Five must-try fall 2017 cocktails to celebrate the changing seasons

Earlier this month, cooler weather blessed Baton Rouge with a fall preview for about a week. And as quick as we were to break out our sweaters, our usual summer-like swelter came back. As much as we are ready to sip fall beverages like hot ciders without breaking a sweat, our weather doesn’t always permit. But we’re not complaining. Instead, we’re happy to beat the heat with cold cocktails that still totally taste like fall. Here are five recent favorites.

Labyrinth at Cocha

Cocha plays the summer-to-fall transition to its advantage with an unexpected, savory take on a tiki drink. We may think of pineapples as a summer fruit, but Caribbean-grown pineapples are now in season. Cocha concocted the Labyrinth with grilled pineapple, lime, Barley’s Rum, orgeat (a rosewater-almond syrup) and black garlic mirin. Yep, you read that right. Garlic. When fermented in mirin rice wine, black garlic loses its bitterness and develops a rich umami, slight sweetness and smooth texture. The deep flavor of the black garlic and the warmth of the barrel-aged rum make this drink perfect for fall. Better yet, the color gives us serious Halloween vibes.

Two in the Bush at Galatoire’s Bistro

Louisiana’s early taste of fall has already inspired six new cocktails on Galatoire’s Bistro’s menu, including the super-refreshing Two in the Bush. This cocktail is a cross between a French 75 and an Aperol Spritz, a popular Italian apéritif made with white wine and Aperol. Served in a wine glass and on the rocks, the Two in the Bush blends Bombay Dry Gin, house-made black pepper syrup, Aperol, lime juice and Peychaud’s Bitters. It’s topped with house Champagne and garnished with an orange twist and a rosemary sprig. The Two in the Bush has a nice orange flavor (it’s the Aperol) and a spicy, herbal kick. Enjoy it as an apéritif.

Consuela at Kalurah Street Grill

Bartender Chris Nguyen created the Consuela as a play on the Rosita, a classic tequila and Campari cocktail that Kalurah Street Grill served during the summer. The Consuela mixes mezcal, Aperol, Dolin Rouge, Hamilton Pimento dram (a rum and pimento berry liqueur) and angostura bitters. It’s shaken with ice, strained, served in a coupe glass and finished off with a sprig of rosemary. The Consuela has an earthiness and warmth that not only set it apart from its summer counterpart but also make it the kind of cocktail you could sip from fall to winter. (Because you’ll want to go back for another.) Try it with Kalurah’s seared scallops—the mezcal in the cocktail complements the tequila-cooked chorizo that tops the entree.

Red Stick Nights at Hayride Scandal

In Baton Rouge, we have a lot of reasons to raise our glasses. The team at Hayride Scandal, the 1930s-inspired whiskey and cocktail bar that opened earlier this year, made the Red Stick Nights with that in mind. The Red Stick Nights celebrates the season with classic, comforting flavors like cinnamon and clove. It’s made with sparkling wine, cognac, curaçao (a citrus liqueur), cinnamon-clove syrup, angostura bitters and a cinnamon stick for garnish. This spicy, fizzy cocktail captures all the warmth of fall in the Red Stick.

Ginger Grant at Overpass Merchant

Apple season peaks in October, meaning the time is ripe to eat and drink all things apple. Overpass Merchant’s Ginger Grant blends Bushmills whiskey, Captain Morgan spiced rum and a house-made apple-ginger-honey simple syrup. The apple gives the drink a little sweetness, and the ginger gives it some spice. Of all the cocktails on Overpass Merchant’s menu, the Ginger Grant is (obviously) the apple of our eye right now.