Celebrate Autumn with These Wonderful Libations

Now that we’ve finally come to terms that summer is definitely over, my friend Victoria Cohen advises to embrace fall with these amazing cocktails from some of the coolest restaurants around.

Nearly Ninth at Arlo Midtown – New York, NY   

Cocktail Name: The Applejack Sazerac 

It’s time to say goodbye to the days of rosé and warm up with the seasonal fall cocktails at Nearly Ninth at Arlo Midtown. Now available are the Cider-Car, Apple Cider Mimosa, Chai-Town, Hopscotch, Bourbon Smash and the gorgeous Applejack Sazerac (pictured below). The Applejack Sazerac is the ultimate autumnal cocktail, including Laird’s Applejack, Woodford Reserve, Honey, Peychaud Bitters and finished with Absinthe and a rinse of Allspice. 

Zuma Miami – Miami, FL 

Cocktail nameJapanese Old Fashioned 

A drink crafted to the warm the soul, Zuma’s Japanese Old Fashioned is garnished with a freshly cut orange slice and two berries and takes a new twist on a timely classic. Made with Toki Japanese Whisky, Hokuto sugar and bitters this rich, smooth and silky cocktail will leave you begging for another.  

 
Marker 92 Waterfront Bar & Bistro at The Westin Cape Coral Resort at Marina Village  


Cocktail name: Pumpkin Spice Martini 
Westin Cape Coral Resort’s restaurant, Marker 92 Waterfront Bar & Bistro, is serving up the delicious Pumpkin Spice Martini, made with Smirnoff Vanilla Vodka, Bailey’s Irish Cream and Pumpkin Liquor. This festive drink is then topped with Whipped Cream, a dash of Cinnamon and Nutmeg. For those traveling to Cape Coral for Thanksgiving this fall, Marker 92 will be celebrating with a dedicated holiday dinner menu, as well as additional festive cocktails like their Apple Cider Mimosa, Cranberry Apple Sangria and Thanksgiving Punch. Price: $14 

The Irvington – New York, NY  

Cocktail Name: The Cider Car  

If you’re looking to shake off the chilly fall weather, look no further than The Irvington. Located in Union Square, the bartenders are now offering chic fall cocktails including the Bourbon Smash and our personal favorite, the Cider-Car (pictured center, below). Served in a coupe and topped with a dry apple chip, this Insta-worthy cocktail features Cognac, apple cider, lemon juice, apricot liquor and a hard cider float.  

The Bar at Deer Path Inn Lake Forest, Illinois   

Cocktail name: The Birds Poison Punch  

The English-inspired boutique hotel is renowned for its innovative (and oftentimes whimsical) cocktails, and someone who plays a large role in that recognition is its chief spirits officer, Jorge Centeno, who spearheads the property’s beverage program and mixes up some of the inn’s most popular, Instagram-worthy creations. Now, visitors to the inn can embrace spooky season all autumn long with Jorge’s fun play on Alfred Hitchcock’s creepy fall classic, The Birds, with The Birds Poison Punch cocktail – infused with mezcal and tequila, tepache, blue curaçao, lemon juice, mineral water and lavender smoke.  

Mahina & Sun’s at The Surfjack Hotel & Swim Club – Honolulu, Hawaii  
Cocktail name: Cacao Muerte  
Name of bartender: Ian McKinney, Bartender at Mahina & Sun’s at The Surfjack Hotel  
Recipe:

1/2 oz SelvaRey Chocolate Rum  

1/2 oz Casamigos Anejo Tequila   

1/2 oz St George Nola Coffee Liqueur   

1/2 oz Campari  

3/4 oz Carpano Antica Formula Sweet Vermouth   

Combine ingredients over ice & stir for 30 revolutions. Can be served up or on a large format Ice cube. Garnish with an orange twist.

What makes it unique: “For those chocolate lovers. A savory balance of incredible spirits that accentuate the beautiful dark chocolate flavor you crave. The orange & vanilla notes from the Anejo tequila pair deliciously with the bitter notes made famous by Campari. A wonderfully warm and cozy libation for the fall” – Ian McKinney 

MDRD atop the Amway Grand Plaza, Curio Collection by Hilton – Grand Rapids 

Cocktail Name: Spanish Coffee 

With temperatures dropping as fall arrives, the newly opened, Spanish-inspired restaurant MDRD atop the historic Amway Grand Plaza in Grand Rapids, MI boasts flavorful twists on classic warm Spanish cocktails, including its cozy Spanish Coffee, which is crafted with rich overproof demerara rum and orange curacao flamed to perfection, both mixed into European roast coffee. The drink is then topped with whipped cream and a garnish of freshly grated nutmeg and gold leaf, satisfying imbibers’ taste, smell and sight on chilly autumn evenings.  

