As farmer’s markets start to overflow with the autumn harvest in a riot of color, our tastes change to reflect the new season. The earthier flavors of pumpkin, eggplant, rutabaga and brussel sprouts are punched up with the more complex sweetness of cold weather fruits such as persimmon, cranberries, pomegranate and quince.
Cooler climes also call for a heartier cocktail that can stand up to a heavier meal. Before uncorking a bottle of red, mix up one of these recipes. With the aromatic herbs of thyme and rosemary as the starring ingredients, they make for a refreshing yet satisfying drink to nurse during an autumn evening. Roaring fire optional.
THE FIG & THYME COCKTAIL
1 ½ oz vodka
½ oz Cointreau
½ oz thyme simple syrup
¾ oz lime juice
1 fig (halved)
sprig of thyme and slice of fig, for garnish
Thyme Simple Syrup:
½ cup sugar
½ cup water
10 sprigs of thyme
1. Start by making the simple syrup: Add sugar and water to a small saucepan, stir, and bring to a boil to dissolve the sugar. Then add the thyme and simmer on low heat for 10 minutes. Discard the thyme and pour the syrup into a glass jar. Let cool before using.
2. For the cocktail, add the simple syrup to the bottom of your shaker along with the fig. Lightly muddle, then add the vodka, lime juice, and ice. Cover and shake well, and strain into a low glass. Garnish with a sprig of fresh thyme and a slice of fig.
THE ROSEMARY GIN FIZZ
1 ½ oz gin
3 oz club soda
juice of 1 small lemon
½ teaspoon honey
1 sprig fresh rosemary, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 sprig fresh rosemary, whole for garnish
1. In a short drinking glass, thoroughly muddle the fresh chopped rosemary, lemon juice and honey. Strain out the rosemary.
2. Fill the glass with ice, pour in the gin and top with club soda, as desired. Stir briefly with a spoon, garnish with a sprig of rosemary and serve.
Kendra McKnight is a cook and food stylist living in Boston. See more of her work here.
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