Indulge in Flavors of Fall: Delicious Autumn-Inspired Gin Cocktails
Celebrating Abundance and Harvest Season
Abundance is all around us, and autumn gifts us with tangible proof of the beauty of life. In times past, the season was known simply as “the harvest” -a time to gather the stock and produce of the land. It surprises many that farming is of the utmost importance at Highclere Castle, as they’re renowned for premium oats that have been fed to champion horses and give our gin its signature velvety mouthfeel. Displayed by the Herbert family for generations, stewards of Highclere Castle are faithful to the land and have a respect for the seasons that all of us could emulate and has influenced me profoundly.
Simple Sweetness – The Essence of Fall Gin Cocktails
The sweet component of a cocktail is second only to water from dilution in importance. It’s a beverage’s primary “seasoning” agent, akin to salt in cooking. Simple syrup is the ubiquitous choice and is easily substituted with maple syrup. This instantly brings any beverage into fall territory.
Signature Autumn Gin Cocktails to Savor
Our two-step sour gets the fall treatment. One and a half ounces of our gin, an ounce of fresh pressed cider, half an ounce of maple syrup, and half a lemon’s juice, shaken, is a lovely balance of bright acidity and brooding sweetness. Finishing with a dash or two of Angostura bitters will create spiced magic.
Simplicity is always our North Star; this sling is the perfect “less is more” cocktail. One tablespoon of maple syrup, one and a half ounces of our gin, and four ounces of soda water topped with grated nutmeg makes for lovely quaffing with charcuterie and fig jam, which is an evening rite of early autumn in my home.
The Apple buck highlights the chief produce of the season and its affinity with ginger. It’s the perfect September drink while the seasons dance with each other, summer beginning to excuse herself and autumn sashaying proudly in Two ounces of our gin, juice of one lime. Four ounces of ginger beer topped with an ounce of fresh cider captures this month of transition perfectly and will conjure green summer memories while stoking the desire for the coming colors of red and gold.
The bramble is a favorite of Lord Carnarvon’s, and blackberries are in plentiful supply at Highclere. Shaking two blackberries with two ounces of our gin, the juice of half a lemon, and half an ounce of honey will yield fantastic results. Topping the beverage with a couple of teaspoons worth of tawny port or oloroso sherry pays dividends.
The martini can be the foundation around which autumn cocktails live. We are in the midst of a true martini age that rivals high art, and mixologists are endeavoring to great success to clean up the dirty martini.
While mouth-watering and quite delicious, the classic mix of gin and olive juice is less than pleasing to the eye. The texture of the gin (one of Highclere’s most prized and unique signatures) is all but destroyed by the invariable olive bits that infiltrate.
The Noble Herb and Olive Sachet
Plunge three olives in a tea sachet with a few needles of rosemary (dried for the most robust flavor) in hot water for a few seconds, and then add this to the bottom of an ice-cold martini glass. Let the sachet steep as you sip. For those craving more olive flavor, a spritz of atomized olive brine brings the flavor to the forefront and balances our beverage.
Embrace the In-Between – A Toast to the End of Summer and Start of Fall
No matter the temperature, that feeling of summer slowly wanes, and autumn has yet to set in fully. Longing for either is a fool’s errand, and that reflection produced the aforementioned cocktails. It is quite alright to be a bit in between in life and beverage. Enjoy this end-of-summer/start-of-fall hybrid with gusto, as it will be gone before we know it.
Relax in the pleasantries of fall with a bottle of Highclere Castle Gin. Available for purchase online.