Northern Colorado’s weather is cooling off, and that has us at On the Rocks in the mood for fall-inspired cocktails ideal for a wintry wedding or a fun Friendsgiving.
Try the recipes below from two of our favorite regional partners – master alcohol deliverers Wilbur’s Total Beverage and vodka connoisseurs Spring44 Distilling.
Mulled Wine from Wilbur’s Total Beverage
Fun fact: This cold-weather classic drink dates back to the Roman Empire.
- One (750 ml) bottle of dry red wine
- One orange, sliced into rounds (extra for garnish)
- 8 whole cloves
- 3 cinnamon sticks (extra for garnish)
- 4 star anise (extra for garnish)
- 2-4 tablespoons honey (optional)
- Optional add-ins: ¼ cup brandy, cognac, bourbon, or whiskey; cranberries, apple slices, vanilla
1. Combine ingredients. Add wine, orange slices, cloves, cinnamon, star anise, honey, and any add-ins to a large saucepan or slow cooker. Stir to combine.
2. Stovetop: Cook the mulled wine on medium-high heat until it just barely reaches a simmer (do not boil – you do not want to cook off the alcohol). Reduce heat to low, cover, and let the wine simmer for at least 15 minutes or up to 3 hours.
Slow cooker: Heat on low for about an hour until hot, and then reduce heat to warm until ready to serve.
3. Using a fine mesh strainer, remove and discard the used orange slices and spices. Give the mulled wine a taste, and stir in extra sweetener if needed.
4. Serve warm in heatproof mugs, garnish with orange rounds, cinnamon sticks, and star anise.
Spring 44’s Spiced Pear Martini
A rich cocktail for a formal fall get-together, with pear, almond, and cardamom.
To make, combine:
- 1 ½ oz. Spring44 vodka (infused with pears)
- Splash amaretto liqueur
- ½ oz. honey or simple syrup
- ½ oz. lemon juice
- 3 dashes cardamom bitters
Grand Old Fashioned by Wilbur’s Total Beverage
This version of the traditional, elegant drink incorporates subtle flavors like orange oil to balance bitter and sweet flavors.
- 1 oz. Grand Marnier Cordon Rouge
- 1 oz. Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon Whiskey
- 3 dashes aromatic bitters
- Large ice cube
- Orange twist to garnish
Combine aromatic bitters, Grand Marnier, and whiskey in an old fashioned glass. Add large ice cube and stir until cold and well incorporated. Garnish with orange twist, expressing oils over glass rim.
Boozy Chai from Spring44 Distilling
The warm spices of chai evoke the coziness of fall: cardamom, clove, ginger, and black pepper. Booze it up with some Spring44 Vodka, add a splash of cream and you’ve created a sipping dessert.
To make, combine:
- 1 oz. Spring44 vodka
- 4 oz. strong chai tea
- Sweetener, to taste
- 1-2 oz. cream
Apple Bees Knees Cocktail
A seasonal twist on a classic gin cocktail.
For the honey syrup:
- ½ c. water
- ½ c. honey
- 3 sprigs rosemary
For the cocktail:
- ¼ c. gin
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons apple juice
- 2 tablespoons honey syrup
- Rosemary and/or apple slices to garnish
1. To make syrup, place water, honey, and rosemary in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let steep for 10 minutes. Cool to room temperature before using. Remaining syrup can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week.
2. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice add in, lemon juice, apple juice, and honey syrup. Shake to combine and strain into a glass. Garnish with rosemary and apple slices.
Shop local and celebrate the season at your next event or date night in with these warm, nostalgic signature cocktails. For more cocktail recipes, check out our list of eight local-inspired signature cocktails for all seasons.
Let us help you brainstorm signature cocktails for your next event when you book with On the Rocks.