The times are a changin’ and so should your drink selection!
The temperature has dropped, leaves are changing colors and its getting darker earlier. Not only are the seasons changing but your drink selections should be changing as well.
Gone are the summer cocktails, white wine and rosé (although we recommend continuing to drink rosé year round), the ice-cold summer lagers are no longer quite right, but what are the ideal drinks for autumn?
Apples and blackberries, pears and pumpkin are all in season and can be used in different ways for many drinks, while some old favorites can really come into their own as the weather changes.
While it may still be a little too early for some of the big winter warmers, there is still a certain inner glow quality to each of these drinks that we recommend:
Away from the white/clear liquor and onto the brown liquor drinks --
OLD FASHIONED - a classic
2 oz. bourbon
3 dashes Angostura bitters
1 sugar cube
Add sugar cube, bitters, and a splash of club soda to an Old Fashioned glass. Muddle. Rotate the glass to line it with sugar and bitters. Add a large ice cube. Pour in bourbon. Garnish with an orange slice.
MANHATTAN - another classic
2 oz. rye whiskey
1 oz. Italian vermouth
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Stir ingredients well with cracked ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a twist.
2 oz. blended Scotch whiskey
1 oz. French vermouth
1 tsp. absinthe
1 dash Peychaud's bitters
Stir ingredients well with cracked ice, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
We are particular to Michigan producers when we can, and Michigan has some great beer makers that produce great beer year round. Fall though allows producers to shine. Out go the lagers and wheat beers (see you next year Oberon) and in come the beers that will get us into the winter.
All of the Octoberfest beers are out and we believe that most of those are worth your effort to try, but here are some, with a slant toward being bigger, bolder and “warmer” that we think you should seek out:
Bell’s Best Brown Ale
5.8%, English Brown Ale
Bell’s makes some the the best beers in the State and this one is no different. Surprisingly light and toasty fall brew with hints of caramel, cocoa that will keep you coming back for more.
Motor City Brewing Works Pumpkin Ale
9.2%, Pumpkin Ale
True Detroit roasted pumpkins combined with a traditional Belgium yeast to create a pumpkin ale from the D!
6.0%, Herbed/Spiced Beer
An amber-wheat pumpkin-spiced ale featuring cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg. It’s pumpkin pie in a bottle of beer!
North Peak Hooligan
5.5%, Pumpkin Ale
Hooligan is a hoppy pumpkin ale with citrus undertones that make for a classic example of a “autumn beer”.
The days are shorter and nights are longer . . . long gone are thoughts of Sauvignon Blanc and Vinho Verde -- enter, the wines of Autumn that we think you should try --
Zinfandel’s smoky, spicy flavors make it perfect for fall. This wine is robust and works well with spiced squash and slow-cooked casseroles. Look for Zin from Lodi California for a more smoky style, Sonoma for a more elegant drop and Paso Robles for more a fruity offering of Zin.
Beaujolais made from the Gamay grape, is a rustic red variety that often sports a touch of bitterness, complimented by low tannins as well as beautiful floral notes of violets. The best Beaujolais (not the “Nuveau” that you will see in retailers around Thanksgiving) comes from one of the regions 10 ‘cru’ or best areas, which can easily measure up to a good bottle of Burgundy. This is a great food wine that gets along well with just about anything you put on a plate.
Lighter, more floral crus: Côte de Brouilly, Brouilly, Saint-Amour, and Juliénas
Medium-bodied crus: Chiroubles, Fleurie, and Régnié-Durette
Fuller-bodied, fruity crus: Morgon, Moulin-à-Vent, and Chénas
Cabernet Franc --
The parent grape of Cabernet Sauvignon is Cabernet Franc. Cab Franc is generally lighter bodied than Cab with more acidity which makes it a great wine to pair with food. Old world Cab Franc is different than American Cab
French Cabernet Franc is rustic and herbaceous. The 2015 is a great vintage to seek out and should still be on retailers shelves.
American Cabernet Franc tends to deliver more red fruit flavors of raspberry and strawberry. Keep a look out for Cabernet Franc from Michigan! Northern Michigan producers are making Cab Franc that is lush and delicious.
We here at BRUT are making drink changes on our end and we hope that this post will help you with some ideas for changes to your autumnal imbibing! Stop on by the Villages Bier & Weingarten and sample our rotating Fall menu. We will be open until the last Sunday of October!