The pumpkin spice latte may be the queen of fall drinks, but sometimes you're craving something a little stronger after 5 p.m. when the nights get crisp and cool.
With the help of the Herwood Inn down in Woodstock, NY, and the expertise of some incredible makers, like the team behind Cooper's Daughter Spirits, we rolled up our sleeves to curate three fun fall cocktails, but not without adding an #Upstate twist to classic recipes, like a Fall Sangria or Manhattan, a nod to our big city neighbors down the Hudson River.
These recipes will make you want to throw on a cozy sweater and watch the leaves change, so upgrade your PSL to this a delicious spiked Pumpkin Spiced Cold Brew, and you'll be as lit as a Jack-o'-lantern.
Black Walnut Manhattan
Here, we have Cooper’s Daughter Black Walnut Bourbon, aged in American White Oak barrels (made on-site!), and finished in a second barrel previously used to store black walnut syrup tapped from trees at the distillery and surrounding groves. It doesn't get more earth-to-barrel than that, folks.
This rare, irresistibly smooth, and slightly sweet bourbon mixed with the rich and nutty flavor of the black walnut cocktail bitters, a unique blend from Fee Brothers, is the perfect way to bring fall flavor and depth to this iconic imbibe.
FWIW, it also makes a great fireside sipper, poured over a large ice cube.
Fun fact: Fee Brothers is a fifth-generation, Rochester, NY-based company with a collection of 19 bitters recipes with incredible flavor combos helping cocktails reach their full potential. Quenching thirst for 158 years is a tough job, but someone has to do it. And this cocktail is so thankful.
Serve in an Upstate of Mind rocks glass
Pumpkin Spiced Spiked Cold Brew
Pumpkin spice and everything nice over ice.
For those of us who crave the cold, this witches brew will give the Sanderson Sisters a run for their money.
Pumpkin Spiced Vodka from Cooper's Daughter Spirits, black walnut bitters, and 100% organic maple syrup from Hudson Valley-based Finding Home Farms infuse your cold brew, giving it the extra jolt it deserves.
Enjoy it in an Upstate of Mind Troy, New York, Golden Pilsner Glass to really spice things up.
Upstate Fall Sangria
If you’re feeling punchy, make some pour decisions with an Upstate take on this always appropriate, any-time-of-year staple. The harvest fruit is on brand, and using local apples from your favorite orchard will add a bit of regional terroir.
If you can’t pick-your-own this year don’t worry, Nine Pin Cider Works has you covered. New York’s first farm cidery sources 100% of its apples and fruit from Capital Region and Hudson Valley orchards, carefully selecting and blending apple varieties to achieve their signature, clean, and pleasantly drinkable potion.
Enjoy over ice in an Upstate of Mind Mason Jar
We had the best time brainstorming these recipes, but several top-notch New York makers helped bring them to life, so we'd like to thank:
► Cooper's Daughter Spirits — a woman-owned and family operated distillery down in the Hudson Valley just 10 minutes from the city of Hudson, they proudly source foraged and farmed Hudson Valley ingredients to make seasonal, small batch spirits. The farm has plenty of apples orchards and black walnut tree groves to produce their spirits, like their Black Walnut Bourbon, which makes an appearance on our list.
For a sweet time, hit the road and take a day trip to The Sugarhouse at their Hudson Valley maple farm, where you can snack on something brewed, baked, or "waffled." (their menu, not ours)
► Weekday Wines — making wine for the "modern drinker," Weekday rosé reminds us that sometimes it's okay to be a zero: this low-cal West Coast wine has zero added sugar or flavor enhancers, which is perfect because the apple really shines in the Upstate Fall Sangria. Love that for us.
► Nine Pin Hard Cider — if you're not first, you're last. Lucky for us, Nine Pin is hard cider royalty, establishing itself as New York's first farm cidery, raising the bar (near you) one apple at a time.
The cidery sources more than one million pounds of apples each year solely from orchards in the Capital Region and Hudson Valley, giving the cider its unique taste and identity.
How do you like them apples?
Photo Credit: Rebecca Loomis
Location: The Herwood Inn