Put down the pumpkin and back away. The Fall season offers so much more than pumpkin bread and Halloween jack-o-lanterns. The cooler months bring lovely changing colors, shorter days, cozy nights and rich flavorful cocktails that warm your body from the toes up. While I lean slightly toward the lighter, fruity, less sweet cocktails generally, the seasonal changes still affect me, even on the milder West Coast.
Embracing the Fall season, and all the goodness it has to offer, led me to the creation of this Fall smash cocktail. Smooth, warm and inviting, this vodka-based drink envelops the flavors of the season with fresh apple cider, sweet maple syrup and my favorite, fresh fig.
Think you‘re not a fig fan? Consider incorporating these tasty little fruits into your cocktail glass instead of your salad. Fall brings fig season in many parts of the country—with smaller, sweeter fruit bearing concentrated flavors. Muddling figs into this Fall smash cocktail elevated this seasonal drink to a whole new playing field, so-much-so that you might just become a devout fig fanatic.
To compliment the earthy fig flavor, I sweetened this drink up a bit with the addition of maple syrup. Despite maple harvesting season not falling till late winter/early spring actually, maple syrup is most often associated with the cooler fall and winter months.
Maple syrup, a favorite breakfast condiment, has recently become a bartenders fall favorite go-to for whipping up creative and seasonal modern cocktails. The lemon vodka offers so much more than traditional unflavored vodka, keeping this drink fruit-forward and slightly tart in taste. This fall smash cocktail is smooth, complex in flavor and warming to the soul, just what you need on a brisk autumn evening.
Fall Smash Cocktail
- 2 1/2 ounces lemon vodka (my go-to is Greenbar Distillery's Tru Lemon Vodka)
- 2 fresh figs, divided
- 1 1/2-2 teaspoons maple syrup (depending how sweet you want it)
- 2 1/2 ounces fresh apple cider
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme, divided
- Step 1 Place a handful of ice in a lowball glass and set aside.
- Step 2 Using a cocktail shaker, add 1 fig and the leaves of 1 thyme sprig. Using a muddler, muddle the mixture until the fig is broken down.
- Step 3 Add the lemon vodka, maple syrup and apple cider. Shake vigorously for 30 seconds. Double strain into the prepared cocktail class. Garnish with a fresh fig and the remaining sprig of thyme.
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