LIQS 

Our favorite fall vegetable is tequila. LIQS, the world’s first premixed cocktail shot, is bringing you all the fall flavors with their Tequila Cinnamon Orange shot. In European countries, it’s common to take a shot of tequila with a cinnamon-sprinkled orange slice instead of salt and lime; thus, LIQS’ version was born. This mind-blowing flavor combination will change the way you look at tequila for a sweeter, smoother shot. Portable, pre-packaged, and premixed, LIQS’ lightweight four-packs are perfect for taking on-the-go. The shots are low carb, low sugar, low cal and gluten free and available across the U.S. for $9.99 – find the Tequila Cinnamon Orange here on Total Wine

MILA Restaurant – Miami, FL  

Cocktail: Spice Market  

Price: $21  

Akin to a premium rum punch, the Spice Market is made from Plantation three-star rum and Plantation original dark rum, mixed with complimentary sweet, spicy and sour flavors: charred banana, Orgeat (a nutty floral syrup), aromatic fall spices, and lime. This autumn orange-colored cocktail is topped with smoked banana foam and garnished with a peony.  

Estiatorio Ornos – Miami, FL 

Cocktail: Smoke of Hephaestus  

Price: $16 

This deep orange cocktail is a more riveting spin on a classic margarita, using fresh ingredients from tropical environments and mezcal, giving it a smokier flavor. Garnished with a mint leaf and a tajin-crusted glass, this one puts a fall twist on a summer staple. 

The Bar at The Spectator Hotel – Charleston, SC 

An Apple a Day 

Channeling the refreshingly crisp autumn air that engulfs the Holy City, the “An Apple a Day” cocktail utilizes organic apple cider, apple brandy and vanilla liqueur to provide immediate refreshment and invoke memories of fall days spent at the orchard. Combined with bourbon, a spritz of fresh lemon juice, and house-made fall spice syrup, it’s the ideal drink to sip on after a beautiful fall day exploring Charleston. 

Grand Hyatt Baha Mar – Nassau, Bahamas 

Pumpkin Mojito 

This cocktail from T2, a sophisticated rum and cigar lounge at Grand Hyatt Baha Mar, an expansive oceanfront luxury resort in the Bahamas, gives a kick to the classic Caribbean mojito combining rum and fresh mint leaves with house-made pumpkin syrup and pumpkin whipped cream, topped with a dash of soda. Guests can sip and savor as they take in the surrounding tunes of live Bahamian music and indulge in cigar pairing suggestions from in-house mixologists to create an all-encompassed experience. 

Fargo Bar & Grill at the Inns of Aurora – Aurora, NY 

Cocktail Name: Lost Moose 

The Inns of Aurora, a luxury lakeside boutique resort in the Finger Lakes, serves up the warming “Lost Moose” cocktail at their Fargo Bar & Grill, a tavern serving elevated eats and late-night drinks. Cozy up with hazelnut liqueur, Jack Daniels honey and apple juice, with a splash of ginger ale, in a mug – served hot. 

 
DenimatThe Joseph, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Nashville 
Cocktail name:Life Is But a Dram 
Comfortable luxury, seasonally-inspired craft cocktails and an all-day menu of American and Italian favorites by Chef Tony Mantuano and team await at The Joseph Nashville’s rooftop bar, Denim. One of Denim’s signature cocktails perfect for Fall, Life Is But a Dram, is a spirited take on a Manhattan made with Heaven’s Door whiskey and The Joseph’s “Highway 61” whiskey blend, espresso-infused Carpano Antica, Angostura bitters and orange bitters.  

 Recipe

Life Is But a Dram // Heaven’s Door and The Joseph’s “Highway 61” whiskey blend, espresso-infused Carpano Antica, Angostura bitters, orange bitters Denim at The Joseph, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Nashville

1.5 oz Heaven’s Door Highway 61 The Joseph Blend whiskey 
1.5 oz espresso-infused Carpano Antica sweet vermouth 
2 dashes of Angostura bitters 
Orange twist or orange oil 
Dehydrated orange slice (optional) 
 
Add ingredients to mixing glass. Add ice and stir for 45 seconds. Strain into a coupe glass. Spray with orange oil or express oils from a fresh orange peel. Garnish with a dehydrated orange slice. 

