Apple cider, pumpkin spice, cinnamon sugar, maple syrup…the flavors that define fall, especially here on the East End, have been informing menus for months now. But it never truly feels like autumn until Halloween arrives, with Thanksgiving coming up fast. And when that moment comes, and the true chill is in the air, well, it’s time to raise a glass to the true spirit…or spirits…of the season. Naturally, there is no better way to do that than with a fall cocktail, and few do cocktails better than Southampton’s Union Cantina, where the new lineup of seasonal cocktails has a starring role.
“When thinking of what should be on a fall cocktail menu, I’m really thinking of Thanksgiving,” says Troy Slovensky of Union Cantina, who along with the award-winning bar staff of Chris Brady, Steve Orosz and Jamie Nelan created these please-pour-me-another libations. “I like to incorporate those flavors—the apples, the cranberries, everything from the horn o’ plenty. So it’s drinks with apples, a cinnamon rim, the pumpkin spice.”
And the perfect spirit. “People generally think of heavier, darker colors, liquors that are thicker, heavier—not stronger, just a heavier flavor,” Slovensky adds. “Rosé drinkers will often go to red wines this time of year, and similarly we have a lot of interest in bourbons and Scotches.”
Okay, time for Slovensky to set ’em up…
Fall Into It
“This one is bourbon, apple cider, pumpkin spice beer and a cinnamon rim. For the bourbon, I like to use Ancient Age. I saw on a cooking show that the people behind Pappy Van Winkle drink this—they can drink whatever they want, and they drink Ancient Age. The pumpkin ale is from Montauk Brewing Company—it’s not only a good beer, but we also like to support local—and we also use Milk Pail apple cider, so it ties all the local together.”
Maple Old Fashioned
“Tying all the flavors of the classic cocktail together with the seasonal flavors, this is a classic Bullet Old Fashioned with fresh maple syrup and a bacon garnish. Almost like breakfast in a glass.”
Apple Cider Margarita
“Sticking true to our genre as a Mexican restaurant and adding a fall twist to it, we take our classic margarita—which you can drink all year, of course—and topped with apple cider and a cinnamon rim. We also have a version with cranberry juice that has a fresh cranberry garnish.”
“Tropical meets pumpkin in this one. People want Piña Coladas year round, so we are adding the seasonal flavor. Next month this will turn into a Peppermint Colada.”
Cinnamon Cereal Crunch Milkshake
“We are always trying out new types of shakes, and this one is amazing. It is a vanilla-based shake with powdered cinnamon—it’s amazing, the powdered cinnamon actually makes your mouth feel warm—a muddled crunchy cinnamon cereal, and Jack Daniel’s Fire.”
Come enjoy the open bar and incredible food by Union Cantina, Union Burger Bar and Southampton Social Club at the Dan’s Haunted Hamptons Bash this Saturday, November 2, from 7–11 p.m. at the Southampton Arts Center. Tickets are only $60 and include all drinks and all food while you dance to DJ Phresh and party all night long. Get your tickets now at HauntedHamptons.com.