At the first sign of crisp autumn air, Jeremy Bogert, bar manager at 62 Restaurant and Wine Bar in Salem, starts thinking about apples, pears, squash, and cranberries—not how to eat them, but how to turn them in to creative cocktails.
As anyone who has eaten chef Antonio Bettencourt’s food can attest, seasonal ingredients are a fundamental part of the menu. Bogert works closely with the kitchen to find inspiration behind the bar. “I often find myself in the walk-in [refrigerator], or looking at what Tony just ordered that day and building a cocktail around that. Our philosophy is to make as much as possible in-house, whether it’s our own maraschino cherries, fresh juices, or even infusing spirits with various flavors.”
In the spirit of the season, we asked Bogert to spill his mixology secrets for making the most out of our favorite fall flavors:
I love using either cinnamon or nutmeg and combining it with a bit of sugar to use as a rim for a cocktail or just dusting it over the top of a cocktail. It adds another dimension and reinforces the flavors in the glass.
Dapper Apple. It’s a cocktail that will be on the list this fall, combining fresh apple juice, cinnamon, pomegranate, and vodka.
I especially like cranberry juice along with pears and apples for a fall sangria. This is in keeping with being as seasonal as possible with our cocktail list, but it’s a nice surprise to have a refreshing summer cocktail made with all the flavors of the season, yet the drink still makes sense and is relevant at another time of year.
Pumpkin or Squash
I use a juice extractor to get a nice light pumpkin juice and simmer it with clove, cinnamon, and a bit of brown sugar. Then, I’ll mix it with vanilla vodka, Bailey’s, and simple syrup. (See Bogert’s recipe for this delicious cocktail and try your hand at making it at home.) 62restaurant.com
2 oz. Vanilla vodka
1.5 oz. Bailey’s Irish cream liqueur
.5 oz. Simple syrup
3 oz. Butternut squash juice*
Shake all ingredients in a shaker filled with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Sprinkle a little cinnamon and sugar on top for garnish.
*To make squash juice, peel and cut a medium-sized butternut squash into chunks and run the pieces through a juice extractor. Combine with one cinnamon stick, four cloves, and one tablespoon of brown sugar in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes to combine flavors. Strain, and cool juice for use in cocktail. (If you don’t have a juice extractor, boil the squash until tender, pure?e, and strain, then follow instructions above.)