Recently the mercury has been plummeting to a chilly 60 degrees, and frostbitten Austinites are scrambling to find their woolen sweaters and scarves. It’s that time of year. Now that the sun is going down earlier in the evening and that nip is in the air, it’s time to switch out of the light and breezy and slip into something more substantial.
Bars and restaurants around Austin are rolling out their autumn cocktail menus, featuring bolder, boozier and spicier drinks. Stop suffering through the merciless chill and fortify yourself against the shivers with these hearty drinks.
Bar manager Jason Stevens welcomes the chance to pour bourbon, rye and applejack into seasonal drinks despite the limited cold spells that we get in Austin. He likes playing around with eaux-de-vie and stone fruits to create a little fall magic, and he just updated the Bar Congress menu with three autumn drinks on the menu.
Stevens gets a little misty and nostalgic while preparing his fall menu. “When I look to make a new autumn cocktail, I try to capture elements of my autumns growing up in Oregon and combine them with flavors I've grown to love in Texas. Maple, date and winter spice combine with port and molé, rounded out by bourbon’s heat and age.” He sees the Roundabout as a straightforward fall cocktail.
- 1.25 oz. Eagle Rare 10 year Bourbon
- 1.5 oz. Dows 10 year Port
- .5 oz. housemade date syrup
- .5 oz. fresh squeezed lemon
- 2 heavy dashes Bittermans Molé Bitters
- Egg white
Shake it vigorously with little to no ice. Final touch is five drops of Angostura on the egg-white froth and garnish with a cherry.
This is a complex drink that isn’t fussy. It’s sweet and spicy in a smooth, cuddly way. It makes me want to light a fire and snuggle on a bearskin rug.
Bungalow, Deviled Apple
This drink is great for fall in Austin; it’s warm but with a nice kick.
- 1 1/2 oz. Blue Nectar Silver Tequila
- 1/2 oz. Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey
- 1/2 oz. Sour Apple Schnapps
- 4 oz. cider
Drink.Well. owner Jessica Sanders and bartender Dennis Gobis are retiring the tiki section of their menu and replacing it with cocktails more suited for the ski lodge than the beach. The autumn menu has six new boozy cocktails with spices that include cinnamon, nutmeg and clove. They are shooting for cocktails that stick with you with you, creating lush, velvety textures by swapping out simple syrup for gomme syrup in drinks like the Sazerac.
Gobis created a simple, delicious negroni-style drink suited for chillier weather. It has a lovely layering of orange, cinnamon and clove to warm your heart.
- 1 oz. Blanco Tequila (Siembra Azul)
- 1 oz. Amaro CioCiaro
- 1 oz. Punt e Mes
- 2 dashes Old Fashioned Bitters
Stir all ingredients with ice and pour over a large-format ice cube in a rocks glass or serve up in a chilled cocktail coupe. Garnish with an expressed orange peel.
Jack Allen’s Kitchen, Round Rock Bee Keeper
In shaker tin, add the following:
- 1 small scoop of ice
- 1.5 oz. Rebecca Creek Texas Spirit Whiskey
- .25 oz. Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
- 1 oz. house made Round Rock Honey-Fig syrup
- 2 dashes apple bitters
Shake and strain over ice in a 9-ounce rocks glass, add straw and garnish with sliced dried fig.
Lucy’s Fried Chicken, Gone a'Rye
Courtesy of William Schulte
- 1.5 oz. Old Overholt Rye Whiskey
- .5 oz. Campari
- .25 oz. Luxardo Cherry Liqueur
- .25 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
Mix all ingredients in a shaker tin with ice. Shake well. Stir until well chilled and strain into a cocktail (or highball) glass.
Lead bartender Tacy Rowland is introducing six new autumn cocktails to the NoVa menu. The new upscale restaurant and bar is fitting in with its Rainey Street location by introducing a cocktail menu that uses beer, wine and cider. While the wine-based sangria is a top seller, Rowland is excited to create drinks with beer, too. She finds it an approachable way to introduce new ingredients.
One of the signature cocktails, Thunderstruck, mixes Austin Beerworks Black Thunder, which recently won the gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival and coffee. Rowland says, “I’m a huge coffee lover. I’ve been playing around with coffee infusions at home and came up with this delicious Cynar coffee infusion.”
- 1.5 oz. coffee Cynar
- 1 oz. coconut milk
- .5 oz. Chameleon cold brew
- .5 oz. five spice syrup
- 2-3 oz. Austin Beerworks Black Thunder
Shake all ingredients except beer, fine strain into glass and top with beer. Garnish with three coffee beans and serve it in a coupe.
This drink is dangerously delicious. It’s both sweet and bitter, with a sneaky punch. It is perfect for after dinner, brunch or end of the night.
Searsucker, Jack Manhattan
The bar crew at Searsucker has created a Jack-o-Lantern play on the classic Manhattan cocktail, using housemade pumpkin, all-spice, Clove, nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla-bean-infused whiskey.
- 2.5 oz. infused whiskey
- .5 oz. Cocci
- 5 dashes Jerry Thomas Own Decanter Bitters
Stir and strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a cinnamon stick.
Sullivan’s, Salted Caramel Apple Martini
- 1.5 oz. Pinnacle Whipped Vodka
- 1.5 oz. DeKuyper Sour Apple Pucker
- 2 oz. Caramel Lemon Sour (dash of lemon sour in caramel sauce)
Place all ingredients into a Boston Shaker and shake approximately 10-15 times to combine. Strain into a chilled martini glass with a lightly salted rim.
Celebrity chef Paul Qui has a talented bar crew that has created six signature cocktails for autumn.
- 1 ounce Rittenhouse Rye
- 1 ounce Campari
- 1 ounce Amontillado sherry
- 1 dash Peychaud’s
Stir the ingredients and serve it straight up in a coupe glass garnished with a lemon peel.
Libationist Joyce Garrison believes whiskey drinks are great in the fall and has created one with a shadow of summer with the honey bourbon syrup, made with the just-released Red Handed Bourbon from the Treaty Oak Distillery.
Nefariously Red Handed
- 1.5 oz. Red Handed Bourbon
- 4 basil leaves
- .5 oz. blackberry honey syrup
- .5 oz. blood orange bitters
Shaken and strained into a coupe glass and garnished with a flamed orange peel.
No matter what part of town you are in, you can take the edge off of those cold autumn nights with a bracing cocktail.