by Alexandra Richmond - 69 Reviews - 27 List
While this town may rarely (or never) reach the proper temperature for hot mulled cider, heat has never stopped Austinites from embracing fun traditions in the face of inappropriate weather. Fortunately, autumnal cocktails don't have to be hot to be seasonal. Many local bartenders never stop looking for interesting ways to incorporate fresh, local and seasonal ingredients into a drink designed to make you smile and enjoy the season--this time, it's fall, and for Austin that means the herbs are at their peak--but not necessarily the pumpkins.
Updated: October 21, 2009
Don't look for gingerbread or pumpkin-flavored beers here to best represent the season. Instead, try any of the special Oktoberfest beers that debuted in September. Try Avery The Kaiser Imperial Oktoberfest Lager, amber in color and containing spicy floral overtones--or so sayeth the beer barons. The St. Arnold Oktoberfest is a blend of three Munich-style malts, full-bodied and sweet.
In lieu of actual gingerbread, there may be no finer way to celebrate the arrival of the cooler months than with a ginger-spicy cocktail. Here, enjoy a biting saketini blended with Molopolowa, sake and ginger root or the Dark and Stormy, a classic cocktail made with Myers dark rum and super tasty ginger beer.
The bartender here is an extremely creative mixologist who also pens a blog called the Tipsy Texan. The Old Austin is a drink that combines the finer, tastier aspects of fall in the South: pecans and citrus fruits. Wild Turkey straight rye and whiskey barrel-aged bitters are mixed with lemon juice and orange peel and pecans. Fruity and earthy. We likey.
One of downtown's finer dive bars also has a really extensive (really) beer selection, with dozens of taps and house-made microbrews, and hundreds of beers brewed from all around the globe to quench the palate of tasteful barflies. In perfect form, cider is also sold en masse. There's Woodchuck on draft and in a bottle, Woodchuck Dark and Dry, Strongbow (always a classic), Black Thorn, and the California-crafted Ace Pear Cider--yummy. Expect Oktoberfest to begin right at the top of the month. Until then, try the decidedly autumnal Live Oak, on draft in September. Pumpkin beer will be available closer to Halloween.
The barely perceptible change of seasons here in Austin mean that tasty iced rum drinks can still be enjoyed well into the fall. For a seasonal twist on a classic cocktail, try the Bird of Pear-adise martini: Grey Goose La Poire, Disaronno, lemon juice and simple syrup. And yes, a mean Dark and Stormy can be gotten here, too.