Now Reading


Cocktails that straddle the seasons.

Bold smoke and sweet tropical flavors make Dance with the Devil at Rooftop L.O.A. the perfect sipper between seasons.

The word “fall” brings to mind piles of leaves, harvest, sweatshirts and bonfires. Sept. 23 is technically autumn, but in the South, days are commonly warm, and the seasonal shift arrives a little later. Still, mornings are cool, and sunset comes sooner. Just as we don’t hang up our bikinis and pull on a sweater, beverage menus don’t abruptly move from frosé to toddies.

In Electric Mayhem at Miller Union, Nixta corn liqueur is a tender modifier between tequila and the savory depth of fruit balsamic. photo: Evan Sewel

Bartenders make subtle changes or additions to cocktails when it is no longer summer, but it doesn’t yet feel like fall. Aged and darker spirits and spices evoke autumnal flavors, with citrus and tropical fruit keeping a toe in the summertime pool.

Corn is one ingredient that can bridge seasonal taste. Once barren corn stalks dry, we adorn our fall tablescapes and front porches for harvest season. Adding corn liqueur evokes the summertime sweetness of fresh corn as well as the caramel, toasty notes of autumn.

The bar at Miller Union balances the grassy notes of tequila with Nixta’s Licor de Elote, made with heirloom corn. It may be called Electric Mayhem out of reverence for the jam band on “The Muppet Show,” but it’s a sophisticated sipper that could easily take inspiration from shifting seasons.

Electric Mayhem gets a ruby hue from Cocchi Rosa Americano aperitif and fruit balsamic, which also lend fruity flavor and an acidic complexity. Fresh squeezed lime juice brightens, while those roast corn flavors pull your taste buds to fall.

Corn liqueur and pistachio orgeat create texture and a nutty flavor in Dryver Bar’s Il Campione. photo: The Cocktail Shaker

Il Campione is literally “the champion” of Dryver Bar’s Formula One-themed cocktail pit stop. “The cocktail was made to recreate pistachio gelato,” says Jose Pereiro, who co-created the drink with fellow barman Bernardo Carrillo. Savory Patron Silver tequila and Nixta corn liqueur shake together with pistachio orgeat for nutty fall flavor. Huana soursop liqueur harkens to summer with tropical sour notes. Albumin powder (dry egg whites) helps achieve a creamy texture. “An ice sphere represents a scoop of gelato,” Pereiro says.

When clinking glasses on an evening at Rooftop L.O.A., you can be next to the pool or a firepit, should the evening get chilly. Dance with the Devil puts those vibes into a glass with an edgy twist on a margarita. Siete Misterios mezcal is the bold, subtly smoky backbone of the drink. Turmeric adds a savory, slightly bitter essence, while habanero brings vegetal notes to the glass. Fresh lime juice brightens and heightens with citrus zing, and summertime comes with a wave of passionfruit.




View Comments (0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Scroll To Top