A Crisp Bourbon Cocktail to Toast the Season

Basil Hayden's® bourbon and your favorite autumn flavors team up for a season-ready sipper perfect for sharing at (safe!) get-togethers with your closest loved ones.

October 29, 2020
Photo by Elliott Clark

We've partnered with Basil Hayden's®—makers of smooth, spicy-sweet Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey that's perfect for mixing into cocktails or drinking neat—to celebrate special moments with friends and family. Throughout the season, we'll be highlighting delicious ideas for enjoying bourbon with your closest loved ones at small, intimate gatherings, from low-key backyard hangouts to special holiday dinners with family.

Here, we're sharing the cocktail our Resident Bartender Elliott Clark will be mixing up all autumn long: a season-ready bourbon sipper with cinnamon-pomegranate syrup and a dash of citrus.

While the fall occasions we look forward to every year are probably definitely going to look a bit different in 2020, there are some things that will stay the same no matter how we choose to celebrate the season with loved ones. There's the food, of course—turkey, sides, a classic pumpkin pie—but also the cocktails.

No fall gathering would be complete without a special drink to share (whether you're joining safely in person, or making a virtual toast). Our go-to spirit this time of year? Bourbon, particularly Basil Hayden's. Subtler and smoother than smoky or intense varieties, a crowd-pleasing bourbon like Basil Hayden's is especially good for mixing up cocktails everyone will want to sip on. Not to mention, its spiciness from the rye and notes of vanilla, caramel, and dried fruit are perfectly complemented by classic fall flavors.

Case in point: this bourbon cocktail starring Basil Hayden's, with a cinnamon-pomegranate syrup that feels so right, right now. Straight from our Resident Bartender, Elliott Clark, it's a perfect drink for sharing at small, safe get-togethers with the people you're closest to, from cozy Sunday dinners to Thanksgiving with family.

A cocktail that’ll fit with just about any taste or mood, it’s an easy sipper for all levels of bourbon drinkers, thanks to Basil Hayden’s smooth, palatable style. “There might be people at your get-togethers who may or may not like whiskey, or might be new to it, so using a bourbon that’s more approachable—like Basil Hayden’s—makes it so that everyone can enjoy what you’re serving,” Elliott says.

“This drink takes into account all of my favorite flavors to work with throughout fall,” he adds. “Because Basil Hayden’s bourbon is aged in charred oak barrels, it carries notes of chocolate, brown sugar, vanilla, spice, and other influences from the wood—these all mesh really well with the components in the cocktail, like the cinnamon and black walnut bitters.”

It might be simple to mix up, but that doesn't mean it isn't impressive, too. The black walnut bitters lend a nutty sweetness that makes the cocktail feel well-rounded and a bit more thought-out; if you can't find them, Elliott recommends subbing in Angostura or chocolate bitters.

And for when he's making drinks for more than just himself, the recipe's a cinch to batch up. All you have to do is multiply the amount of each ingredient the recipe calls for by the number of cocktails you're making. Fill each glass with ice, then garnish and serve—like we said, easy.

What cocktails will you be mixing up this fall? Tell us in the comments.

We've teamed up with Basil Hayden's—makers of artfully aged whiskeys, like smooth Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey and a more complex, ruby-hued Dark Rye—to highlight our favorite ways to share whiskey with close friends and family all year long. Think: creative recipes for serving up at small gatherings, cocktail-making tips for elevating your homemade sips, our favorite tools for stocking your bar cart, and more.

Drink Smart. Basil Hayden's® Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, 40% Alc./Vol. ©2020 Kentucky Springs Distilling Co., Clermont, KY

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Erin Alexander is the Brand Partnerships Editor at Food52, covering pop culture, travel, foods of the internet, and all things #sponsored. Formerly at Men’s Journal, Men’s Fitness, Us Weekly, and Hearst, she currently lives in New York City.