Espresso-Infused Carpano Antica 
1L Carpano Antica sweet vermouth 
1/4 Cup whole espresso beans 

Add espresso beans to vermouth and allow to soak for 12 hours in the refrigerator. Strain out the espresso beans, and store infused vermouth in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. 

InterContinental New York Barclay – New York, NY 

Cocktail Name: Chili Mule  

Find the perfect fall respite within Manhattan at The Parlour Restaurant and Bar, where the Chili Mule is the perfect blend of classic fall spices. Made with premium Scottish Vodka, Arbikie infused with Chili, Ginger Beer, Fresh Lime Juice, and Rosemary Simple Syrup, it’s the perfect drink to enjoy on fall nights along with The Parlour’s Jazzy Wednesdays, featuring the Café Society.  

Brugal 1888  

Cocktail name: “East to West” Cocktail  

Cocktail enthusiasts looking for a drink to sip during the crisp fall months should try Brugal 1888’s “East to West” cocktail. This unique fall-themed recipe fuses the premium rum – produced in the Dominican Republic by the 5th generation Brugal family – with maple syrup and apricot liqueur, adding a sweet flavor with hints of fruity and citrus notes.   

 
Merriman’s Hawaii – Hawaiian Islands 

Cocktail name: Merriman’s Coconog  
Sip on Merriman’s Coconog this holiday season for a tropical twist on the classic eggnog cocktail. Highlighting tastes of coconut and cinnamon, Merriman’s Coconog uses an Old Forester Bourbon and Licor 43 base mixed with coconut milk and freshly ground nutmeg. Top it off with whipped cream and enjoy in paradise!   

Recipe:  

13.5 oz Coconut Milk  

6 oz Whole Milk  

3 whole eggs  

1/2 cup granulated sugar  

3/4 tsp freshly ground Nutmeg  

1/4 tsp Cinnamon  
 

Blend on high speed for a full minute.  

Whisk over double boiler until mixture reaches 160 F.  

Chill overnight.  
 

Shake 6 oz of chilled Eggnog Mix with:  

1/2 oz Licor 43  

1/2 oz Old Forester Bourbon  
 

Pour in carved Coconut  
Top with a dollop of fresh whipped cream and a sprinkle of ground nutmeg.  

MR CHOW – Miami Beach 

Cocktail name: Lychee Martini

The Lychee Martini is one of MR CHOW’s most popular cocktails, featuring Absolut Elyx Vodka, lychee and a touch of ginger for a delicious twist. 

Texas Winter Lights at Marriott Marquis Houston 

Cocktail name: Spiced Apple Pie  

Marriott Marquis Houston’s completely reimagined holiday lights event, Texas Winter Lights, will be serving innovative, boozy fall cocktails for any crisp autumn day. High Dive (the rooftop restaurant & bar) curated an all-new hot “Spiced Apple Pie” drink inspired by the aroma and taste of a delicious homemade apple pie. With the smell of cinnamon and spiced apples, this cocktail is sure to put anyone in the fall mood.   Other fall cocktails will include a “Spiced Pear Martini,” a fruity seasonal punch with a crisp cranberry and orange finish, and a glow-in-the-dark “Starry Night” ginger mule (that even chan

Perrin Brewing Company’s Backyard Bash is this September 25!

Are you ready for live music, specialty beers, games and local food trucks? Then Perrin Brewing Company’s Backyard Bash is the event for you. Celebrate the Michigan-based brewery’s 9th Anniversary Celebration and Backyard Bash on September 25 from 4-11pm. Tickets are available here.

Music

The day’s funky local music lineup will include:

The Polyphonic Element 3:15pm – 4pm 

Nathan Walton and the Remedy 4:15pm – 5:15pm True to the Michigan rock and roll spirit of Bob Seger, Rare Earth and Grand Funk Railroad, the soulful West Michigan native’s original music delivers a level of compassion, understanding and depth well beyond his years. 

Melophobix 5:35pm – 6:35pm Cage-free funk from Grand Rapids. Melophobix presents dynamic live performances driven by genre-bending songwriting, and fueled by depth of instrumentation and vocal capabilities. 

