As the sun’s warmth begins to wane and the leaves transform into a tapestry of fiery hues, there’s an undeniable sense of enchantment in the air. What better way to honor the season when nature puts on its most captivating display than by indulging in the art of mixology, conjuring up exquisite concoctions that encapsulate the essence of fall?
Hilton’s creative mixologists across the country are creating flavors that reflect the bounties of the harvest season, from spiced apple ciders to cinnamon-kissed cocktails. Here’s a sampling of how bartenders reimagined classic cocktails with an autumn twist, with recipes you can create at home.
Savors from the Field
Taste the soft and warm flavors of this cocktail created by bar manager Doriluz Hernández of Hilton Cancun, An All-Inclusive Resort. Available at Azulinda lobby bar, the drink is a shaken, not stirred concoction that embraces the mood of the season.
- 1.5 ounces corn whisky
- 0.5 ounce Cacao Cream
- 1.5 ounces Carnation Clavel Evaporated Milk
- 2 ounces punch
- 0.5 ounce cinnamon syrup
- 4 drops of Amargo Angostura bitter liqueur
- Flowers for garnish
Punch Ingredients (Makes 1 liter)
- 0.75 cup grams sugar
- 2 orange peels
- 15 Chile de árbol
- 20 pink peppercorns
- 20 cinnamon sticks
- 20 oregano leaves
Directions for Punch
- Boil all ingredients in 4 cups of water for about 30 minutes on low heat.
- Let it stand until it is cooled to room temperature.
Directions for Savors from the Field
- Dry shake all the ingredients.
- Shake with ice.
- Serve with ice.
- Garnish with flowers.
Butterscotch Apple Cider
Fall in love with the seasonal cocktails at The Drake Hotel. Opened in December 1933, Coq d’Or was the second establishment to receive its liquor license in Chicago following Prohibition. The warm and inviting ambiance is the perfect spot when the chill is in the air during fall, especially with this sparkling Butterscotch Apple Cider.
- 4 ounces Grey Goose Vodka
- 1 ounce Butterscotch Schnapps
- 4 ounces apple cider
- 4-5 ice cubes (enough to fill a shaker)
- splash of Champagne (optional)
- 1 round apple slice for garnish
- Butterscotch sauce and crushed butterscotch candies for rim
- Dip martini glass rim in butterscotch sauce.
- Roll with crushed butterscotch candies.
- Add vodka, schnapps and cider to shaker.
- Top with ice and shake hard.
- Strain your mix into a martini glass.
- Add a splash of Champagne (optional).
- Top with a round apple slice garnish.
Being in Florida, bartender Madison McGrath knows fall may not feature changing leaves, yet she infuses drinks at Hilton Orlando with apple cider and maple syrup to give them warmth. Adding St. German to this drink available through November 1 at Bar Tela gives it light, sweet floral notes along with citrus, pear and passionfruit.
- 2 ounces of Makers Mark Bourbon
- 1 ounce St. Germain Elderflower Liquor
- ¾ ounce apple cider
- ½ ounce lemon juice
- ½ ounce of maple syrup
- 2 dashes of Orange Bitters
- Lemon peel for garnish
- Add Makers Mark Bourbon, St. Germain Elderflower Liquor, apple cider, lemon juice, maple syrup and Orange Bitters to a mixing tin.
- Fill with cubed ice and shake well.
- Strain into a snifter glass filled with fresh cubed ice.
- Express the oils from the lemon peel on the drink and garnish with the lemon peel by placing it in the drink.
Maple Ember Old Fashioned
A captivating autumn-inspired twist on a classic favorite, Hilton Americas-Houston Bartender Jason Mayo crafted a cocktail that encapsulates the warmth and comfort of the season. With its harmonious blend of flavors, the Maple Ember Old Fashioned is more than a cocktail, it’s a moment suspended in time.
“What truly sets the Maple Ember Old Fashioned apart is the infused maple syrup as the finishing touch. It’s what makes its seasonality so relevant and brings nostalgic memories like cozy evenings and bonfires with the ones you love most to mind,” said Mayo. Find the drink in the Lobby Bar and R24 Rooftop Lounge all season.
- 2 ounces WhistlePig Piggyback 6 Year Old 100 Proof Bourbon
- ½ ounce WhistlePig maple syrup
- 2 dashes orange bitters
- 2 dashes Angostura bitters
- Thin orange slice for garnish
- Filthy cherries for garnish
- Pour all ingredients into a cocktail glass, stir vigorously.
- Garnish with large cube, a thin orange slice and filthy cherry on top.
At ATRIO Wine Bar & Restaurant, located on the second floor of Conrad New York Downtown’s bold, 15-story lobby, Norman Achong, director of food & beverage, recommends the White Cosmo for a fall cocktail. “White cranberries are harvested earlier than a standard red cranberry and are sweeter and less acidic,” said Achong. “When white cranberry juice is used in a cocktail such as a White Cosmo, it makes for a sweeter, less tart drink than regular cranberry juice would create.”
- 2 ounces Grey Goose vodka
- ¼ ounce Cointreau
- ¾ ounce white cranberry juice
- ¾ ounce lime juice
- ½ ounce simple syrup
- Combine all ingredients with crushed ice in a mixing tin.
- Shake vigorously for 12 rotations.
- Double strain into a chilled martini glass.
Black Walnut Maple Old Fashioned
Mixologist and Manager at TASTE Restaurant at Embassy Suites by Hilton Tampa Downtown Convention Center, Gary Shamblen Jr. created this autumn-inspired cocktail available off-menu through Nov. 15. “Seasonal cocktails are so pleasing, especially using fresh ingredients and a sweet garnish. For the Black Walnut Maple Old Fashioned, we chose a guest favorite, the candied walnut,” said Shamblen Jr.
Black Walnut Maple Old Fashioned from Embassy Suites by Hilton Tampa Downtown Convention Center
Makes 1 Drink
- 2 ounces Woodford Reserve bourbon
- ¾ ounce maple syrup
- 2 dashes of Black Walnut Bitters
- 1 dash Angostura Bitters
- Candied walnut for garnish
- Add all ingredients to mixing glass and stir for 30 resolutions.
- Pour into a rocks glass with one large rock.
- Garnish with candied walnut and one spritz of black bitters on top (with applicator).
The Fallberry Bush
Since it was a very hot summer in Texas, Lead Mixologist Leonard Madison of SĒR Steak and Spirits on the 27th floor of Hilton Anatole Dallas wanted to create a fall cocktail that would take guests to the cooler parts of autumn. “The Sage and Rosemary are the perfect accompaniment to the slightly tart cranberry flavors,” said Madison. The Fallberry Bush drink is available throughout fall.
- 1.5 ounce Dulce Vida Tequila
- 0.5 ounce Chambord
- 1 ounce lime juice
- 0.75 ounce Rosemary and Sage Simple Syrup mix (1 cup of water, 1 cup of sugar, 3 sprigs of rosemary, 4 sage leaves)
- Pomegranate seeds for garnish
- To make rosemary and sage simple syrup, combine equal parts hot water and sugar into a pot.
- Add rosemary and sage, mix and let it steep for 20 minutes.
- Let simple syrup cool.
- Grab a rocks glass and pour Chambord in it. Fill with ice.
- In a shaker tin add tequila, lime juice and sage simple syrup.
- Shake and strain over ice in the rocks glass gently.
- Garnish with pomegranate seeds and sugar-coated rosemary.