Friends. Today is National Liqueur Day, and we couldn’t be more thrilled. Typically, when someone conjures up an image of liqueurs, s/he will most likely think of fruity, syrupy substances that tend to make drinks too sweet. But here at DIA, we have a different opinion. Could it be a coincidence that this day #falls in the heart of #fall, where season enthusiasts take the most pleasure in doing all things #fall? We think not. So, to celebrate the day, we’re bringing you three delectably #fall drinks that incorporate, you guessed it, spiced liqueurs. We’ve listed the steps below to make each liqueur from scratch, but if you’re feeling overwhelmed, we won’t judge you if you just purchase the liqueurs pre-made. We can’t all be Martha Stewart.
The Great Pumpkin
First, for the liqueur, you’ll need:
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 cinnamon sticks
- 1 whole clove
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp powdered ginger
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 tbsp pumpkin puree
- ***most importantly: 3/4 cup vodka
Bring the water and sugar to a boil. Reduce heat and add all other ingredients (expect for the vodka). Let simmer for 10 minutes. Take off of heat and let cool for 15 minutes. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth. Once the syrup is cool, mix with vodka and let it sit in a sealed glass for at least two days.
Now, you’re ready to make the drink itself. Acquire:
- 1/2 oz. pumpkin liqueur
- 1 splash Goldschläger (embrace the fanciness)
- 1/2 oz. vanilla vodka
- 1/2 oz. spiced vodka
- 1 splash Ginger Ale
Shake ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and strain. Enjoy.
For some unimportant reason, allspice flavored liqueur is referred to as dram. With this information, we go forth to concoct it. You’ll need:
- 1 cup light rum
- 1/4 cup whole allspice berries
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 1/2 cup water
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
Grind the allspice berries in a spice grinder. Place the crushed allspice in a sealable glass jar and pour the rum on top. Seal the jar and shake well. Let this mixture steep for 4 days, shaking daily. On day 5, break up the cinnamon stick and add it to the mixture. After 12 days total steeping, strain out the solids through a fine-mesh strainer. Then strain again through a coffee filter into your final bottle or jar. Heat water and sugar on medium until boiling, stirring to dissolve, about 5 minutes. Let the syrup cool, then add it to the strained allspice infusion. Shake and then let rest for a minimum of two days before using.
Did you make it? Great. Now put all that work to use and make yourself a drink. You’ll need:
- 1 1/2 ounces Jack Daniel’s
- 1 ounce of allspice dram
- 1/4 ounce raw sugar simple syrup
- a dash of Angostura
- a dash of orange bitters
- orange and/or lemon peel (for garnish)
Mix all ingredients together in a mixing glass with ice. Strain the mixture into a rocks glass over ice. Garnish. Enjoy every sip.
Champagne with Pear Liqueur
The last drink on our list is simply delicious. For the liqueur, make sure you have:
- 2 ripe pears, divided (organic preferred)
- 1 vanilla bean
- 1 cup brandy
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
Wash and chop one pear, discarding the seeds and core. Leave the skin on. Split and scrape the vanilla bean. Seal and shake, then let steep for 2 days. Remove vanilla bean, and then let steep for another 3 days. Place one chopped pear and the vanilla bean in a sealable glass jar and cover with brandy. Chop the second pear, discarding the seeds and core. Add it to a pot, along with the water and sugar, then stir and bring to a boil on medium heat, about 5 to 7 minutes. Reduce heat and simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Let the syrup mixture cool. Once cooled, pour the syrup (with the fruit) into the steeping jar. Shake and let steep for 2 days. Strain through a fine mesh strainer and then a coffee filter into a bottle or jar.
Once you’ve cheffed that up, you can make this last drink. And yes, it is as simple as it seems. Place one tablespoon of pear liqueur in a champagne glass. Top with champagne. Bask in all that you’ve accomplished.
Happy National Liqueur Day and happy #fall.