By Julia Brenner

Published on October 22, 2015

Pin It
Photography by MICHAEL RUBENSTEIN

To celebrate the rich ambers and golds of the season, we’ve asked six of the top small-batch distilleries from around the U.S. to create seasonal cocktails using simple ingredients paired with some of the finest locally-produced whiskeys, bourbons, and spirits on the market. These cocktails are perfect for a fall dinner party or a cozy night at home. Cheers!

Pin It
Photography by Koval

koval distillery

Chicago-based 
KOVAL
 produces organic single-barrel whiskey, liqueurs, and specialty spirits that are made in their Ravenswood distillery using organic ingredients from Midwest farmers. KOVAL has garnered international acclaim and has grown to become a leader in small-batch spirit manufacturers.

Pin It
Photography by KOVAL / Wellworncardigan

KOVAL’S WELL-WORN CARDIGAN

In a cocktail shaker with ice, combine:

  • 1.5oz fig and apple infused KOVAL Bourbon*
  • .75oz fresh lemon juice
  • .5 honey syrup**
  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters

INSTRUCTION

*In a jar, combine 3-5 figs (quartered) and 1 apple (sliced) with 300 ml KOVAL Bourbon. Let sit in a cool, sunless area for 3 days to 1 week.

**Combine 1 cup honey and 1 cup water in a small saucepan over medium heat and stir until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat, let cool to room temperature and transfer to a clean glass jar. Cover and keep refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

Shake, strain, and garnish with a lemon peel.

Pin It
Photography by KCD Manhattan

king’s county distillery

Located in an historic building in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, 
King’s County
 is New York City’s oldest operating whiskey distillery. King’s County prides itself on sustainable practices, producing spirits using traditional copper whiskey stills fabricated in Scotland, locally-built fermenters, and an on-site corn and barley patch.

THE KING’S COUNTY MANHATTAN

  • 2 oz KCD bourbon
  • 2 oz sweet vermouth
  • 2 dashes of bitters

INSTRUCTION

stirred with ice

strained into a chilled cocktail glass

Pin It
Photography by SerendipityP

leopold bros.

Located in Denver, 
Leopold Bros
. is a family-owned and operated distillery that crafts award-winning whiskeys and spirits using sustainable methods and organic ingredients.

SERENDIPITY* BY SCOTT SMITH

*Adapted from a 
Colin Field
 recipe from Bar Hemingway in Paris

INSTRUCTION

Gently bruise mint leaves in a cocktail shaker. Add Leopold Bros. New York Apple Whiskey, apple cider and ice. Shake until cold and double-strain over fresh ice in a Collins or Rocks glass. Top with prosecco or sparkling wine. Garnish with a mint (or apple chip for fun).

Pin It
Photography by ForeignExchangeP

FOREIGN EXCHANGE BY RANDY LAYMAN

INSTRUCTION

To make the infusion, pit and roughly chop 10 dates per 750ml bottle of cognac. Infuse overnight and strain well. Add all ingredients to a mixing glass then add ice. Stir until chilled and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange peel.

Pin It
Photography by Ingalls Photography

catoctin creek

Located in Purcellville, Virginia, 
Catoctin Creek
Distilling Company specializes in whisky, gin, and brandy produced from organic and kosher ingredients that are sourced from local farms and vineyards, when available.

CATOCTIN CREEK’S AUTUMNAL EQUINOX

  • 1.5 oz Catoctin Creek Watershed Gin
  • 1 oz Cocchi Americano
  • .5 oz fall shrub*
  • Sage for garnish

INSTRUCTION

Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker (minus sage). Add ice and shake about 30 secs. Strain into a cocktail coupe and garnish with freshly woken sage.

Pin It
Photography by sdconnection.com

FALL SHRUB BY RANDY LAYMAN

  • 2 Fuji apples
  • 2 Bartlett pears
  • 6 oz canned pumpkin
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 allspice berries
  • 1 c turbinado sugar
  • 4 cloves
  • 1/2 c apple cider vinegar

INSTRUCTION

Finely chop the apples and pears and cover with turbinado sugar, spices and pumpkin pulp in a sealed container in a cool place for 2 days—shake the sealed container 3 times a day. Strain out the solids and add apple cider vinegar to the liquid to taste. Cheers!

Pin It
Photography by LetherbeeToddy

letherbee distillery

Chicago-based 
Letherbee Distillery
 distills and produces a range of craft botanical spirits. Alongside their renowned flagship gin, Letherbee also produces seasonal varieties of barrel-aged absinthe, fernet, and bësk.

LETHERBEE TODDY

  • 1.5 oz. Letherbee Gin
  • 4 oz. earl grey tea (hot)
  • 3/4oz. honey
  • 3/4oz. lemon juice
  • pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
Pin It
Photography by MICHAEL WILTBANK

st. george spirits

For over 30 years, San Francisco-based St. George Spirits has been a pioneer in American craft distillation. To celebrate fall, St. George has shared a pear martini using their flagship pear brandy made from dry-farmed, organic Bartletts.

ST. GEORGE’S PEAR MARTINI

A classic, crisp cocktail that is perfect for the season.

  • 1 oz St. George All-Purpose Vodka
  • 1 oz St. George Pear Brandy
  • ½ oz simple syrup
  • ½ oz lime juice

INSTRUCTION

Shake all ingredients with ice, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass.