Fall’s Bounty on the Rocks: Two Recipes for Autumn-Harvest Mixed Drinks

We love mixing things up on our restaurant and bar menu year-round. Using seasonal and specialty ingredients, especially during late harvest season when big, bold flavors are abundant, is our idea of a great time! We asked our bartender, Gina Velando, to give us the scoop on how she’s shaking things up with new specialty mixed drinks on the menu, plus two new recipes for making your own fall-season beverages at home. Here’s what Gina has to say about serving up fall’s bounty on the rocks:

“As our restaurant’s food specials reflect seasonal availability, so does our changing drink lineup. Early autumn means blackberries and pears take center stage behind the bar, and with these we’re showcasing the Pear Gin Smash and Blackberry Ginger Mojito.”

Pear Gin Smash

We like trying new infusions, and local, Oregon gin is a great option.  In our experience, complimentary flavors are the key idea. With pairing in mind, we infused Organic Nation Gin with Bartlett pears to capture the quintessential pear flavor. At home, wash and slice the fruit and simply combine with gin in a clean mason jar. Secure with lid and store in cool dark place for 3-5 days until desired flavor profile is achieved. Shake jar a few times each day to blend flavors.

(photo: Gary Halvorson, Oregon State Archives)

1 ¾ oz. Pear Infused Organic Nation Gin
Splash Sparkling Cider
Splash Soda Water
Float Clear Creek Apple Brandy
Slice of Pear

Fill a tall bucket glass with ice. Add Pear Infused Gin. Top with equal parts Sparkling Apple Cider and Soda Water. Add a float of the Apple Brandy. Garnish with a crisp pear slice and enjoy!

Blackberry Ginger Mojito

Summer berries are great off the vine, delicious in pies, and – we like to think – best in cocktails! As our staff brought in bucket-loads of blackberries from our farm this season, we took some behind the bar and used them as the base for blackberry simple syrup. This sweet liquid is easy to prepare at home. Combine washed berries, sugar, and water in saucepan, bring to a boil and simmer for five minutes while gently crushing berries. After cooling, strain syrup over fine mesh into a clean container and store refrigerated for up to seven days.

Fresh Mint, 3-4 large leaves, chopped
½ Lime, cut into small slices
1 ½ oz. Bacardi Light Rum
½ oz. Canton Ginger Liqueur
Blackberry Simple Syrup
Soda Water

Muddle mint leaves and lime slices in a pint glass. Fill with ice and add Rum, Ginger Liqueur and a splash or the Blackberry Syrup. Shake vigorously and pour into a separate glass. Garnish with a sprig of mint, and this tasty drink is sure to satisfy any mojito fan.

Thanks, Gina, for serving up these delicious drink ideas! For the freshest seasonal ingredients for these beverages, visit your local farmers market, like the Rogue Valley Growers and Crafters Market, or your local food co-op. Or, if you live in an area where blackberries and mint are abundant, like Southern Oregon, try venturing outdoors and foraging your own ingredients.  Of course, we welcome you to the restaurant to enjoy one of these new specials, too, and to sit back, sip, and toast the season.

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~ by R. Koning on 11/05/2012.

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