Thanksgiving Cocktail: Bourbon Apple Cobbler

Thanksgiving is coming and you’re probably looking for a great fall cocktail before the last of the apple cider disappears from store shelves. Fear not, because Shanna invented a tasty cocktail that’s filled with autumnal goodness.

First off, you’re going to want to make a small jar of cinnamon simple syrup – if you start now (with less than a week to go until Thanksgiving) it should be ready to use in about 5-6 days. Use our instructions for making your own simple syrup, making enough for your purposes and pour into a mason jar with 4-6 cinnamon sticks. Let it chill in the fridge until it gets a little darker and taste nicely of cinnamon. This, by itself, is delicious.

Whether you’re making for a crowd or yourself, you’ll want a shaker to fill with:

2 parts bourbon

1 part cinnamon simple syrup

1 part apple cider

Shake and pour into a rocks glass over ice and top with a splash of club soda. Garnish with a wedge of apple (I like to pour lemon juice over pre-sliced apples, which lends to the flavor combinations nicely). Great for a party where you have some good cheeses or a slice of Shanna’s famous Hobo Trap Apple Pie.

It's called that because it's ugly, but tasty - an' hobos don't care none about pretty.

A Hobo Trap

Why is it called a cobbler? Cobblers are cocktails that historically have all of the following: alcohol (of course), sugar and fruit. Also, it just sounds darling.


Restaurant Review: Salt of the Earth

We don’t often do restaurant reviews here at IPTB. In fact, the only booze-serving establishments we’ve ever reviewed were bars. (Pittsburgh Bars 2011 edition) But after enjoying an early dinner at Salt of the Earth in the Garfield neighborhood of Pittsburgh, we knew we had to write about them. And sure, we sat at the bar and chatted with the super-friendly and knowledgeable bartenders during our meal, and sure, the cocktail, beer, and wine lists comprise about half of the menu which covers an entire wall, but the emphasis is still on the food, which makes Salt of the Earth (or NACL for short, clever) one of the best places in Pittsburgh to get dinner and a drink.

Photo compliments of Salt of the Earth's blog

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Top 5 Halloween Cocktails

Halloween is fast approaching, and while for kids this means Trick-or-Treating and enough sugar to destroy all seven of Wilford Brimley’s horcruxes, for the over-21 crowd Halloween is one of the year’s best drinking holidays. Of course this time of year is great for serving pumpkin beers and hard apple cider, but a good host should also be prepared to mix up a few of these delicious Halloween-appropriate cocktails.

5) Blackthorn

A great, low-alcohol option for lightweights and designated drivers.

2 oz sloe gin

1 1/2 Tbs sweet red vermouth

lemon twist for garnish

Combine the sloe gin and sweet vermouth in a mixing glass and stir well. Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish.

4) Mind Eraser

A layered drink that may just leave you Brain Dead. Check out the recipe here.

3) Satan’s Whiskers

A classic from the Savoy Cocktail Book, this one is tasty and medium-strength.

2 parts gin

2 parts dry vermouth

2 parts red sweet vermouth

2 parts orange juice

1 part Grand Marnier

1 dash orange bitters

Shake all ingredients thoroughly and strain into a cocktail glass.

2) Corpse Reviver #1

Now we’re getting into the strong stuff. This antique tipple dates back to Victorian England. You can find the recipe at our previous post.

1) Zombie

Though the fruity ingredients and Tiki Bar origins may say summer, the Zombie is perhaps the apex of Halloween drinks. So strong and so complex, once you’ve had one yourself, you’ll be incapable of mixing one for your guests.

1 part white rum

1 part golden rum

1 part dark rum

1 part apricot brandy

1 part pineapple juice

1 part papaya juice

a dash of grenadine

1/2 part 151 proof rum

Combine all ingredients, except the 151 proof rum, in a shaker half full of ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a highball or Collins glass and float the 151 on top. Some recipes say to garnish with a pineapple spear and a cherry (among other fruit), but this can be optional – it’s hard to make room with all the booze in there.

Pro Tip: Another great boozy treat to serve for Halloween is a bowl of vodka gummi worms. Any gummi candy will absorb liquid if given enough time. Just fill a bowl with gummi worms and cheap vodka and leave it in the fridge over night. The next day the gummi worms will be twice as big and filled with booze. Plus they’re gooey and sticky, which only adds to the fun.

Autumnal Experiments: Homemade Hard Apple Cider

A while back we posted instructions on making your own delicious limoncello. After several highly successful batches of that wonderful and potent concoction, we developed a rather high opinion of our own homegrown booze-making prowess and decided it was time to step up our game. This time, we thought, we would tackle fermentation. We would make yeast our tiny alcohol-producing slaves. It was time to make hard apple cider.

Our finished cider, minus a few samples. Bottles from the East End Brewery.

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