Flexadecibel 6:45pm – 7:45pm A high-energy seven-piece funk/rock/soul band that brings the heat!

The Hacky Turtles 8pm – 9:15pm Hailing from Grand Rapids, The Hacky Turtles whip up an eclectic recipe of Alternative Funk/Rock with a decent dollop of Durty Folk.

Desmond Jones Band 9:30pm – 10:30pm A sensational midwestern jamboree complete with twangy rock and rocking twang.

Beer

Every backyard hang needs great beer, so Perrin’s brewers crafted something special for the 9th anniversary Backyard Bash: Bashtoberfest (5.5% ABV). Offered on draft and in 6-packs of 12 oz. cans, this sessionable German lager offers notes of biscuit and caramel with aromas of black pepper for a sweet, malty finish. 

Malted Milk Ball (12% ABV) will also return in 2021 on draft and in 22 oz. bottles. The beer deconstructs the flavor profile of a malted milk ball treat into a malt beverage brewed with lactose and spiced with vanilla and cacao nibs and laid down to age in oak bourbon barrels.

Cornhole

While you’re enjoying a freshly crafted Perrin beer, test your hand-eye coordination! The annual cornhole tournament will take place at 3pm. Early Registration is required. Cost is $40 for a team, and the fee includes admission to the party. Register here.

Eats & Vendors

Local food trucks will roll into the backyard for all your snacking needs. Check out eats from Pressed in Time, Daddy Pete’s BBQ, Pizza Parliament and Patty Matters.

Other on-site vendors will include Nothing Bundt Cakes, offering mini bundt cakes; Pop Daddy Snacks, who will sample pretzels and popcorn; Maddie Ann Soap Co., with soap, candles, bath bombs and lotion; and MMS Pottery, with pottery and beer glasses. You can also find art by Old Growth Creative; creams and other products by Purely CBD; handmade headbands from Leopard and Lotus; etched glassware and collectibles from Cheers & Happiness; and freshly printed tees from Citizen Shirts.

Bash Your Own Backyard

For the second year in a row, Perrin will offer Bash Your Own Backyard take-home kits. Can’t make it to the celebration? We’ve got you covered. The Bash Your Own Backyard box includes:

  • 6-pack of Bashtoberfest
  • Two cups
  • Two koozies
  • Nothing Bundt Cake 
  • Spotify Playlist of the Bands 
  • Surprises from Vendors
  • Stickers and pin 

Each box costs $28.99, and can be preordered online here. Boxes can be picked up from the Pub September 21-26 during Pub hours.

Senior Marketing Manager, Lindsey VanDenBoom said, “The Pub is a community-focused spot, and every year we look forward to putting on this fun backyard party for all of our friends and neighbors. We’re making up for missing last year’s bash, so bring your dancing shoes and come ready to party!”

USA Today: Michigan’s Best Coney Dogs!

Before I was asked by USA’s 10Best team to suggest the 20 best places for Coney Dogs in the state of Michigan, I had thought Coney dog toppings were made with a mixture of ground beef, some type of tomato base and a bunch of spices and herbs.

Virginia Coney Island
Jackson, MI

I also knew, despite the name Coney, they didn’t originate at Coney Island Amusement Park in Brooklyn, New York but instead in Detroit having first shown up on Michigan menus in the early 1900s. Indeed, many of the most famous Coney dog places including Virginia Coney Island in Jackson which opened in 1914, Muskegon’s G&L Chili Dogs (1926), Coney Island Kalamazoo (1915) and Detroit’s American Coney Island (1917) and Lafayette Coney Island (1917) date back a century ago.  I also had a vague knowledge that the originators of the Coney Island-style hot dog were Greek immigrants.

What I didn’t know is that the sauce (that’s what they call the Coney Island topping) often contains ground beef hearts and indeed, a large portion of beef hearts sold for human consumption in Michigan go for Coneys. I guess with all the other ingredients, the beef hearts aren’t that noticeable.

My friend Susan Pollock, who like me is a food and travel writer, was also asked to make suggestions. It wasn’t the first time we’d been asked by USA10Best. In 2017 they asked us, along with a few other writers, to make suggestions for Michigan’s Best Destinations. Once we make suggestions, then they’re put up for an online vote reader who get to vote for their favorites.

