The sun is setting earlier, the leaves are aflame and the mercury’s dropping: Autumn is upon us. Instead of bemoaning the loss of summer, now’s the best time to sidle up to your bar cart and relearn your cocktail basics. Sure, you can head to your favorite watering hole and order up a Manhattan, but where’s the fun in that? The drinks below are the foundation for any at-home mixologists, doubling as chest warming drams for fall’s cooler nights. Give them a try and let us know how they turn out!
Made with a base of brandy, whiskey or rum, a warm mug of toddy always seems to banish the blues.
Mixed with mostly NOLA-made elixirs, the Sazerac was created there in the 1830s, and many consider it (and not the old fashioned) to be America’s first cocktail. Made with rye and herbaceous Herbsaint, this drink is a boozy slow-sipper and ideal nightcap.
Equal parts bitter, boozy and sweet, the Negroni lends itself to myriad variations. Swap in dry vermouth and Aperol to make a Negroni Bianco; swap gin for Bourbon to create a Boulevardier. It’s no wonder there’s a version on every cocktail menu.
Created in the 1870s, the Manhattan is in every cocktail aficionado’s repertoire. Made with vermouth and whiskey, a delicious Manhattan is easy to make but hard to forget.
Perhaps the only thing better than a classic Last Word is a variation called the Last Ward, created by bartender Phil Ward at New York City’s Mayahuel: equal parts rye whiskey, Green Chartreuse, maraschino liqueur and lemon juice.