Fall Fruit Cocktails

Local bartenders highlight beautiful Fall fruits to create these five party-worthy cocktails.

Illustrations by Tanya Hendry

Tidewater cocktail by Christiaan Röllich

Tidewater cocktail by Christiaan Röllich

Tidewater

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Christiaan Röllich, head bartender at LA staples Lucques, a.o.c., and Tavern utilized one of the unsung heroes of the season – persimmon – to create a beautiful cocktail worthy of your next holiday party.

Makes one cocktail

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 oz Pigs Nose Scotch
1 oz spiced persimmon mix (recipe follows)
1 oz fresh lime juice (about 1 lime)
½ oz pure maple syrup
2 fresh sage leaves, for garnish

TO PREPARE COCKTAIL

  1. Add all ingredients to a short shaker and add ice to the rim. Shake hard for five seconds.
  2. Strain it over one big ice cube into a double old-fashioned glass. Garnish with sage leaves. 

SPICED PERSIMMON MIX

INGREDIENTS

3/4 cup persimmons, pitted and diced
1 cup fresh orange juice
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground cloves
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg
1 pod star anise
½ vanilla bean

INSTRUCTIONS

Add all ingredients to a small saucepan and boil over medium heat until the persimmons are super soft. Transfer ingredients to a blender and pulse until it looks a bit like a milkshake. Strain through a fine sieve and allow it to cool to room temperature before use.

Bishop’s Cup

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Ryan Wainwright, bar director at The Ponte in West Hollywood, uses grapes in three different ways to create a warming Fall cocktail, perfect for enjoying in front of the fireplace.  

INGREDIENTS

1 ½ oz Gra’it grappa
¾ oz Cocchi Barolo Chinato
¾ oz Concord Grape and Nebbiolo Reduction (recipe follows)
2 dashes Bitter Truth Jerry Thomas Bitters
Orange peel, for garnish

TO PREPARE COCKTAIL

Add all ingredients to an ice-filled mixing glass, stir, and strain into a metal chalice. Garnish with orange peel. 

CONCORD GRAPE & NEBBIOLO REDUCTION

INGREDIENTS

1 part Concord grape juice
1 part Nebbiolo wine
1 part granulated sugar

INSTRUCTIONS

Juice the grapes, strain the skins, then add the juice and wine to a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a very low simmer and slowly add sugar. Reduce the mixture for 45 minutes, stirring until the sugar dissolves completely, and continuing to stir every few minutes.

Pearly Legal 

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Vincent Anter, bartender at FIG Santa Monica inside the Fairmont Miramar Hotel, pairs tart lime juice with warm, spicy cinnamon, whiskey, and fresh pear. This cocktail is bursting with the all the flavors of the season. 

INGREDIENTS

2 oz High West Silver whiskey
¾ oz fresh lime juice
¾ oz simple syrup
1/2 Anjou pear, seeded and roughly chopped
1 cinnamon stick 

TO PREPARE COCKTAIL

Place chopped pear into a cocktail shaker and muddle. Add whiskey, lime juice, simple syrup, and fill with ice. Shake well and double-strain into a coupe glass. Torch the cinnamon stick and place it in the cocktail. 

Rebel Pom Snap  

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Sara Pauly, assistant general manager at Rebel Republic in Redondo Beach, shares a fresh, bright cocktail recipe with the true spirit of year-round Southern California sunshine in mind.

INGREDIENTS

2 oz Evan Williams bourbon
1/2 oz pomegranate juice
1/2 oz fresh orange juice
1/4 oz pomegranate syrup
dash of Angostura bitters
candied pomegranate slice, for garnish

TO PREPARE COCKTAIL

Combine all ingredients in an ice-filled shaker. Shake well and double-strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with candied pomegranate slice. 

Not your Gram's Vodka-Cran

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Jamie Amos, beverage manager at Barcito in Downtown LA, updates one of the most-ordered cocktails on the planet with a gorgeous and aromatic cranberry-lime shrub.

INGREDIENTS

2 oz Loft & Bear vodka
2 oz cranberry-lime shrub (recipe follows)
club soda
3 fresh cranberries, for garnish

TO PREPARE COCKTAIL

Build this cocktail in a Collins glass by first adding the shrub and vodka. Fill glass with ice, top with club soda, then add the fresh cranberries to a cocktail pick and garnish.

CRANBERRY-LIME SHRUB

INGREDIENTS

1 lb fresh cranberries
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup fresh lime juice

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Cranberries need to be cooked slightly to express more juice, so I recommend baking them on a sheet pan for about 15-20 min in a 350°F oven, or just until they begin to burst. 
  2. Scrape the pan and drippings into an airtight container. Add the sugar, vinegar, and lime juice, then stir or shake to combine. The container should be kept in a cool, dark place for at least 24 hours (or up to one week) to ferment. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve before using/
  3. Bartender’s note: shrubs are even delicious on their own or mixed as a mocktail with a bit of sparkling water. •