As the seasons change so, too, do our palates and, consequently, our preferences in cocktails. Layered fall cocktails include ingredients like mole bitters, sherry, demerara and cinnamon flavored simple syrup. Fall recipes slowly tiptoe into the minds of bartenders, ultimately replacing their summer counterparts on bar cocktail menus, and gatherings in our homes.
While our palates hanker for autumnal recipes, it can be an adjustment to think “fall season”. Azuñia Tequila is one of those finds that the team at Drink Me would advise every respectable cocktail enthusiast to have in their bar, even if your bar is a shelf in the kitchen.
It’s made from 100% pure Weber Blue Agave Tequila and wholly organic. We love it for its authenticity — it’s harvested by hand and finished with a natural, open-air fermentation process and bottled on-site — and it’s just downright compulsory if you like to make cocktails. This is why: it’s necessary that the spirits your use in your cocktails are able to stand up well in a recipe that has four ingredients or more. In this case, a tequila with structure and depth will make your cocktail taste better and actually compliment the added ingredients, not drown them out or be drowned out by them. Azuñia does all of that, and it’s as pure and organic as they come. You can find it easily at Albertsons, Vons, Safeway, and Pavilions.
We referred to the experts for this story, i.e. bartenders and mixologists, and asked them to put their best cocktail forward for the ultimate list of Fall Cocktail Recipes that will make you welcome the low temperatures and windy weather. You’re going to want to save, share or print this list out.
Bartender/Bar: Nikolas Manns @ Old City Hall, San Diego, CA
- 1.5 oz Azuñia Reposado
- 0.75 oz Ruby Red Grapefruit Juice
- 0.5 oz Lemon Juice
- 0.5 oz Grapefruit Sculpin IPA Simple Syrup
- 3 Dashes of Hella Bitters – Smoked Chili
- 1 oz Sparkling Rose
- Grapefruit peel/rose garnish
Method: Shaken with ice, strained into highball glass over new ice. Top with Sparkling Rosé.
Sales Price: $12
Inspiration: choose Azuñia Reposado to compliment the lighter flavors of lemon and grapefruit juices. With an Añejo I would have gone with less citrus and less ingredients to highlight the tequila as is. It’s a delicious $12 price point for craft cocktails in downtown San Diego.
Withering Rose puts a twist on a classic paloma cocktail just in time for Fall. The Azunia Reposado gives a caramel aroma with a smooth finish that complements our house made simple syrup. Grapefruit juice and fresh pressed lemon is balanced out with a chili bitter adding a complexity for seasoned drinkers. The combination is a perfectly balanced cocktail in time for the cooling months ahead.
As the months become cooler we stray away from a summer time favorite for something with more substance. Withering Rose is a take on an all-time classic paloma, staying true to the principle with an added twist. Azuñia Reposado organic tequila, fresh pressed lemon and grapefruit gets a dose of San Diego IPA and California Rose. A smoked chili bitters adds a layer of complexity balancing out the sweet and sour flavors. After the hot days of July and August take a seat in the shade, a view of the ocean, and enjoy the coming tide.
Orange is the New Black
Bartender/Bar: Alyxandra McMillan @ Restaurant Progress, Phoenix, AZ
- 1.0 oz Azuñia Black 2-years extra aged, Private Reserve Añejo
- 0.5 oz Stiggins’ Plantation Fancy Pineapple Rum
- 0.5 Pedro Ximénez Sherry
- 0.75 Carrot Ginger Shrub
- 1.0 oz lemon juice
- 2 dashes Arizona Bitter Labs Más Mole Bitters
This shrub is super easy to make at home…
- 12 oz. carrot juice
- 1 oz. ginger juice
- 12 oz. white sugar
- 6 oz. champagne vinegar
- 6 oz. apple cider vinegar
Method: Shake + Double Strain / Served tall in a Collins glass, garnished with thyme.
Sales Price: $13
Inspiration: Sustainability is very important to us at Restaurant Progress. The restaurant was built with local, reclaimed materials. We support small, independent Arizona purveyors, like Paris Masek @green_on_purpose. We recycle, avoid using plastic straws, and compost all of our waste. After juicing carrots and ginger for the shrub, the pulp goes into the compost, which is then given to our friends at The Green House Farm @thegreenhousefarm. This makes for some very happy chickens!
I love the combination of tequila and sherry. I chose Azuñia Añejo tequila because of its vanilla, caramel, and baking-spice profile. The earthy notes of the tequila pair well with the carrot and ginger, while the rich, spicy notes of the PX Sherry pair well with the Añejo and ginger. Garnished with thyme, a sweet aromatic herb, ties it all together. BONUS- it looks like a carrot!
What’s Up Doc?
