With the change of seasons comes new temperatures, new ingredients and new seasonal flavors to savor. Just as our True Food chefs continue to adapt our dishes to highlight the freshest ingredients of the season, I also like to take advantage of the season’s ripest fruits and vegetables to infuse some seasonal splendor into our handcrafted beverage offerings.
Fall brings ingredients like pomegranate, apple, pear, cinnamon, butternut and fig – which pair perfectly with our organic spirits for a host of new fall cocktails that are as ripe with flavor as they are nutrient-rich.
At True Food, we pair seasonal ingredients with simple preparations to let our healthy dishes (and drinks!) speak for themselves. And because we encourage exploration of our seasonal offerings, here’s a short list of autumn-inspired ingredients and combinations that we’re toasting to this fall:
- • Apple & Cinnamon – the perfect combination of naturally sweet and with a hint of spice
- • Mulling Spice & Brandy – classic pairings that work well together to create a comforting, cider-like flavor
- • Fig – fall is known for its dried fruit collections and dried fig is the perfect complement to naturally spicing up any cocktail
- • Fresh fall produce – local pears, apples and oranges from your local farmers market provide just enough naturally sweet flavor for any fall craft cocktail while the dried citrus peels adds just the right amount of zest and colorful garnish
- • Fall spices – we’re all about the spice…think cloves, ginger, allspice & nutmeg to warm the soul (and spirits!)
While those are the ingredients we’re celebrating this season at True, here are a few of my favorite tips for crafting your own homemade beverages…either with our without spirits…for the perfect seasonal sip. And remember: Shaken, not stirred. And always opt for natural ingredients….never artificial flavors or syrups as these are packed with sugar.
- • Use fresh fruit (like apple & pears) to put some extra flavor and sweetness in your cocktail without the additional calories and sugar from apple syrup
- • Use starchier fruits and vegetables (i.e. carrots) that naturally sweeten a cocktail vs. sugary syrups
- • Maple syrup is a great addition to a cocktail that is a healthier choice than using sugar or syrup
- • Mulled brandy is an excellent choice to add to a fall cocktail – infuse mulling spice with brandy (at True Food Kitchen, we infuse our brandy with a combination of cinnamon, cloves, allspice and nutmeg)
- • Add fall spices to your cocktail instead of extra additive sugars (i.e. clove, ginger, all spice, and nutmeg)
- • Infuse your liquors with fruit or dried figs for a sweeter, more robust flavor without the extra sugar!
- • Muddle your fresh fruits for an extra burst of flavor as this releases aromas so all the senses are engaged
Each one of these tips is the foundation for the fresh lineup of made-from-scratch beverages at True. Some of my fall favorites include:
- • Apple Ginger Mule – juiced apple, ginger honey, fig infused vodka, lime
- • Autumn Orchard Sour – Muddled pear, juiced apple, lemon zest, mulled brandy
- • Apple Carrot Ginger Tonic – Fresh apple juice, ginger-honey, and fresh carrot juice
- • Pressed Apple Soda – Freshly juiced apple, home-made cinnamon syrup with Madagascar vanilla, fresh lemon juice, and grapefruit peel over sparkling water
But my personal favorite blends fall flavor with the warmth and comfort of the holidays. Meet the Ginger Snap Cocktail. Featured on our dessert menu, this guilt-free, antioxidant rich dessert blends warm almond milk with maple, cinnamon and ginger-infused Snap liqueur for an autumn-inspired, after dinner beverage that is sure to warm you this Fall. I’ll toast to that!
Jon Augustin is beverage manager for True Food Kitchen where he oversees the innovation of the brand’s beverage program, including the cultivation of beer, wine and spirit partners for each of the brand’s 16 local stores.