I am a self-proclaimed cocktail connoisseur and drinker of things that require at least five minutes of preparation. Full-disclosure: I have zero professional bar experience, but I am a level 56 Libation Assassin. Every so often, here, I’m going to write about a (seasonably appropriate) cocktail, which I will completely make up while using as many local ingredients as possible, because it will be hard not to.
For November, I wanted to create something with fall flavors (but not the cliche pumpkin-spiced, Ugg-boot-infused, infinity-scarf-wearing creations that tend to infiltrate our very soul this time of year). Perhaps I go right back to Mother Nature and capture the essence of sweet decaying fallen leaves from a pile someone raked together across the street. Oh, and whiskey.
I love whiskey, and I love how well whiskey pairs with family holidays and all days, really. In order to capture the spice-ness of autumn, I felt that garam masala, the Indian version of Chinese five-spice, would be the way to go. The word “garam” means “to heat the body,” and this blend of spices (cumin, cardamom, coriander and others) is thought to elevate body temperature. That means you could conceivably drink this cocktail and then walk around outside naked and the crisp autumn breeze will not penetrate the protective warmth of this drink coursing through your veins. Probably. It is the liquid equivalent to a wool cardigan, which is rather perfect when you think about it.
3 parts whiskey
1/4 parts maple syrup
1/4 parts apple cider syrup
Garam masala bitters
Pour all ingredients into a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a rocks glass with ice. Garnish with candied ginger if you’re feeling fancy.
Jessie Lacy moved to Portland from Bangor 10 years ago with her dog/BFF Twobit the border collie. She currently lives downtown with her boyfriend and spends whatever free time she has making dresses, cocktails, art and trouble.