Things that I do four times a year:  update the cocktail menu, wash the dogs, and reinstall Windows.  So goodbye light, fruity, rum-soaked summer.  Hello bourbon and rain.  Time for drinks that go well with the smell of the furnace being lit for the first time this season.

I hope someday to make it to The Varnish in LA.  Eric Alperin seems to be doing some magic there, so my ears perked up when he shared a recipe on the Dinner Party Download a while back.  I wrote it down, then forgot about it.  It popped up a few weeks ago when I was editing the recipe database.  Finally got around to making it.

Here’s my new favorite rye cocktail.


1 oz Old Overholt Rye
1 oz cognac (I used Chalfonte)
.5 oz amaretto
.5 oz dry vermouth (I used Dolin dry)
float of Islay whiskey (I used Ardbeg – about three dashes)

Combine everything but the whiskey (or whisky, if you will) in the shaker.  Ice and stir.  Strain into a rocks glass with no ice.  Turn the barspoon upside down over the drink and pour the whiskey on top.  Garnish with an orange wedge and a couple of brandied cherries on a pick.  Think about visiting LA for a conference later this month.  Remember living in LA.  Go back to drinking.

The brandied cherries seem pretty important here.  That tiny bit of boozy juicy goodness that seeps into the drink really brings everything together.

Stock up the liquor cabinet.  More fall cocktail menu selections to come.