the cocktail of fall

Fall has hit Portland in a big way. Leaves are falling, birds are flying away, rain is descending from the sky. Like many things I forgot while living in California, the shift from summer to fall in October slipped from my memory. 

As the days grow shorter and the weather cools in Portland, I feel my brain and body reacting to the changing season in more ways than one. Ever heard of hypersomnia? It’s the technical term for sleeping too much. My comfy couch has turned into a nap time spot. The things I like to eat and drink dramatically change. The abundance of berries and tomatoes during the summer have been replaced with apples and butternut squash.

Fall is also a nice segue from my favorite rhubarb cocktail of spring and summer, to brown liquor drinks.

I found this cocktail recipe in the New York Times a few years ago, and made a couple of adjustments. It quickly turned into my favorite drink of fall. This cocktail is perfect for a holiday like Thanksgiving, or an everyday curl up on the couch type of occasion.

My kitchen notes

I use Laphroaig single malt 10 year old whisky because it’s smoky, but not exactly affordable.


Autumn Bonfire Cocktail – adapted from the New York Times

1 oz. nonalcoholic apple cider 

1 oz. apple brandy – I use Clear Creek 

1 oz. smoky Scottish whisky

1 teaspoon maple syrup


  1. Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Stir for 30 seconds.
  2. Serve over fresh ice in a lowball glass.

One thought on “the cocktail of fall”

  1. I’ve never heard this combination before. It sounds delicious and perfect for the changing of the seasons. I am looking forward to trying this one out. I will report back after tipping a few back. Thanks for the share!

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