Bartender/Bar: Chanel Godwin-McMaken, The Henry – Phoenix, AZ
- 1.5 oz Azuñia Blanco Tequila
- 0.75 oz Yellow Chartreuse
- 0.75 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
- 0.50 oz Simple Syrup
- 1 oz Fresh Heirloom Carrot Ginger Juice
- Charcoal Activated Sea Salt Rim
Method: Juice heirloom carrots and ginger separately. Combine 20 parts carrot to 1 part ginger. Rim glassware with charcoal salt. Combine all liquid ingredients together into tin with ice. Shake very hard. Double strain into flute. Garnish with greens.
Sale Price: $12
Inspiration: I love eating clean and healthy. I am a huge advocate for purifying the body. Working in the industry we do, it takes a lot out of us physically and mentally. It’s important to nourish our bodies and souls. I looked to the Monks for inspiration. Two elements I appreciate from Monks are that they are known for their practice of meditation but they are also less recognized for their work on the land to grow their own food. Having your hands in the soil to provide for yourself the food you eat is pivotal. I wanted to create a cocktail that embodies all of those elements. I chose Azuñia Blanco Tequila because I wanted something clean and pure tasting. That way all the ingredients could equally shine through leaving the drinker in a natural euphoric feel.
Organic Saffron Flip
Batender/Bar: Shawn Monnin @ Coasterra, San Diego, CA
- 1.75 oz Spanish Saffron Infused Azuñia Reposado
- 0.25 oz El Silencio Mezcal (Black)
- 1 oz Madagascar Vanilla Bean Demerara
- 1 oz Lemon Juice
- 1 Whole Egg
- 10 Drop Green Cardamom Tincture
Method: This drink is a flip. Add all ingredients to shaker, dry shake to froth, add ice, shake, strain in coupe. Garnish with grated green cardamom pod and edible flowers.
Sale Price: $14
Inspiration: Azuñia Reposado retains its agave character while adding some caramel and baking notes to the underbelly of the cocktail.
Bartender/Bar: Ryan Andrews @ Prohibition, San Diego, CA
- 1.5 oz Azuñia Single Barrel Reposado
- 1.0 oz grapefruit juice
- 0.5 oz lemon juice
- 0.5 oz Aperol
- 0.5 oz Giffard Pamplemousse
- 4 drops saline
Method: Shake, strain, serve.
Sales Price: $13
Inspiration: Due to southern California’s warm Indian summers, this refreshing yet fall colored and flavor inspired cocktail will surely quench your thirst and tantalize your taste buds.
Plum Drunk in Mexico
Bartender/Bar: Kyla Dahl @ Market Street Kitchen, Scottsdale, AZ
- 1.5 oz Azuñia Reposado
- 1 Red Plum diced
- 0.25 oz Simple syrup
- 0.25 oz Cinnamon Simple syrup
- 0.5 oz Lemon juice
- 3 drops Walnut Bitters
Method: Muddle the Plum in with the Tequila, add other ingredients and shake. Strain over new ice into bucket glass. Garnish with plum coin and fresh grated nutmeg.
Sales Price: $10
Inspiration: I decided on Plum because that is what reminds me of the upcoming fall season. It adds a nice amount of savory and sweet flavors and pairs well the baking spiced flavors of the Reposado. The cinnamon syrup ties everything together nicely, and the lemon brings out the freshness of the tequila and brightens up the cocktail so you can drink it anytime.
Bartender/Bar: Alexandria Bowler @ Arnaud’s French 75 Bar, New Orleans, LA
- 2 oz fresh Black Plum infused Azuñia Añejo
- 3/4 oz local, raw honey
- 1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
- 4 oz hot Chai tea
Method: Combine 1 bottle of Azuñia Añejo Tequila with five very ripe, organic black plums cut into 1/2″ segments in a covered glass jar. Store at room temperature for three days and then fine strain. In a hot toddy glass or teacup build 1/3 oz raw, local, organic honey, 1/2 oz fresh lemon juice and 2 oz plum infused Azuñia Añejo, top with 4 oz. very hot, organic Chai tea (I used TAZO). Stir until combined. Garnish with spices and a lemon twist.
Sales Price: $14
Inspiration: Azuñia Añejo’s rich vanilla notes complement the warming chai spice while perfectly integrating the honey and plums.
The Blue Maple
Bartender/Bar: Aurelien Barron (Aure) @ The Table, San Jose CA
- 1.5 oz Azuñia Reposado Tequila
- .25 Merlet Apricot Liqueur
- .25 Bravo Amaro 14
- .25 Maple syrup
- .25 Orgeat
- .75 Lime juice
- A pinch of roasted and ground Pecan nuts.
Method: Combine all ingredients together in a tin. Shake, double strain and serve in a coupe. Dry apricot for garnish.
Sales price: $12
Inspiration: The light smokiness, the hint of sweetness and spice of the Azuñia Reposado makes it perfect for this fall oriented cocktail. The vibrancy of the agave match perfectly the dry fruit, pecan and the complexity of the Amaro.
