It’s Fall Y’all!!!

Fall has officially settled upon us but I am having trouble getting in the spirit. I live in Houston and it’s still a solid 90 degrees with high humidity. But today was grocery shopping day and as I walk into Whole Foods you could hardly miss the pumpkins, mums, and every kind of pumpkin flavored food you could imagine. By the end of my weekly stock up I decided if you can’t beat ‘em…. join ‘em! On one of the many pumpkin filled end caps I saw some pumpkin spiced apple cider and decided there was no better way to get into the spirit than by drinking some spirits –so here I go at my first attempt of a new Fall cocktail!

It all started with this inspiring Pumpkin Spiced Apple Cider; however, the thought of sipping a warm drink in this heat is definitely not appealing – so we will be making a pumpkin spice martini.

To tell you a little bit more about myself, I love to cook and I love to make cocktails but I HATE to measure or follow recipes. It takes all the creative fun out of it, so we are going to learn to wing it together. Trust me you will enjoy it so much more! Don’t be scared, I’m with you all the way.

Fill your glass full of ice. This is very important. When you shake it in the shaker you want to be sure it gets really cold. Then fill the glass half way with a nice Kentucky Bourbon.

Next, add a couple good splashes of Grand Marnier. I would guess it is about a jigger full. You could do a little less if you don’t like your drinks too sweet. Liqueurs have a high sugar content so you can always tweak your drinks to be more or less sweet with the amount of liqueur.

Then you top your glass off with the Pumpkin Spice Apple Cider.

Toss this all in the shaker and add a sprinkle of brown sugar, ¼ of a fresh squeezed lemon and 10-15 drops of bitters to finish it off. Now shake what your momma gave ya. The more you shake it the better it gets, (and the more fun you will have!) By the time you quit singing “Shake shake shake, Shake shake shake, Shake your booty” your drink is done!

As with most things in life, presentation is everything!  Have some fun here.  I like my guests to have an idea of what they are going to drink just by looking at the cocktail. So to achieve this I would like to rim the glass with brown sugar.

I poured some of the cider in a saucer so I could wet the edges of the glass.  Next I rolled it in the brown sugar.

I think it would also be really cute to use a cinnamon stick but I didn’t have any and wasn’t about to go back to the store.  Just one more reason I don’t use recipes – whatever you have is what you use – and it’s just perfect.

Voile! Pumpkin Spice Martini.

Ingredients

Pumpkin Spice Apple Cider

Maker’s Mark (or other good whisky)

Grand Marnier (I suggest you not substitute this – the flavor really changes with other orange liquors)

Brown Sugar (for the drink and to rim the glass)

Lemon

Aromatic Bitters

Apple Slices (for garnish and to snack on while you are mixing your cocktail)

Author: Jana Erwin