Legendary poet and author Rudyard Kipling described autumn as a season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, and through the summer may have well and truly retreated behind the clouds, there’s no denying that the fall season opens up new avenues of taste. Since this is the time of year when many of us start to feel a little isolated, sluggish and down it’s the perfect time to reconnect with friends and family over some flavors that encapsulate the spirit of mystery and adventure that the fall season brings in a way that’s a little edgier than your run of the mill pumpkin spice latte.
Embrace the flavors of the season
Okay, so pumpkin, nutmeg, and cinnamon are kind of ubiquitous but they should by no means dictate the culinary palette of your fall cocktail party. The best flavors for the season incorporate warmth and spice that are tempered by an accessible mildness. These flavors are best embodied in certain whiskeys. Check out this link in which the authors review Kikori Japanese whiskey which strikes the exact balance between warmth and mildness. Quintessentially autumnal flavors include apple, ginger, pomegranate, cranberry, squash, pear, maple syrup and chai spices. Incorporating these into your drinks choices and culinary creations will go a long way toward tying the theme of your party together.
Let food be thy decor
If you’re having friends round in summer you’re likely to want to decorate your table centerpiece with lots of flowers (heck, even the best winter centerpieces will be loaded with amaryllis and rose hips). In the fall, however, the best centerpieces are best constructed with beautiful and aromatic fruits and vegetables to really set the tone. Clementines pocked with cloves, cinnamon sticks and yes, even jack-o-lanterns can be used to create decor that really reflects the feel of the season. You can even embellish them with sprigs of aromatic pine and eucalyptus.
You can even make your centerpiece concentric around a punch bowl. There are lots of great recipes that you could use but my personal favorite is the autumn glow punch which uses allspice, cloves, and cinnamon to flavor a combination of dark rum, apple, and cranberry juices.
It all starts with cider
Nothing says fall like the combination of sweetness and spice to make sure your guests’ first taste is the fresh and crisp yet sweetly warming taste of hot apple cider. It’ll make your home smell amazing and get your guests into the spirit of the season as soon as they walk through the door. Keep it simmering on the hob with aromatic peppercorns, cinnamon, and coriander.
You more than likely have your own seasonal favorites, but should you find yourself strapped for ideas, the following will be suited to a range of tastes while encapsulating the spirit of the season…
- Apple cider mimosas- A combination of cider, brown sugar, cinnamon, and champagne.
- Whiskey sour- A classic.
- Thyme will tell- A simple mix of bourbon, maple syrup, lemon juice and a sprig of thyme.
- Caramel apple mule– A sweet combination of cider, caramel syrup, and vodka.
- Apple Hinny- Green apple juice, vodka, ginger ale, lime juice and a dusting of nutmeg.