It's finally fall in Dallas, or winter. Maybe we skipped right over fall since we jumped to freezing Thursday morning.
But after a few false starts, cooler temps are in full swing, and just like that, your cubicle neighbor has set up her tiny Christmas tree, you hear Mariah's holiday ballad, "All I Want for Christmas Is You" from a fellow commuter's car at a stoplight, and we're all dressed like it's Moscow in the dead of winter. But what happened to fall? That poor season tried so hard to come out to play, so we're here to honor the autumnal flavor profile for a
hot cool minute.
We looked around for some of our favorite cocktails around town making use of cinnamon, pumpkin and all the other dirty words. But, we promise, there's not a cocktail name that's a spin on the PSL anywhere.
The Drunken Punkin’ at AC Lounge
Give us fire and pumpkin, then add tequila, and we're pumpkin puree in your hands. Light it on fire and we're yours forever. The Drunken Punkin' we found at the AC Lounge was by far our favorite show, then the first sip sealed the deal. This cocktail was a surprise, as you don't often see a fall-friendly tiki cocktail done well outside of a tiki bar, but bar manager Ashley Williams hit the nail on the (shrunken) head with this drink.
Ingredients: Silver Patrón tequila, pumpkin seed orgeat, pumpkin, pineapple, lemon, Tiki Bitters, cinnamon
Available: through January 2020
AC Lounge, 1712 Commerce St. (downtown), inside the AC Hotel
Autumn Alexander at The French Room Bar
To our delight, one of the French Room's new cocktails is a play on a Brandy Alexander (traditionally made with cognac, creme de cacao and cream) with a little extra je ne sais quoi thanks to a kick from Martell VS Cognac (a brandy made in France), amaretto and a little spicy warmth from the allspice dram, it'll help you move through your food coma from the dining room with a smile on your face. Parfait.
Ingredients: Martell VS, Amaretto, allspice dram, lemon, Angostura bitters, egg white
Available: through fall 2019
The French Room Bar, 1321 Commerce St. (downtown), inside The Adolphus Hotel
Cafe Pierre at Javier’s
Dallas' traditional Mexican mainstay and cigar hideaway, Javier's, offers the ultimate in cool-weather cocktails, and all year-round. Their signature tableside after-dinner cocktail, the Cafe Pierre, offers a little warmth from the tower of flames created while it's prepared, and it'll warm your belly. It's truly a pick-me-up and wake-up call all in one.
Bacardi 151, Kahlúa, brandy, amaretto, coffee, cinnamon, whipped cream
anytime (regular menu item)
$16.95 each, minimum two per table
Javier's Gourmet Mexicano, 4912 Cole Ave. (Knox/Henderson)
“A is for Apple” at Meddlesome Moth
Apple picking is a northern tradition many of us down south wish we could partake. But we'll have to be satisfied with picking the best apples from the bin at Kroger, and picking this delight off the menu at Meddlesome Moth. Created by lead bartender Josh Brawner, this doesn't just have a bit of apple juice for flavor. He went three steps beyond it by creating an apple cinnamon syrup and freezing apples, then thawing them to get all the best juices out of them. No corners were cut here, just apples. And you can taste it.
Ingredients: bourbon, lemon juice, apple cinnamon syrup, Q Ginger Beer
Available: through winter 2020
Meddlesome Moth, 1621 Oak Lawn Ave. (Design District)
Warm Pumpkin Ponche at Stephan Pyles Flora Street Café
Ponche is a warm, spiced punch often seen in Mexico around the holidays, but we're glad to see it at Flora Street Cafe in downtown Dallas in a beautiful play on a ponche and hot buttered rum. Using a vanilla-heavy rum, Charanda Blanco, they gave this punch a comforting flavor from the first sip. Balanced by the spice of the tamarind and clove, this cocktail will put you in the spirit(s). Of course, they also took the time to make the clove syrup and pumpkin butter in-house.
Ingredients: Charanda Blanco, Ponche de Tamarindo, clove syrup, pumpkin butter, water, cinnamon, whipped cream
Available: through winter 2020
Stephan Pyles Flora Street Café, 2330 Flora St., Suite 150 (Arts District)
Fruits of Labor at HIDE
HIDE's cocktails always knock it out of the park, and it's usually because they work hard to create unique ones. So, they're giving us the chance to enjoy the fruits of their labor with one of their fall-friendly cocktails, Fruits of Labor. This baking, spice-heavy short drink brings us overproof bourbon and mellows it with Applejack Brandy and crème de cacao and a light vermouth, then gives it a slight zing with a delightfully bitter amaro. It's fall poured over a big ice cube.
Ingredients: Wild Turkey 101 Overproof bourbon, Laird's Applejack Brandy, Giffard White Crème de Cacao, Cocchi Torino, sweet vermouth, Pasubio Vino Amaro, Dashfire spiced apple bitters
HIDE, 2816 Elm St. (Deep Ellum)
S’Mores Cocktail at Whiskey Ranch’s TX Tavern
The S’Mores cocktail from Firestone and Robertson Distilling Co.’s resident mixologist, Jason Shelly, reimagines a typical s’more into a delicious, boozy beverage. The cocktail combines hot chocolate and condensed milk with the distillery’s award-winning, TX Blended Whiskey, all topped with toasted marshmallows and graham crackers.
Ingredients: TX Whiskey, hot chocolate, condensed milk, graham crackers, toasted marshmallows
Available: by request
TX Tavern (at Firestone & Robertson Distilling Co.'s Whiskey Ranch), 4250 Mitchell Blvd, Fort Worth
Adult Hot Chocolate at Lockwood Distilling Co.
The area's newest distillery just started percolating away to create its own spirits in Richardson, but they want to warm your spirit with this velvety (adult) version of a childhood favorite. They top it with vanilla rum whipped cream, which only makes it feel more naughty ... and nice.
Ingredients: hot chocolate, Texas bourbon, vanilla rum whipped cream
Available: through January
Lockwood Distilling Co., 506 Lockwood Drive, Suite A, Richardson
Café Flameado at Cantina Laredo
We'll say it ... sometimes we order from the secret menu just so our friends think we know things. But with Cantina Laredo's Café Flameado, we order it because it's an ostentatious show, and we can even show our table neighbors that we know things when the flames start flying. This coffee cocktail will really light you up, and we've been told, "There's no picture that can do this drink justice, you really need to see it yourself." We're on the way.
Ingredients: Bacardi 151, Kahlua, Bailey's, coffee, cinnamon, whipped cream
Cantina Laredo, multiple locations
Hawaiian Coffee at Roy’s Restaurant
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Get in the aloha spirit with some spirited caffeine at Roy's. Their Hawaiian coffee is a simple, yet effective (wink, wink) way to get a
lot of spirit into your post-dinner coffee.
Ingredients: Tuaca Vanilla Liqueur, Bailey's Irish Cream, fresh brewed coffee
Roy's Restaurant, 2840 Dallas Parkway, Plano