I love fall! I love wandering the city aimlessly over crisp leaves with coffee in hand. The cool air touched with the smell of wood burning somewhere off in the distance. One of my favorite movies is You've Got Mail. In it, Tom Hanks comments on how amazing the city is in the fall. "It makes me wanna buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address." I'd gladly accept that bouquet.  

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For me, fall marks the transition from clean and crisp spirits to robust darker spirits. In a nutshell, it's whiskey weather. I set out recently to create a whiskey cocktail that encapsulated everything I love about this time of year.

The UP & AT 'EM is a twist on the classic old fashioned. It combines the vanilla and oak of bourbon with the complimentary flavors of orange, chocolate, and coffee. The highlight of this cocktail has to be the cold brew ice ball.

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In lieu of traditional ice, I decided to create an ice ball using cold brew coffee. Simply pour your favorite cold brew into an ice mold and allow to freeze overnight. You can use your cold brew ice to flavor and chill your favorite cocktails or to simply make iced coffee.

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What I love about this cocktail, aside from how well all the flavors come together, is how the taste is constantly evolving. The UP & AT 'EM starts out as a bourbon forward cocktail then slowly mellows into an amazing coffee drink. It's a cocktail to relax with and enjoyed slowly over time. It's also my new favorite brunch drink. The coffee wakes you up and energizes you while the bourbon provides the kick in the pants needed to tackle whatever the day may bring.



2oz Bourbon

1/2oz Grand Marnier

1/4 oz simple syrup

2 dashes Chocolate Bitters

Cold Brew ice block


In a shaker combine bourbon, Grand Marnier, syrup, and bitters. 

Shake with ice.

Pour over cold brew ice in an old fashioned glass.


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Rye Hot Toddy

As I write this, I am laying in bed with a cat at my feet and a rye hot toddy by my side. It would be such an image of comfort if it wasn't for the body aches, running nose, and cough. I officially have my first sickness of 2016.

It's kind of appropriate since Monday, January 10th is National Hot Toddy Day. I hate being sick but at least I can find comfort in this boozy comfort cocktail. The hot toddy is like a warm hug when you need it the most. 

Hot Toddy


I chose to make my toddy with rye whiskey. Really you can make a toddy with just about any spirit. Why did I chose rye? Rye is a spicy whiskey with delicious notes of cloves and nutmeg. Bourbon is great but sometimes you want a whiskey that's robust in flavor. In a cocktail where you're already adding sweetness, a spice-filled rye may be a better partner than a sweet bourbon. 

I've been all about the rye in the past year. In fact, rye whiskey sales are currently on the rise and gaining strength. If you've been entertaining the idea of learning more about rye whiskey or giving it a try, do it! With so many distillers turning to rye, now could not be a better time.

She's Whiskey In A Teacup


My advice for trying rye whiskey would be to go in toes first. Start off with a "low" rye whiskey. I consider a "low" rye whiskey to be one that contains 51-70% rye grain. The rest could be made up of corn, barley, wheat, or whatever (but usually it's corn). This way you'll still get that same familiar sweetness you'd find with bourbon. If you're a Manhattan drinker, switch the bourbon out for rye. Give it a shot. 

Hot Toddy with lemon and cloves


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