By JackieBelle

This is my favorite time of year- I love autumn with all of its beautiful color and crisp air; I love falling leaves and hay rides and apple-cinammon anything.  I love the winter, too!  Aside from the freezing cold, the dry skin, the icy streets, the sleet, and the paying of taxes, I love the winter.  Really, I do.  I get to wear cute boots and see twinkling lights strung up everywhere and I get to sip egg nog as I wrap presents and watch my favorite old holiday movies.  (There is nothing in the world more satisfying to me than perfect corners on a perfectly wrapped gift.  Plus, my hand-tied bows will make Martha Stewart quiver with envy.  But I digress.)  If you like a little nip of something to help you celebrate the seasons, you’ll love these luscious liquors and recipes!  Liquors and wines make great gifts- how cute would it be to put all the ingredients for one of these recipes into a basket adorned with a Martha-worthy ribbon and give it as a pretty little package deal!

Perfect for Fall…

Courtesy of Appleton Estate Rum, these flavors bring to mind cool fall days spent in front of the fireplace with a warm toddy in hand.  Appleton Estate has been creating the finest rums in Jamaica’s lush Nassau valley since 1749; it’s handcrafted from start to finish and is masterfully blended to offer rich aromas and complex flavors.  Tempting libations made with Appleton Estate will embrace fall’s flavors, such as nutmeg, ginger and pumpkin. Whether you’re hosting an autumn-themed party or enjoying a weekend “in,” creative cocktails are sure to delight.

Hot Buttered Rum

Ingredients for Large batch recipe for cocktail base:

1 lb. Brown Sugar

0.25 lb. Butter

Pinch of Salt

4.0 oz. Fresh Apple Cider

0.5 oz. Fresh Extracted Ginger Juice

0.5 tsp. Nutmeg

0.5 tsp. Allspice


Ingredients for Individual cocktail recipe:

Using this prepared cocktail base, select an appropriate mug. Then add:

2 Heaping Tablespoons of the Prepared Cocktail Base

2.0 oz. Appleton Estate Reserve

Approximately 6.0 oz. of Hot Water, Stir

Preparation:  Blend the above ingredients and bring to a boil before removing from the heat then let cool and store in refrigerator.

Pumpkin Egg Nog

1.5 oz. Appleton Estate Reserve Rum (Infused with Cloves, Allspice, Cinnamon)

0.5 oz. Navan Vanilla Liqueur

1 oz. Eggnog

1 oz. Pumpkin Purée (From the Can)

4 Dash Fees Aromatic Bitters

1 Bar Spoon Maple Syrup Grade B

Optional: Fresh Whipped Cream Top (Heavy Whipping Cream)

Preparation:  Build all ingredients in your shaker; shake and strain into a chilled martini or coop glass; top with fresh whipped cream (optional).

As the Seasons Change…

To get you moving from autumn to winter try some Basil Hayden® Bourbon.  Basil Hayden provides really easy, elegant recipes, like their “Pom Fizz” or “Manhattan 2.0,” and they teamed up with chef Wylie Dufresne and mixologist Tona Palomino from Manhattan’s wd~50 Restaurant to come up with creations that will please even the most adventurous palate.  Basil Hayden is part of the Beam Global’s Small Batch Bourbon Collection.  (That’s “Beam” as in “Jim.”)  It’s hand-crafted in limited quantities and offers consumers an incredibly approachable, sophisticated and luxurious bourbon.  Even the bottle is unique, with a bib-style label and metal band-wrap reminiscent of liquor labels from the early 1900’s.  It would be a super-elegant gift for the bourbon-drinking man in your life!  (Or maybe the classy, sassy lady?)  Serve it neat or try in a luxurious libation:

Basil Hayden™ Pom Fizz

1 part Basil Hayden’s Bourbon

3 parts Brut Champagne

1 splash of Pomegranate Juice

1 squeeze of Fresh Orange Juice

Mix together the Basil Hayden’s Bourbon, champagne and pomegranate juice in a

chilled champagne glass. Garnish with the squeeze of fresh orange juice.

Basil Hayden’s Manhattan 2.0

1½ parts Basil Hayden’s Bourbon

½ part Sweet Vermouth

½ part Dry Vermouth

½ part Maple Syrup

2 dashes of Bitters


Stir together the Basil Hayden’s Bourbon, sweet vermouth, dry vermouth, maple syrup and bitters over ice in a rocks glass, garnish with a cherry and serve.

Basil Hayden’s® Flipnogg

1½ ounces Basil Hayden’s Brown Butter Bourbon (recipe below)*

1 ounce Apple Cider

½ ounce Boiled Cider

1 dash Simple Syrup

1 Egg Yolk

Garnish: Powdered Cinnamon

Chill a rocks glass with ice and water. Measure all of the cocktail ingredients into a cocktail shaker, egg yolk last, and fill it halfway up with ice. Dump ice water out of the rocks glass and place it upside down on a linen napkin, bar or kitchen towel. Shake the cocktail hard for about 15 seconds.

Strain the cocktail into the glass and garnish with powdered cinnamon.

*Brown Butter Bourbon (Makes 17 Cocktails)

2 pounds Unsalted Butter

1 750ml Bottle of Basil Hayden’s Bourbon

Cut the butter into small cubes and place in a medium pot. Melt the butter over medium heat. Keep the butter on the fire for a while longer so that the butter starts foaming up. Continuously stir the melting butter. As the foaming begins to subside, some medium to dark-brown specks will begin to appear around the edge of the butter. At this point, pull the pot off the heat and cool the butter down by placing the pot in an ice bath. Continue

stirring the butter every few minutes until you achieve a uniform, paste-like consistency.