The 10Best from number one to ten are as follows:

  1. Virginia Coney Island – Jackson
  2. Bobaloon’s Cafe – Escanaba
  3. Mussell Beach Drive In – Bay City
  4. Old Town Drive In – Saginaw
  5. One Stop Coney Shop – Grand Rapids
  6. Dog n’ Suds – Muskegon & Montague
  7. G&L Chili Dogs – Muskegon
  8. Lafayette Coney Island – Detroit
  9. Johnny Dogs – Munising
  10. Grand Coney Diner – Grand Rapids

        I thought it would be fun to include a few recipes of the winning types of Coney dogs. Surprisingly, for a dish this simple, there are a myriad of recipes some with ground beef heart. Even in the ones that call for beef heart, ground beef can be substituted

Coney Dogs for Thanksgiving

Dog N’ Suds Coney Dog

 I pound ground beef

2 tablespoons ground mustard

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

⁄1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce

1 small onion, chopped

2 tablespoons vinegar

1 tablespoon water

¼ teaspoon celery seed

ketchup, as needed

In a salted skillet, brown ground beef with onion over medium heat, breaking up meat with a fork to crumble it fine.

Drain off fat. Add remaining ingredients, except catsup.

Mix well, then add enough catsup to keep mixture loose.

Simmer, partially covered, 1 hour, adding catsup as needed.

Detroit-Style Coney Island Hot Dog

For the Coney Sauce:

1 pound ground beef

1 large onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 6 ounce can tomato paste

2 cups water

2 teaspoons light brown sugar

1 tablespoon prepared yellow mustard

1 tablespoon dried onion flakes

2 teaspoons chili powder

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon celery seed

½ teaspoon ground cumin

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

For each hot dog:

1 hot dog bun, warmed

1 natural-casing beef and pork hot dog, grilled or boiled

Squeeze of yellow mustard

2 tablespoons white onion, diced

In a large skillet over medium heat, brown ground beef. Use a potato masher to break beef up into the smallest chunks possible. Halfway through cooking, add onions, and cook until onions begin to turn translucent. Add garlic, stir to combine, and cook for an additional minute.

Add remaining ingredients and stir well. Simmer uncovered for 15 minutes, or until sauce thickens. If sauce seems too “chunky,” transfer to a food processor and pulse in short one second bursts until chili reaches desired consistency.

To serve, place a cooked hot dog on top of a steamed or heated bun. Ladle with a big coop of chili, and finish with yellow mustard and chopped onions.

Makes:12 Coney Dogs. The chili sauce freezes well, so make extra.

Detroit Coney Dog

The hot dog

6 pork and beef blended frankfurters with natural casings

6 hot dog buns

1 white onion, chopped ne

Yellow ballpark mustard

The Coney sauce

1 pound ground chuck

1/2 pound ground beef heart

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 large onion, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

4 teaspoons American chili powder

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1.5 cups chicken or beef broth

4 ounces tomato paste

2 teaspoons cider vinegar

1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

In a small bowl, mix the American chili powder, paprika, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper.

Cook. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook the ground beef and beef heart for 5 minutes or until brown. Crumble it as it cooks so it is brown all over.

Pour the meat into a strainer and drain the fat into a small saucepan. Discard all but 3 tablespoons of fat. Whisk the fat and flour together over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until it turns amber, about 15 minutes. Then whisk in the chicken stock, tomato paste, and vinegar. Let it sit on low a few minutes on low while you handle the next few steps.

Add the onion, garlic, and red bell pepper to the ground meat in the skillet and cook for another 5 minutes.

Push everything aside and add the spices and cook in contact with the bottom of the pan for 2 minutes, stirring so the spices don’t stick to the bottom. Then mix them in with the meat.

Add the roux mix ingredients and stir it in. Simmer for at least 15 minutes, an hour is better.

Pour 1/3 the mix into your blender and puree it until it is pasty, and mix it back in. If you prefer you can use a stick blender to get the mix thick.

Split the frank down the middle but don’t cut it in half. Brown the meat.

Steam the bun. Put the frank on the bun, split side up. Squirt a line of mu

Jackson Coney Sauce

1 ½ pounds ground beef heart

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 teaspoons garlic salt

2 t4easpoons chili powder

2 t4easpoons cumin powder

2 teaspoons paprika

Brown meat in oil, add spices and enough water to moister mixture. Simmer, stirring occasionally until mixture is somewhat dry, bring careful not to allow it to dry completely and it burns. Spoon on top of hot dog and top with chopped onions and mustard.

Jane Ammeson can be contacted via email at janeammeson@gmail.com