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The season of the pumpkin spice is here. That warm, soothing vacation flavor is permeated in everything from white coffee to spam.
But this is southwest Florida.
With temperatures still in the 80s, the idea of ââmore warmth is not exactly comforting. It’s a common question in these parts: How do we get into the autumn mood when the calendar shows one and the thermometer shows the other?
Where there is a will, there’s a way.
At the beginning of the year I attended a virtual cocktail class with the people from Mozart Liqueurs. My end result wasn’t stunning to look at, but it was the best tasting chocolate martini I’ve ever made. And it was that easy.
As most bartenders will tell you, one of the best and easiest tricks to create a great cocktail is to start with quality ingredients. Enter Mozart.
The company’s master distiller in Vienna is also a chocolatier.
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New to the Mozart lineup for the fall season is the Chocolate Cream Pumpkin Spice ($ 26.99). The bottle looks like a pumpkin: round, shiny and orange. The label is like a jack-o’-lantern, and his eyes have been drilling holes in my kitchen counter for weeks.
Since local meteorologists predicted a dip into the high 80s (add a subtle eye roll), I decided to break the seal on autumnal cocktails that offer so-called âwarmthâ, starting with the Mozart.
Because heat doesn’t just refer to the thermostat. Warmth is also found in the immaterial. The warm feelings we have towards friends, family, places and memories. The nostalgic smell and taste of pumpkin, ginger, cinnamon, herbs and spices.
Now that we are in full fall, here are some warming cocktail recipes.
Just add ice.
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Mozart Chocolate Cream Pumpkin Spice White Russian
This liqueur is a symphony of milk chocolate, caramel, cinnamon, cloves, pumpkin, vanilla and a hint of chilli for a very slight spiciness. It’s a nice substitute for a dessert that is simply served in a Rocks glass over an ice ball. It can also improve desserts; Try drizzling it over vanilla ice cream.
2 ounces Mozart Chocolate Cream Pumpkin Spice Liqueur
1Â½ ounces of coffee liqueur
1Â½ ounces of vodka
2 ounces of heavy cream
Handful of ice cubes
Ice ball or large cocktail cube (optional)
Cinnamon stick (optional)
Pumpkin spice seasoning (optional)
Directions: Put Mozart Chocolate Cream Pumpkin Spice, coffee liqueur, vodka, cream and ice cubes in a cocktail shaker. Shake and pour over the ice ball (or more ice cubes) in a Rocks glass. Garnish with a cinnamon stick and season with pumpkin spice.
Ciroc pomegranate jewel
Ciroc pomegranate is a new flavor from French vodka made by distilling grapes. In this case, the vodka is also infused with pomegranate, resulting in a spirit that tastes like the seasonal fruit with maybe even a hint of strawberry.
You can also try a high-quality tonic or soda and lime over ice.
1 ounce Ciroc pomegranate
Â½ ounce grenadine
Directions: Put Ciroc pomegranate and grenadine in a mixing glass. Add ice and stir gently. Strain into an empty coup glass. Top up with sparkling wine and garnish with a lemon twist.
Apothic ginger sparkler
This is a wine-based cocktail made with Apothic Red ($ 10.99), a Californian blend of Zinfandel, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon with notes of dark fruit, vanilla, and mocha.
3 ounces Apothic Red
3 ounces ginger beer
Mint, lemon wedge, orange slice or dark cherry as an optional side dish
Directions: Pour Apothic Red and Ginger Beer into a glass filled with ice and stir. Choose from the above-mentioned sets or one according to your taste.
Chairman’s Reserve Vintage 2009 Rum
Sometimes you don’t need a blender, just a good spirit and a large scoop or ice cube to celebrate the changing of the seasons. As an alternative to bourbon or whiskey, try an aged rum.
Distilled on the island of St. Lucia, this is a new and rare offering ($ 70) from the highly acclaimed Chairman’s Reserve Portfolio. Several barrels of rum, made in pot stills and columns, were used to create this blend, which is teeming with notes of tobacco, leather, dark chocolate, vanilla, and candied citrus.
Vintage rums are not a typical find. Purists would say it is a crime to mix them in a cocktail. But if you have to, try replacing it with bourbon the old-fashioned way.
2 ounces of aged rum
2-3 dashes of Angostura bitter
1 teaspoon of sugar
Directions: Add sugar and bitters in a rocks glass. Mess together. Add rum and a large ice cube or scoop. Stir and garnish with an orange peel.
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