The start of Autumn – my very favorite season in Portland (where winter is a wet sham) – has seen my cocktail-concocting interests move from infusing, syrup-making and local liquor-creating, into the eve of tincturing. This was inspired by a memorable Sarsaparilla Old Fashioned at Portobello, a twist on a classic both herby and sweet, that lingered on my mind. I spent the next couple of days contemplating tinctures and homemade bitters (the latter overwhelming me) and planning my first move with cinnamon. I was extra stoked to use cinnamon sticks I had, of course, picked up in Thailand last winter. This warming cinnamon, along with apple, maple and whiskey, epitomizes everything I like about fall as if it was a hoodie warm from the dryer.
The following mix is for one cocktail. Increase accordingly.
Fuck yeah, it’s Fall!
- 1.5 ounces whiskey
- 1/8 ounce maple syrup
- dash orange bitters
- 1 spoonful cinnamon tincture*
- 1/2 ounce hard or sparkling apple cider*
Stir the first 4 ingredients (and see notes) or mix in a shaker, pour into a chilled glass, and top with cider. Enjoy.
Note 1: If you didn’t rewind 3 weeks and make your own tincture (100 proof vodka + 8 cinnamon sticks + a dark cabinet) try adding a small pinch of cinnamon into your cocktail shaker, 1/2 ounce of cinnamon schnapps, or for something really zingy, substitute some or all of the whiskey for cinnamon-infused whiskey, such as Fireball – or even better – something home-infused. It’s that easy.
Note 2: I dig the extra something the ending finish of hard cider gives this drink, but you’re also welcome to add 1/2 ounce of fresh apple cider or liquor into the shaker. I used Angry Orchard, the hard cider our neighborhood convenience store finally started carrying, but something more artisan, which is easy to find in today’s market, would be even better.