Autumn's Last Dance
- 1 oz. bourbon (Booker's Bourbon, or at least a 100 proof bourbon)
- 1 oz. Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur
- 1/4 oz. simple syrup
- A dash or two of Angostura bitter
- 10 drops of Urban Moonshine maple bitters (optional)
- 2 oz. Vander Mill Totally Roasted hard cider
Combine bourbon, ginger liqueur, simple syrup and bitters. Stir over ice until cold. Pour into a double, ice included. Add more ice. Top with hard cider and stir. Garnish with a thin slice of an apple if you have one on hand.
Autumn's Last Dance isn't a summer sipper. It's a cocktail built for a fall evening with aromas of cinnamon, ginger, and caramel. Bourbon and hard cider, especially Vander Mill Totally Roasted, play off one another well.
Vander Mill starts with their traditional hard cider and steeps it in candied pecans which impart a cinnamon, pecan and vanilla flavor. On it's own, Totally Roasted is delicious. Add some bourbon and ginger liqueur and you have fall distilled into a nice cocktail.
Use a high proof bourbon, anything over 100 proof will work, to get the true essence of this drink. Booker's Bourbon punch of spicy rye elevates this to something special and cuts through the cider. It also makes it potent since Booker's clocks in between 121 and 127 proof. If you go with a lower proof bourbon, make sure you get something with a high rye mash bill to add a bit of spice.
Can't find Vander Mill Totally Roasted? Replace it with another craft cider and swap out the simple syrup with a cinnamon simple syrup.
One of my favorite albums for fall is R.E.M.'s Automatic for the People (it might also be my favorite R.E.M. album). If Autumn's Last Dance tastes like fall, Automatic for the People sounds like autumn. It's a lushly orchestrated and golden hued song cycle, a reminder of the changing seasons and the transitoriness of life. Perfect to accompany Autumn's Last Dance.