Monday, October 1, 2012

Autumn Cocktails from the Waukesha Chancery

It's that time of year again... a chill in the air, trees turning into fireworks displays of red, purple, orange and yellow, and the time when we generally switch from white liquor to brown. Whether it gets its color and flavor from spice or the barrel, heartier spirits come to the forefront in drinks both warm and cold.  This week I rolled out the Autumn Drinks menu, and they are overall a little simpler to prepare than the Summer Cocktails because in these parts, the harvest season is over. No trips to the garden for this menu, but a few surprises nonetheless.  We feature two infusions for this menu; one of them is simple, one of them is remarkably simple.

The first drink to feature an infusion is the Perfect Cherry Beam Manhattan, and it calls for Door County Cherry-infused Jim Beam.  This take on bourbon is so fruity and delicious it has become a staple around our bar.  You recall it was used in a Limeade this summer, which was published by Cheers Magazine.  This time around we temper it with vermouth and mellow it with Bittercube Cherry Bark Vanilla bitters.

Perfect Cherry Beam Manhattan
2 oz. Door County Cherry-Infused Jim Beam
.5 oz. Sweet Vermouth
.5 oz. Dr Vermouth
7 drops Bittercube Cherry Bark Vanilla bitters
Build in a shaker, stir to combine. Serve on the rocks, in a tub. Garnish with three cherries from the original infusion.

Door County Cherry-infused Jim Beam
4 c. Door County Cherries
1 btl. Jim Beam
Combine and let rest up to one week. Begin tasting at three days as infusion times can vary according to temperature, humidity and light conditions.

The next drink is built around Korbel brandy. 1/3 of all Korbel sold in the world comes to Wisconsin, and its fruit flavors are further enhanced by the addition of another Wisconsin favorite, schnapps, in this season's Korbel and Peach.

Korbel and Peach
2 oz. Korbel brandy
1 oz, Bols Peach Schnapps
.5 oz. Turbinado Syrup
Juice of two lemon wedges
Shake and strain into a tub glass. Serve on the rocks with a lemon twist.

The next drink employs the easiest infusion I have ever made. I know that using real vanilla extract will seem heretical to the purists, but if you work behind the bar, you know that if you go to Good Harvest and the grocery and neither has vanilla beans, and you do not have time to go to Penzey's, well, you roll with what you've got. So I did. And it's so good I'm currently kicking it up a notch by aging it in the tiniest barrel I ever saw. Stop in and visit and I'll give you a sample - it's that good!

Apple Crisp
1 oz. Five Spice & Vanilla-infused Gosling's rum
1 oz. Three Olives brand Cake flavored vodka
.75 oz. Bols Butterscotch liqueur
2 oz. Apple juice
Shake all the spirit and strain into chilled Cocktail glass, top with Apple Juice

Five Spice &Vanilla-infused Gosling's Rum
2 tbls Chinese Five Spice Powder
1 sm. btl. Real Vanilla Extract
1 btl. Gosling's rum
Combine and let rest 24-72 hours, tasting after 24 hours.

Parents don't have favorites. having favorites among children can damage the self-esteem of the unfavored child(ren), and stunt the progress of the favored child. Cocktails are tougher than children and that's one of about a hundred reasons that cocktails are better than kids. This is my favorite:

Chivas Fling
1.5 oz. Chivas scotch whisky
.5 oz. Sweet Vermouth
7 drops Bittercube Blood Orange bitters
Build in shaker and stir to combine. Serve in a tumbler, on the rocks. Orange twist garnish.

I dream about a dessert menu, composed entirely of dessert cocktails. Just five or so, chocolatey, fruity, savory, creamy and delicious. The last drink on the Autumn Cocktail menu could fit the bill.  I called it "Modern Love" because it features the flavors we seem to love the most: chocolate and coffee.
           Modern Love
1 oz. Three Olives brand Triple Espresso vodka
2 oz. Bols Dark Creme de Cacao
1 oz. Bols White Creme de Cacao
1 oz. Dairy Cream
Chill a cocktail glass and then drizzle it with chocolate.
Shake and strain. Float three coffee beans in the glass.

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