Friday, September 18, 2009

Cocktails from the Fall Flavor Festival

Last night I teamed up with mixologist Jessi Brickner and Chef Adam Grandt from Sage Grille in Highwood on a Fall Flavor Festival. We led students through six cocktail ideas for fall parties and three appetizers. The cocktails included two for Halloween, two for Football Parties, and two inspired by the season. We had a lot of fun coming up with new recipes, and I wanted to share some of them here.

GPR Sparkler
- refreshing and savory, perfect for a cheese course or with a lighter herbed, roasted meat.
¾ oz Gin (used Distiller’s Gin No. 6)
1½ oz Pear Puree (used Perfect Puree for class, also good with Ceres)
Sparkling Wine (used Saint Hilaire Limoux Blanc de Blanc Brut 2005)
Fresh Rosemary

Shake gin, puree, and sprig of rosemary with ice, strain into champagne flute. Top with sparkling wine, garnish with rosemary sprig.

Smashing Pumpkin
- not-to-sweet dessert style drink, with hearty fresh pumpkin and spice flavors and rum undertones
2 oz White Rum (used Ron Matusalem Platino)
1 oz Cream or Half & Half
3/4 oz Pumpkin Puree (fresh is best, but it's a little early for pumpkin in Chicago yet)
1/2 oz Ginger Simple Syrup
Dash Cinnamon & Allspice

Shake ingredients with ice, strain into cocktail glass. Top with additional dash of cinnamon, and garnish with candy pumpkin or black plastic spider.


Tony Harion said...

Hey Sonja,

Pumpkin, interesting mix...

not too many cocktails using them around here..

any others that you might recommend?



~Sonja~ said...

Hi Tony. To be honest, this is my first foray into using pumpkin puree - I don't like pumpkin pie so I have never messed around with it in drinks before. I was surprised that I halfway liked this one.

Hopefully we'll get some comments from others about uses for pumpkin puree besides this one.

rafe/lindsay said...

Oh my god. My wife is going to melt for that pumpkin cocktail. Wow. Good idea.

For pies and such, I actually make my own pumpkin puree, as it imparts a hugely different flavor. I chop, and roast up the pumpkin for about an hour and half or so. Then scoop and puree. The roasting imparts a rich nuttiness to the pumpkin and really makes it shine. I can't wait till pumpkins hit the farmers markets!

~Sonja~ said...

Just realized that my response wasn't showing here, oops! I try to do my own pumpkin puree too, and this drink is best that way. I will have to try the roasting, it sounds delicious. Thanks for the tips!