Favorite autumnal cocktails
Unpasteurized apple cider (sweet, not hard) and bourbon, rye, or amber rum on ice, a fall tradition I've been observing for years. Autumn is my favorite season here in New England, and this highball is one of the reasons.
Thanks to an e. Coli scare a few years back -- some idiot used fallen apples (a big no-no for the risk of contact with manure), making tainted cider that killed several people in CT -- the only place to get unpasteurized cider in New England now is at the orchards that produce it. But it's really worth the extra effort to get the real stuff: pasteurization kills a lot of fresh-apple flavor, resulting in a product that tastes more like bottled shelf-stable apple juice.
I haven't made it in a while, sadly, but one of my favorite autumn/wintry drinks is egg nog--the stronger and richer, the better. I prefer it made with bourbon, but rum is also a good standby.
Here's a recipe for around 8 servings
4 eggs (separated)
1/2 cup sugar
1 to 1 1/2 cup milk
1 to 1 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream (balance it with the milk to total 2 cups; I prefer it richer)
2 cups bourbon (or rum, or a mix)
ground nutmeg (fresh! if you have it)
(I use the above recipe more or less, but am usually only making it for two or four people; I just use one or two eggs and divide the remaining ingredients as needed. I rarely measure either but it always turns out great. I like that this recipe goes fairly easy on the sugar as well.)
* Beat egg-yolks with 1/4 cup of the sugar in larger bowl
* In a different bowl, whip egg-whites until stiff and add other 1/4 cup of sugar. Mix this carefully together with the yolk mixture.
* Add half of the booze and stir together carefully
* Add milk and stir together carefully
* Add remaining booze, stir etc.
* In a different bowl, whip the cream until not quite stiff, then stir/fold in the rest of the egg nog mixture
Ladle into glasses and grind some nutmeg over the top.
Okay, that's the official party version: since I make this in smaller, less formal batches (like for two people), I just separate a single egg, mix the yolk with a teaspoon of sugar, whip the white with a little less sugar and fold together. Add milk (~1 oz) and bourbon (~4oz) to the egg mixture, stirring carefully. Whip cream (3oz) and fold in. Serve in a couple of glasses with ground nutmeg on top.