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5 Fall Cocktails You Can (and Should) Make Now

Autumn is in full swing, and to welcome the cooler temps, we tapped James Beard Award-winning mixologist, Jim Meehan, to see what’s shaking in the shaker this fall. From apple brandy to pumpkin ales and cinnamon-infused tequila, these are the season’s five must-try cocktails.

Applejack Rabbit

It’ll only take a few Applejack Rabbits before you get a little pep in your step (or missing a few, rather). This prohibition-era libation is made with two ounces of Laird’s Bonded Apple Brandy, a half ounce of lemon juice, three quarters of an ounce of orange juice, and half an ounce of Deep Mountain Grade B Maple Syrup. When all the ingredients are mixed with ice, shake well and strain into a chilled coupe.

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Cranberry Cobbler

This Thanksgiving, skip the cranberry sauce and instead, wash down your turkey and stuffing with the Cranberry Cobbler, invented by Meehan and friend Michael Madrusan. The potent drink uses two ounces of Beefeater Gin, three quarter ounces of Lustau East India Sherry, a half ounce of cranberry simple syrup, seven macerated cranberries (save three for garnishing), one orange wheel, and one lemon wedge. First, add the citrus, cranberries, and syrup to a mixing tin and muddle. Then, shake thoroughly and strain into a chilled rocks glass filled with pebble ice before garnishing it with a mint sprig and the three leftover macerated cranberries.

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Great Pumpkin

Nothing says fall quite like a pumpkin spiked concoction. So break out the hooch and shake up Meehan’s very own Great Pumpkin. Ingredients include: two ounces of Southampton Pumpkin Ale, one ounce of Rittenhouse Bonded Rye Whiskey, one ounce of Laird’s Bonded Apple Brandy, a half ounce of Deep Mountain Grade B Maple Syrup and one whole egg. To make it perfectly, add all ingredients to a mixing glass and swirl to de-carbonate the beer. Next, dry-shake it, throw in ice, stir, and strain into a chilled fizz glass. Finish it off with grated nutmeg. Cheers!

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Witch’s Kiss

Inspired by George Kappeler’s original 1895 drink, Widow’s Kiss, Meehan’s tequila-based spin-off uses saffron-hued Strega in place of Yellow Chartreuse and apple butter instead of Bénédictine herbal liqueur. To get the party started, measure out two ounces of cinnamon-infused tequila, three quarters of an ounce of lemon juice, a half ounce of Strega, one barspoon of agave syrup and one barspoon of Red Jacket Orchards Apple Butter. After all the ingredients are in your “cauldron,” shake with ice and fine-strain into a chilled coupe before adding a lemon twist. Just be sure to have some hangover potion (read: Advil, a greasy breakfast and Gatorade) ready the following morning.

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Pumpkin Pie Tai

Created by mixologists Euclides López and Jeff Bell, the Pumpkin Pie Tai is the perfect nightcap or dessert drink after a day of fall festivities. You’ll need an ounce and a half of Banks 7 Golden Age Rum, one ounce of Farmer’s Market Pumpkin Purée, half an ounce of Kronan Swedish Punsch, half an ounce of Schönauer Apfel Schnapps, half an ounce of Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva, a quarter ounce of Petite Canne Sugar Cane Syrup and one barspoon of St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram. When all the ingredients are poured, shake with ice and fine-strain into a tiki mug filled with pebble ice. Top it with grated cinnamon, a festive plastic jack-o-lantern, and an umbrella for fun.

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This story was originally published in October 2016 and has been updated.

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