An Expert Approach to Fall Cocktails

With Thanksgiving weeks away, our attention turns to fall feasts and gatherings with friends...where cocktails typically make a menu appearance. As many of us prepare to host family and friends, dipping our toes into the art of mixology might just prove useful!

To glean a few useful tips on cocktail-making and the perfect flavors for enhancing the fall spirit, The Related Life contacted Nicole Salcetti, mixologist with Night Inn. Night Inn curates interactive experiences, from wine & food pairings to cocktail making classes, bringing the industry's top experts to your doorstep. The firm was founded on the notion that enjoying a night with loved ones shouldn't rely a reservation at the hot new restaurant, but on creating memories through shared experiences. Interested in trying it out? Through the end of December, Related residents can use code RELATED20 get $20 off any Night Inn experience!

Now, keep reading for insights you can put to work at your next holiday cocktail party!


The Related Life: Generally speaking, what are the elements of a well-balanced cocktail? 

Nicole Salicetti: A cocktail should hit all of the flavor centers of the palette ranging from salty to sweet and sour and bitter. There should never be an overwhelming flavor of anything and each flavor should play well with the others, not leaving a pungent or acidic aftertaste.

TRL: What types of flavors do you feel make the most impact for Fall? 

NS: I enjoy using baking spices during the fall season. Spices such as whole Star Anise, Cinnamon Stick, Nutmeg, Cloves, Vanilla. The aromas of these ingredients tend to evoke memories of the holidays which is nostalgic and pleasant for most people. The best way to utilize such flavors I find is in syrups.

TRL: How would you go about planning a drink menu for a fall-themed cocktail party that takes place in the afternoon versus the evening? (flavors, drink types, accompaniments, etc.) 

NS: There is not really a difference between an afternoon and evening party when it comes to planning a small cocktail menu, aside from perhaps the inclusion of lower ABV cocktails. I would have lower ABV versions for the Evening cocktails, to be served at the earlier time. For example, a Negroni would instead be a Spagliato.

TRL: What is your favorite cocktail for a Thanksgiving-themed party? 

NS: I am half Puerto Rican and in my culture, Coquito is the drink for the cooler season and for holiday gatherings. Coquito is a drink very similar to Egg Nog.

TRL: For those who don’t drink alcohol, please give us suggestions for 1-2 mocktails that would be perfect for a Thanksgiving-themed party. 

NS: Spiced Apple Cider with Seltzer is a perfect no-proof cocktail that can be poured into flutes for toasts. Also, non-alcoholic Coquito or Egg Nog. If you want to check out Seedlip, they have a family of No-proof "spirits" that can be used just like their alcoholic counterparts.


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