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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Autumn cocktails favor the warm and spicy

Cooler weather ushers in warmer flavors.

That’s true not only for hearty soups and stews, but bewitching boozy beverages, too.

The sweet notes of apple cider, vanilla and warming spices – cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, allspice – reign in spiced rum- and bourbon-based seasonal sips like the new November Rain at Casper Fry in Spokane’s South Perry district.

Bar manager Curtis Day invented the beverage on the drizzly October afternoon, shortly after his first time tasting Licor 43, a Spanish liqueur with vanilla and citrus notes.

“I just came up with something that reminded me of fall,” Day said. “It’s a drink that would be perfect in front of a fireplace on a rainy or snowy day. It’s boozy, but at the same time it has a sweetness to it. It almost has a velvety mouthfeel.”

Served in a Champagne coupe, the drink includes bourbon, vermouth and a pinch of cinnamon. It’s topped with stout, which adds a richness and changes the color of the drink to a dark amber.

While the new cocktail isn’t on Casper Fry’s official fall menu, Day said, “It will be in my personal menu” – meaning customers can ask him to make it.

This time of year, Day favors spirits like apple brandy such as Laird & Co.’s AppleJack, St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram, dark rum and bourbon, as well as stouts and Oktoberfest-style ales. He also likes experimenting with coffee and whole eggs, not just egg whites.

“I kind of just make stuff up,” said Day, who’s also created a coffee drink with dark rum and a whole egg. “It actually doesn’t have a name,” he said.

Similarly, the fall cocktail menu at Masselow’s at Northern Quest Resort & Casino in Airway Heights includes bourbon and apple cider specialty drinks. Its festive fall cocktails, which debuted Oct. 22, spotlight the sweet flavors of apple pie and butterscotch as well as tart cranberry juice.

At Geno’s Traditional Food and Ales, which recently celebrated its one-year anniversary under new ownership in Spokane’s Logan neighborhood, hot boozy beverages – like house-made hot buttered rum – reign.

The key ingredient in Geno’s hot buttered rum mix: vanilla ice cream.

“It gives it the creaminess,” said Marshall Powell, who’s part owner of Geno’s as well as the manager of the restaurant and its sister locations in Spokane: The Elk and The Two Seven. Hot buttered rum is available at all three locations.

“There’s a lot of sugar in it,” Powell said. “It’s not good for you, but it’s good.”

While it’s sweet, he said, “It still balances out. It’s not overly sweet.”

New on the Geno’s menu this fall is a hot toddy featuring house-infused spiced rum that isn’t as rich or creamy as its buttery counterpart. Its boozy house coffee is also a fall favorite.

In Browne’s Addition, The Elk is debuting a new, ice cold fall beverage with ginger brew, bourbon and cider, served on the rocks. Ask for the Buffalo Nickel, and toast to Halloween and the rest of autumn with scary good cocktails.

November Rain

From Curtis Day of Casper Fry

Cinnamon sugar, for rim of glass

1  1/2 ounces bourbon

3/4 ounce sweet red vermouth (Day uses Dolin Vermouth de Chambéry Rouge)

1/2 ounce Licor 43

Pinch cinnamon

Stout, for topping

Combine a small amount of cinnamon and sugar, about 1/2 teaspoon each, on a plate. Wet rim of Champagne coupe. Gently swirl rim of glass in cinnamon-sugar mixture until well coated.

In a shaker or pint glass, add bourbon, vermouth, Licor 43 and ice. Stir, then strain into coupe. Add a pinch of cinnamon and top with stout.

Apple Cobbler 10

From Masselow’s at Northern Quest Resort & Casino

1  3/4 ounces DiSaronno amaretto

1 ounce cranberry juice

1 ounce freshly pressed apple juice

1/4 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 drops of bitters 

Dried Washington apple ring, for garnish (optional) 

Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake, then strain into a martini glass and serve.   

From Masselow’s

1  3/4 ounces Buffalo Trace Bourbon

2 ounces spiced apple cider

Cock ’n Bull Ginger Beer, for topping

Dried Washington apple ring, for garnish (optional)

Fill a large (12-ounce) rocks glass with ice. Add bourbon and cider, and stir. Top with ginger beer. 

Whipped Apple Cider Martini 11

From Masselow’s

Cinnamon-sugar, for rim of glass

1  3/4 ounces Pinnacle Whipped Vodka

3/4 ounce DeKuyper Buttershots

2 ounces spiced apple cider

Combine a small amount of cinnamon and sugar, about 1/2 teaspoon each, on a plate. Wet rim of martini glass. Gently swirl rim of glass in cinnamon-sugar mixture until well coated.

Combine all wet ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake, then strain into cinnamon-sugar rimmed glass, and serve. 

Hot Buttered Rum

From Geno’s Traditional Food and Ales

2 tablespoons Buttered Rum Mix (See recipe below)

2 ounces spiced rum (Geno’s uses Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum)

10 ounces hot water

Nutmeg, for garnish

Place buttered rum mix in the bottom of a mug. Add spiced rum and hot water, and stir. Sprinkle with nutmeg, and serve.

Buttered Rum Mix

From Geno’s

This recipe makes a commercial-size amount that lasts Geno’s and its sister locations in Spokane – The Elk and The Two Seven – several weeks. But because it includes equal parts of the main three ingredients – butter, brown sugar and powdered sugar – it’s easy to reduce to a much smaller batch.

Ice cream in this mix replaces cream in a traditional hot buttered rum recipe.

“The better the ice cream, the better the drink,” said Geno’s manager and part-owner Marshall Powell.

1 pound butter

1 pound brown sugar

1 pound powdered sugar

1 quart vanilla ice cream (Geno’s uses Tillamook Vanilla Bean)

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1/2 tablespoon nutmeg

Cut butter into small cubes and melt over medium-low heat. Whisk in brown and powdered sugars to melted butter. Remove from heat, add ice cream and spices, then mix well. Pour into metal pan and put in freezer.

Geno’s Coffee

From Geno’s

1/2 ounce amaretto

1/2 ounce Frangelico

1/2 ounce Bailey’s Irish Cream

10 ounces coffee

Dollop whipped cream, for garnish

Shaved almonds, for garnish

Combine alcohols in a snifter. Add coffee. Top with whipped cream and shaved almonds, and serve.

Spiced Rum Toddy

From The Elk

2 ounces house-infused spiced rum (See recipe below)

10 ounces hot water

1 ounce honey or agave syrup

Orange slice, for garnish

Add spiced rum, sweetener and water to mug, and stir. Garnish with orange slice and serve.

Spiced Rum

From The Elk

A fifth of amber rum

1 tablespoon whole cloves

3 whole nutmeg berries

3 cinnamon sticks

1 tablespoon whole allspice berries

Combine all ingredients. Let steep for at least three days. Strain through cheesecloth-lined fine mesh sieve.

Buffalo Nickel

From The Elk

2 ounces Buffalo Trace bourbon

4 ounces freshly pressed cider (The Elk gets its cider from Green Bluff)

4 ounces Cock ’n Bull Ginger Beer

Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass, then strain into ice-filled glass and serve.

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