizon, pumpkin beers have taken center stage in just about every store with a decent beer selection. But with all the hype surrounding some of these beers, which is actually the best?
This year, I steered clear of the standard heavily spiced amber-colored ales and sought out pumpkin-spiked riffs on other styles. Along the way I found pumpkiny pilsner, Belgian dark strong ale, porter, stout, funky farmhouse beer, and even lambic. Beers I'd never thought would, could, or should incorporate pumpkin. My search turned up a few delicious brews that reinvigorated my thirst for this seasonal beer. Here are 6 tasty pumpkin beers that don't taste like pie.
I hate listening to people complain about how busy they are, so I've come to you not to whine about my increased busyness but merely to acknowledge it. After a decade of barely fettered leisure I've recently found myself with a full day's worth of chores to do every day, even on the days when there is a "Law and Order" marathon or unseasonable warmth and including one ghastly day in September when my ankle hurt and we were out of Advil and cyanide capsules.
There's just something cozy about pumpkin and spice, and once autumn's arrived, I want to cram pumpkin into everything I eat and drink. Getting pumpkin into a cocktail can be a little messy and goopy, so I like to whip up a batch of pumpkin liqueur to ensure that I can conveniently drink pumpkin pie cocktails for months to come. This recipe doesn't take long, so you can even finish it in time for that Halloween party you're having.
I moved to San Francisco from NYC in late June, and I have to say, seasons here are...confusing. July and August were pleasant enough, warmer than usual, I hear, and my spot in the Mission is perfect for sitting in the sun and watching the fog roll over other, less-lucky neighborhoods. Then I did a bit of traveling, to Germany's wine country and Oregon's fish-and-chips country, and arrived home in October and found out that it was summer. Like, sunburn weather, bonfire on the beach whether—iced coffee, not hot toddy weather.
Brunch is a great reason to share a meal with friends and family—but it's also a great excuse to have a cocktail in the morning with no sense of guilt. These autumn-appropriate cocktails evoke October with spiced pumpkin and cider as well as sweet maple, ginger, and tea. The recipes have all been written (and tested) to serve a crowd, so invite your loved ones over for bacon and a beverage.
Making expert cocktails loaded with fresh, seasonal ingredients doesn't exactly set you apart in San Francisco. That's why the bartenders at Rickhouse let the spirits guide them. From applejack to mezcal, these cocktails use a combination of liquors and bitters to achieve the ultimate autumnal flavors. The resulting collection offers modern riffs on classic cocktails that can all be easily mixed up at home.
I claim to like autumn, but the truth is I'd be perfectly happy with a dozen Julys a year. After a snowy October weekend of hermitism and the accidental introspection that creeps up on you after the seventh whiskey-and-I-think-there's-some-Sprite-in-there-or-maybe-sour-cream, I've come to the conclusion that I've never really liked the changing of the seasons except when they change into summer. I think I just say I like fall because so many of the rest of you do and I don't want to look like a grump all the time.
Looking for something for the kids to drink while you're celebrating fall with pumpkin beer? This seasonal soda from Portland, Maine's Maine Root smells like freshly grated nutmeg and clove, and tastes somewhere between cream soda and ginger beer with enough spices to evoke your favorite fall squash pie.
I had a happy enough childhood by most reasonable measures. My parents were nice people who didn't much care for children but loved and provided for me anyway. I give them a lot of credit for that, because it's easy to devote your life to raising your children if you happen to be wired to do so. My parents, despite their extreme youth, didn't know how to relate to children very well, which is why I was lucky enough to be raised as a miniature adult. Adults are WAY cooler than kids.
Bar manager Brian Block has been in residence at Aldea for roughly two years, and the drinks menu highlights his finesse, featuring innovative flavor combinations and thoughtful updates on the classics. Block recently introduced a new fall cocktail menu that features a slew of perfectly autumnal drinks. Here's a look at a few of the fall-friendly offerings that you can sip at Aldea or make at home.
The pumpkin madness that autumn brings lasts just a few short months, but there's still plenty of time to make and enjoy a delicious homebrewed Pumpkin Ale. Brewers have been using pumpkin in beer for a long time, and the list of commercial versions gets longer every year. But with no clear defined style, and limitless spicing choices, pumpkin ale is a fun opportunity for beginning and experienced brewers alike to flex their creative recipe skills.