Spread the brown butter in the bottom of a shallow container, preferably glass (Pyrex or something similar) or metal. A clean, non-greasy plastic container will also work. Pour the bourbon gently over the butter, and cover it with plastic wrap. Allow this mixture to stand in a cool place for 5 days. Then, strain the bourbon to use it in this cocktail. Reserve the butter in a refrigerator, for use on pancakes with butter or with maple syrup.

Basil Hayden’s® Peppermint

1½ ounces Basil Hayden’s Bourbon

1 ½ ounces Butternut Squash Reduction (recipe below)*

¼ teaspoon Lemon Juice

½ teaspoon Candy Cane Syrup (recipe below)*

Pour the candy cane syrup into the bottom of a martini glass. Measure the rest of the ingredients into a cocktail shaker, and then fill the shaker halfway up with ice. Shake the cocktail for about 10 seconds.  Strain the drink very carefully, allowing it to run down the side of the glass, so as not to disturb the candy cane syrup at the bottom. This will give the drink a layered composition.

*Butternut Squash Reduction

2-3 Large Butternut Squash

Peel the butternut squash and discard the seeds. Cut the squash into long, slim pieces. Juice the squash in a Champion juicer or similar piece of equipment. Place the juice in a pot, skim the foam off, and reduce by two-thirds over a medium flame. Cool the reduction.

*Candy Cane Syrup

11 ounces Candy Canes (approximately 20)

6 ounces Water

Place the candy canes and the water in a pot and cook over a medium flame while stirring, until most of the candy canes have melted. Discard any of the candy canes that have not melted. This should yield about 10 ounces of syrup. In order to avoid excess stickiness, add another 4 ounces of hot water.

Stir well and cool.

Maybe you would rather give than receive…

Whether you’re shopping for yourself, for the person who has everything, or for a special client whose loyal patronage calls for more than just a nice set of Isotoner gloves, try one of these tasty treats:

If you’re looking for elegance and tradition:  CAMUS Cognac Gift Sets (SRPs $26.00-120.00).  CAMUS’ Elegance range, comprising VS, VSOP, and XO cognacs, offers a gift set at every budget.  Whether you prefer VS on the rocks, VSOP in a cocktail, or XO to sip after dinner, family-owned CAMUS cognacs all display a notably floral nose, thanks to the preponderance of the Borderies appellation in their blends.


If you’re looking for something novel and offbeat:  Lucid Absinthe Louching Kit (SRP $59.99).  Louching (pronounced “loo-shing”) is the act of drizzling ice-cold water into absinthe, turning the liquid a magical, opaque pale green.  Made popular in 19th century Parisian cafés, and enjoyed by notables from Claude Monet to Oscar Wilde, today the ritual is an elegant way to extend a spirited dinner.

If you’re looking for something unique:  Flor de Caña 7 year old rum (SRP $23.00).  We’ve always heard that a home-made gift is the best, so why not either make some Home Spiced rum yourself, or give someone everything they need to create their own personalized blend?  Flor de Caña, known as “the pride of Nicaragua,” is especially good for personalizing due to its “mellow base” (Ed Hamilton, Ministry of Rum).


If you’re looking for a standard favorite with a splash of fun:  Russian Standard Vodka Holiday Scratch-Off (SRPs $17.99).  Love the concept of a seasonal scratch-off, but afraid to get left with just coal? Be sure to stop by your neighborhood liquor-store to pick up the perfect gift for the lotto-fan or cocktail enthusiast in your life: Russian Standard Vodka. Best of all, this season the bottle comes with a specialty scratch-off ticket for a chance to win a Special Edition Russian Standard Vodka T-shirt, signature Moscow Mule copper mug – all in addition to a bottle of Russia’s most authentic vodka.

Maybe wine is what you had in mind…

Liquor is not for everyone- how about a really unique wine?  Wine is a perfectly sized gift for stuffing stockings!  It turns out that the Golan region of Israel is an ideal place for winemaking.  (Who knew?)  In the last twenty-five years, Israeli wineries have pursued quality winemaking defined by their unique, ancient soils and a spirit of innovation.  Golan Heights Winery (producer of the Golan and Yarden wines) and Galil Mountain Winery, both located in northern Israel and imported by Yarden, Inc., have led the pioneering trend in Israeli winemaking today.  Here are three classic wines from the Yarden collection:

Golan Cabernet Sauvignon 2008:  Made entirely from Cabernet Sauvignon grapes grown in vineyards from the Golan Heights region, the Golan Cabernet Sauvignon ($14.99) is aged for six months in small American oak barrels.  The wine features attractive fruit notes of black cherry, berry and jam, complemented by hints of fresh pepper and complex oak.  This is a perfect Cabernet for everyday drinking.

Golan Heights Winery Yarden Syrah 2005:  The Syrah grapes are sourced from three vineyards: Ortal in the northern Golan and Yonatan and Tel Phares in the central Golan.  The Yarden Syrah 2005 ($25.00) is rich with blackberry jam and fresh berry notes layered with earth, spice and chocolate.  The wine is full-bodied with a lightly chewy texture and pairs perfectly with richly spiced foods.

Galil Mountain Winery Viognier 2008:  Sourced from the higher elevations of the Upper Galilee, the Galil Viognier ($18.00) is a flavorful wine with characters of apricot, ripe nectarine and invigorating perfume, along with fresh herbal aromas and a delicate background of oak.  It is a medium-bodied wine with a silky texture and long, balanced finish.

Now that you are well-armed with a list of great gift ideas and funky, fun recipes, you’ve got your shopping cut out for you!

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