Corazón de Otoño
Bar/Bartender: Sam Olguin @ The Pobrecito Cocktail Bar, Phoenix, AZ
- 1.5 oz Azuñia Reposado Organic Tequila
- 0.5 oz Avuá Amburana Cachaça
- 0.50 oz Pineapple Frond syrup
- 0.25 oz Hamilton Pimento Dram
- 1 Bar spoon Azuñia Organic agave nectar
- 2 dashes Bitter Truth Bogart’s Bitters
- 2 dashes Bittercube Jamaican Bitters #1
- 5 nectarine slices muddled
Method: Pineapple Frond syrup: Blend 50g pineapple fronds with 500g water. Strain, add 450g sugar to residual frond water. Muddle nectarine slices in mixing glass. Add all ingredients and stir. Strain into coupe. Garnish with nectarine slices. Express lemon oils over the top and discard peel.
Sales Price: $13
Inspiration: I chose Azuñia Reposado for its soft smoke and caramel flavor, as well as the hint of cinnamon bark and vanilla, this all lends to creating a wonderful medley of Fall flavors.
10 Panic Attack
Bartender/Bar: Valentina Panic @ El Chingon Mexican Bistro, Denver, CO
- 2 0z Azuñia Reposado
- 2 oz sweet potato-carrot-lemongrass-rosemary syrup
- 0.5 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 4 drops of persimmon bitters
- Habanero crystals rim
- Sweet potato chip for garnish
- 2 sweet potatoes
- 1 carrot
- 2 sprigs of rosemary
- 1 sprigs of lemongrass
- 1 tbsp salted butter
- 1 piloncillo
- 6 cups of water
Method: Bake potatoes and carrot with butter on 375 f. After 20 mins put all other ingredients in the pot with water including baked potatoes and carrot. Boil for 15 min. Let it to cool down. Take out rosemary and lemongrass. Put the rest in the vita mix or any blender and blend it together. Shake all ingredients for 10 seconds, strain over big ice cube in the glass with half habanero crystal rim. Put garnish on the top of ice cube. (Instruction for garnish: cut sweet potato on very thins slices. Add brown sugar and habanero crystals on each slice. Dehydrate as needed.)
Inspiration: Azuñia Reposado is one my favorite reposados. The barrel notes in tequila are perfect pairing with all ingredients in the syrup, where the cocktail is light, but all ingredients come through.
Bartender/Bar: Raul Pool @ Mi Corazón, Silverlake, CA
- 1 1/2 oz. Azuñia Reposado
- 1/4 oz. Carpano Bianco
- 1 1/2 oz. Nopal Water
- 1/2 oz. Lemon
- 1/2 oz. Agave nectar
- 2 dashes of Jamaican #1 Bitters
- 3-4 dashes of Guajillo tincture
- Garnish with fresh dill and grated nutmeg
Method: Shake, strain, serve.
Sales Price: $14
Inspiration: The main ingredient in the Abuelita’s garden is Nopales which are Opuntia Cactus’. It’s a vegetal ingredient frequently found in many Mexican dishes. This cocktail was inspired by my grandma who had a garden full of nopales. She would often drizzle them in honey and lightly cook them to serve them as a snack. I translated that into the glass. A fun fact about this cocktail is I went through over 15 renditions of it and before finding the perfect base spirit for it, which happened to be Azuñia Reposado. I wasn’t finding the brightness of agave and subtle sweetness I needed until I used Azuñia Reposado. The pairing of my homemade ingredients and Azuñia Reposado made this cocktail fully rounded in a way I wasn’t able to obtain with other spirits. The vanillas and butterscotch notes were soft enough to still let the vibrant and floral agave notes shine through. Furthermore, I use the scraps and chopped up pieces of the Nopal plant that our kitchen would normally discard to eliminate waste as much as possible. Sustainability is in the foundation of any bar program I run. We then blend the Nopal with water to create our nopal water. To me it is the one cocktail on my menu that defines what my bar program and Mi Corazón represent, Family, Sustainability, Wellness and Love.
Tequila en Nogada
Bartender/Bar: David Michel @ Hussong’s Cantina, Las Vegas, NV
- 1.25 oz Azuñia Añejo
- .75 oz Nocello Walnut liqueur
- .5 oz Agave Nectar
- 1 oz Heavy Cream
Method: Shaken and strained over ice in a coupe glass. Garnish with cinnamon, brown sugar, and chipotle rim, and pomegranate seeds and dill sprig
Inspiration: This cocktail is inspired by a traditional, fall seasonal, Mexican dish called “Chiles en Nogada”. Nogada referencing the walnut cream sauce used to top the dish. Pomegranates are at their ripest this time of year in Mexico, which along with other fresh green herbs give the dish all three colors of the Mexican flag making it a popular dish to enjoy during Mexican Independence Day.
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