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Fall Out of Summer; A Classic Cocktail With Summer and Fall Spirits

Golden Fall

Labor Day marks the unofficial end to the summer season. I'm guessing that's just because most people get a three-day weekend. But if your weather has been anything like our weather here in Virginia, summer is not going quietly into that dark night. It's felt mid-July rather than early-September since the holiday weekend.

With that in mind, I went about finding classic cocktail that had that summer-turning-to-fall feel. While perusing several of my cocktail books, I came across this little cocktail in Ted Haigh's Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails.

Golden Dawn
1 ounce Calvados
1 ounce dry gin
.5 ounce apricot-flavored brandy
.5 ounce orange juice

-Combine everything except the grenadine into an ice-filled shaker. Shake vigorously and strain into a cocktail glass. Drop a stemless cherry into the bottom of the glass. Drizzle a small amount of grenadine into the drink, but do not stir.

In Haigh's book, he tells us the Golden Dawn was named for the 1927 Rogers & Hammerstein operetta named the same. In 1930, the United Kingdom Bartender's Guild named the Golden Dawn the "World's Finest Cocktail." Furthermore, it's creator, Thomas Buttery, the head barman of London's Berkeley Hotel, was a teetotaler!

What drew me to this cocktail was the use of a spirit I associate with summer, namely gin, and one that I associate with fall/winter, Calvados. Calvados, if you aren't familiar, is a French brandy made from apples. In the United States, we have something very similar called Applejack, the most widely available is Laird's. The use of the two, really seem to follow this summer giving way to fall time of the year.

I don't have any Calvados, but I do have Applejack in my home bar. So when I went to make this drink, I wasn't very worried. However, I forgot that I didn't have any apricot-flavored brandy as the recipe calls for. Generally, apricot-flavored brandy is a brandy made from the juice of apricots with additional apricot juice added after distillation. What I did have in my bar was pear-flavored brandy.

With the couple of recipe changes, I named the new drink:

Golden Fall
1 ounce dry gin
1 ounce Applejack
.5 ounce pear-flavored brandy
.5 ounce orange juice

-Follow the same directions from the Golden Dawn above.

Do you have a favorite drink that usher's in Fall? Let us know in the comments.


A Note on Grenadine - As we talked about using  fresh juice last week, the same goes for grenadine. Real grenadine is simply pomegranate syrup. It's very easy to make your own and follows the same recipe we used  earlier for simple syrup. Simply mix together 100% pomegranate juice (such as  POM Wonderful) and sugar in equal proportions until all the sugar is dissolved. That's it. Better than 95% of the bottled red-colored high-fructose corn syrup labeled "grenadine" you'll find in the store

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