“Twisted” Cocktails to Toast Autumn’s Arrival (Recipes)

Sally Rich, cocktail designer at Twist, shares some of her favorite drink recipes for fall



Shaking up a classic: See what’s shakin’ behind the bar — like this Apple Brandy Sidecar garnished with raw sugar and cinnamon — at Twist in Hyde Park

Photographs by Michael Polito

Temperatures are dropping, and the holidays are upon us. Clearly, it’s time to start mixing — cocktails, that is. While it’s a relatively simple matter to spike an eggnog or spice up some hot cider, the season arguably calls more original offerings. For ideas, we turned to Sally Rich, cocktail designer (as well as general manager and bar manager) at Twist restaurant in Hyde Park.

In addition to concocting daily drink specials, Rich also shakes it up seasonally. “In fall,” she says, “people want more savory, hearty drinks, and they tend to order more red wine than white wine.”

Rich, who has been tending bar for more than 30 years, looks to the Twist kitchen for inspiration. “I have amazing chefs behind me who are sometimes my muse,” she enthuses. “They help me with house-made syrup and garnishes, and keep me informed about current seasonal produce. The kitchen and I play off each other all the time.” She credits Twist chefs Chris and Adam Royster with allowing her creativity to run riot. “If it weren’t for Chris and Adam, I wouldn’t be able to accomplish all of these crazy ideas in my head,” she declares. “We’re becoming known as a chef bar.”

For fall, Rich has dreamed up luscious libations using offbeat ingredients like apples, pumpkins, cinnamon, figs, hazelnuts, and even blue cheese. A case in point is her Spiced Apple Pie Martini, a riff on a favorite holiday dessert. This offbeat take on a traditional martini includes apple brandy, organic apple cider, spiced rum, Licor 43, house-made cinnamon syrup and, around the rim of the glass, a coating of cinnamon-crumb topping.

Equally festive — and surprising — is a beer float, which includes two scoops of house-made pumpkin ice cream, a splash of Frangelico (a hazelnut liqueur), and a topping of shaved hazelnuts and chocolate. In lieu of the traditional root beer, she’s chosen a hazelnut brown nectar beer.

Her Savory Fig Martini features puréed black mission figs, house-infused bacon vodka, and a half-shot of apple cider. Topping it all off in style is a cinnamon swizzle stick and black mission fig stuffed with blue cheese. (This is one drink that’s good enough to eat!)

The one recipe Rich won’t completely share with us is for Donnelly’s Irish Cream, a hot coffee drink. “It’s my family’s recipe, made with macadamia nut liqueur and cinnamon-pumpkin whipped cream,” she explains. “If I gave up the recipe, my grandfather would roll over in his grave!” (She does offer up a non-secret version, which you can find here.)

Following are just a few of Rich’s recipes. Cheers!

apple brandy sidecar

Apple Brandy Sidecar

• 1 jigger of apple brandy
• 1 shot of Cointreau
• ¾ shot of fresh lemon juice
• ¼ shot of house-made apple cinnamon syrup
Garnished with: raw sugar and cinnamon rim and a fresh apple fan
 

white cranberry margarita

White Cranberry Margarita

• 1 jigger of blanco tequila
• ½ shot of Cointreau
• 1 jigger of house-made white cranberry margarita mix
Garnished with: skewered drunken cranberries soaked in Grand Marnier and a fresh lime twist
 

crimson cranberry sparkler

Crimson Cranberry Sparkler

• Cava sparkling wine
• 1 shot of organic cranberry nectar
• ½ shot of ginger cognac
Garnished with: house-made candied ginger
 

savory fig martini

Savory Fig Martini

• 1 jigger of puréed black mission figs
• ½ shot of organic apple cider
• 1 jigger of house-infused bacon vodka
Garnished with: a blue cheese-stuffed black mission fig and a cinnamon swizzle stick
 

spiced pumpkin martini

Spiced Pumpkin Martini

• 1 jigger of spiced rum
• ½ shot of house-made cinnamon syrup
• 1 shot of fresh puréed pumpkin
• 2 dashes of pumpkin spice
Garnished with: fresh pumpkin wedge and cranberries
 

blueberry basil mojito

Blueberry Basil Mojito

• 1 jigger of light rum
• 1 jigger of fresh puréed blueberries
• Muddled basil in house-made basil syrup
• ½ shot of fresh lime juice
Garnished with: skewered blueberries and a fresh basil floret
 

hazlenut pumpkin beer float

Hazelnut Pumpkin Beer Float

• Rogue hazelnut brown nectar beer
• Splash of Frangelico
• 2 scoops of house-made pumpkin ice cream
Garnished with: shaved hazelnuts and chocolate

» Thirsty for more? Sally Rich shares a few extra fall cocktail recipes here.

 

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