During the cocktail hour that starts at 5:45 p.m. on October 21, you’ll learn how to prepare a brandy-based Fall in Central Park—a modern twist on the Classic Manhattan developed for CEE by celebrated NYC mixologist Schalk Pienaar.
The Fall in Central Park is a special time, and this fragrant drink beautifully captures the spirit of the season, and the warmth of an October sunset.
Fall in Central Park
Whether it was created for a banquet hosted by Churchill’s mother or a Broadway bartender, most historians agree the Manhattan was developed around 1860–1880 on its namesake isle. Initially having 6 or more components, this cocktail was streamlined and refined out of necessity during prohibition to its recognizable three ingredients: whiskey, vermouth, bitters.
Taking inspiration from fall flavors that pervade every October (If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em) we’ve put together a balanced and lightly spiced cocktail that will develop in complexity, evolving sip to sip. Swapping in apple brandy makes our cocktail slightly warming while the apple ice balances the booziness and delivers over time the fruity foundation laid by the brandy. The cinnamon’s spicy tones a subtle and almost forgotten reminder of the season, rounded off by the black walnut bitters to ensure each sip, first to last, is one to remember.
Enough background, let’s drink…
· A tumbler, any low glass that can contain a large ice-cube
· Something to stir in, any container that will hold a handful of ice and allows easy pouring
· A stirrer, no need for a dedicated bar stirrer – any left-over takeout chopstick will do just fine in a pinch
· A tot measure, anything that will allow you to measure an ounce
Ingredients (makes 1, if you want 2 – double it)
· 2 oz apple brandy (my choice, Laird’s 12-year-old apple brandy or Corenlius Apple Jack, distilled in Hudson)
· 1 oz red vermouth (my choice, Carpano Antica Formula—though any will do)
· 2 dashes of Fee Brothers Black Walnut Bitters, though Angostura is just as good
· 1 apple cider ice cube, 1×1 inch or similar + regular ice for mixing
· 1 cinnamon stick
· The night before, mix 2 parts apple cider and 1 part water, fill up an ice tray and freeze
· Place a single apple ice cube in your tumbler
· Combine in the stirring vessel of your choice: a handful of ice, the brandy, vermouth and bitters
· Stir for 30 seconds before decanting into your glass, careful not to let ice fall into the glass
· Drop in a cinnamon stick, with the appropriate level of flourish and vigor
· Sip and reminisce the first time you remember walking through Central Park in the Fall
For lower alcohol, swap out apple brandy for apply cider or pear juice.
For zero alcohol, swap in apple juice, skip the vermouth & add a dash of lemon juice.
Cheers and “see” you at the virtual benefit!