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Savor the Season and Try These Spiced Fall Cocktails at Your Local OC Restaurants

Written By: Brea Mitchell Fall Cocktail Recipes

The art of a top-notch cocktail can enhance any dining experience or outing. Keep cozy this fall season with craft drinks from expert mixologists using fresh ingredients, top-shelf liquors and all of the best pairings. When it comes to the bar menu, aim for greatness! Here are six of Orange County’s best spiced, full-bodied cocktails that are sure to warm you up from the inside. 

 

1 | Falling Apple Fall Cocktail Recipes

Silver Trumpet Restaurant and Bar

Subtly sweet, yet still sharp and impressively smooth, The Falling Apple brings the warmth and comfort that you would want on any fall evening or afternoon. Marcus Hobbs, bartender and cocktail creator, is proud of his masterpiece. “This is the time of year when you can get the best Honeycrisp apples, so I thought it was only right for me to create a cocktail using these great apples,” says Hobbs. The Falling Apple is a gin-based cocktail, shaken with Applejack brandy, cinnamon, lime and apple juice; a float of elderberry liqueur is added on top, along with a cinnamon stick garnish. It’s refreshing and light, yet still comforting for a fall outing. “I think cocktails have a tendency to get cliché and boring, and as a bartender, it’s all about creativity,” explains Hobbs. 

Silver Trumpet Restaurant and Bar
3350 Ave Of The Arts
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
714.442.8593

 

2 | Fall Countryside

Five Crowns

This 10-year-old recipe from Peter Thom, the lead bartender at Five Crowns, has been transformed into the fall cocktail of your dreams. “Every season, we’re coming up with new cocktails. The original recipe for this drink actually wasn’t very ‘fall’ at all. We brought apple and cinnamon into the mix, to give it that feel,” he explains. The Fall Countryside is easy to love. It’s mellow with balanced sweetness and sharpness. Buffalo Trace bourbon, Applejack, maple, lemon and apple bitters is the combination responsible for this burst of flavor. Thom then tops off the cocktail with a homemade delicacy. “For the garnish, we dehydrated cinnamon brown sugar apples at home, dusted them with brown sugar, cinnamon and clove, and they’re so good, you’ll just want to snack on those alone!” 

Native Knowledge: Ask your Five Crowns server or bartender for details about the super cozy speakeasy that is held there once a month.

Five Crowns
3801 E Coast Hwy
Corona del Mar, CA 92625
949.760.0331

 

3 | Campfire Sling Fall Cocktail Recipes

Water Grill

Made with rye whisky, maple syrup and chocolate bitters, the Campfire Sling is definitely appropriately named, as the warm sensations bring a nostalgic campfire feel and flavor. Beverage Director Kevin Felker can’t help but notice how contagious the desire for the Campfire Sling is. “Once one person orders it, everyone near starts to smell the campfire aroma and immediately wants to order one as well.” The smell of this cocktail definitely pulls you in, and the flavorful, smooth taste lives up to the hype. 

Marc DeFrenza, Water Grill bartender, is detail-oriented, and delivers consistent deliciousness with every Campfire Sling. “It’s basically an enhanced old fashioned. We use maple syrup instead of simple syrup, which makes a huge difference, and we even torch an orange peel to top it off. We light a candle and express the oils from the orange peel with the flame, and that’s when the flame goes up, and the campfire smell is released along with the orange zest.”

Native Knowledge: Rye whiskey works best as the base because the spicy quality from the rye complements the sweetness of the maple syrup and the bitter chocolate element. However, bourbon and rums aged longer than 5 years would work well without overpowering the other components.

Water Grill
3300 Bristol St
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
949.208.7060

 

4 | “Kate & Ella”

The Blind Rabbit

Inspired by Katella Avenue, the 1986 historic path that ran adjacent to Disneyland, the Kate & Ella cocktail has a nostalgic taste and a good balance of flavors. It’s smooth with a slightly sweet finish, which makes every sip exciting. The mixture of rye, medium sherry, walnut liqueur, lemon and cinnamon all come together to bring you the perfect blend of nutty, sour and spice. Manager Alisha Buehn likes that the famous cocktail is about going back to the area’s roots. “We’re a 1920s-themed speakeasy located in the Anaheim packing house, and lots of Anaheim history is represented here. We wanted this cocktail to encapsulate that feel,” says Buehn.

The Blind Rabbit
440 S Anaheim Blvd
Anaheim, CA 92805

 

5 | The Wilson Fall Cocktail Recipes

O Bar at Orange Hill

A light-bodied blend that appeals to all levels of cocktail connoisseurs, The Wilson includes Monkey Shoulder Whisky, stirred with orange curacao and maple syrup, finished with cardamom. Mixologist Allan Camarena enjoys bringing quality ingredients and flavors at a reasonable price. “It’s a delicious, affordable yet high-quality blended Scotch that bartenders love because we can make an amazing cocktail at a fair price for our customers,” Camarena explains. The maple syrup that is used is a game-changer, as it’s known as the best in the United States, sourced from Virginia. The multi-seasonal oaked orange curacao gives you a fresh, fun and semi-bitter ingredient perfect for fall. “This cocktail is about simplicity, and we created it here at Orange Hill to pivot off of the hottest category of bartending, which is the old fashioned. Essentially, we’re taking an old fashioned and making it our own.”

O Bar at Orange Hill
6410 E Chapman Ave
Orange, CA 92869
714.997.2910

6 | Cloverfield Fall Cocktail Recipes

The Cellar

This delicate cognac cocktail is both sweet and savory. Cranberry, walnut and vodka-steeped cloves are just a few of the prime ingredients producing the perfect amount of savory with each sip. Jason Phreaner, bartender and Cloverfield creator, wanted his creation to emulate his idea of fall. “Clove is a classic fall ingredient, and our housemade toasted walnut orgeat comes together to give you hints of floral, yet still keeping the fall characteristics,” he says. Each ingredient in this cocktail is chosen with precision, and has a distinct job to fill. Phreaner is a Southern California native who didn’t always experience extreme temperature drops at this time of year, but this cocktail is designed to taste like everything he always imagined fall would be. “To extract the oils and delicate flavors, the walnuts are macerated in hot sugar water. Orange bitters bring out the floral feel, and honey, along with vanilla liqueur, does a great job binding everything together,” Phreaner explains. Pair your Cloverfield with The Cellar’s famous vanilla soufflé.

The Cellar
305 N Harbor Blvd
Ste 001
Fullerton, CA 92832
714.525.5682