I tend to think of myself as more of a summer cocktail gal, opting for light and fresh flavours whenever possible, and tending towards creations that aren’t too sweet and ideally include a note of floral or a hint of the bubbly. But when the temperatures drop, my palate shifts along with my craving for cozy fall sweaters, and I find myself drawn to new flavour combinations that mimic the changing fall colours and my desire for something a little on the spicier side.
So when I found myself in Kitten and the Bear a couple weeks ago with an array of delicious looking fall flavours in front of me, I decided that there was only one thing to do — challenge myself to craft a seasonal cocktail that would not only feel seasonally appropriate, but to tie in with our recent fall tablescape as our final detail, thus concluding this styling series.
Though I love myself a fancy cocktail and like to get creative behind the (imaginary) bar, my skills are definitely at a beginner level, so simplicity is the name of the game. One of the amazing things about including jam in a cocktail is that you’re treated to the lovely, fresh ingredients of whatever flavour you’ve opted for (like the deliciously fresh Violet Gin and Tonic), so it enables you to keep it simple with the other ingredients and play off of those.
When I saw the Nectarine and Fresh Thyme flavour at Kitten and the Bear, I knew I wanted to experiment with it, playing off of the warmth of the nectarine and the herbaceous notes of thyme — which makes for such a lovely pairing. Bourbon seemed like a natural fit, and then we decided to try ginger beer to top it off, providing us with that spiciness I was hoping for.
And the verdict? Ideal for a cozy night in, and the perfect signature cocktail to be served alongside our pink and gold fall tablescape. When it came to the styling, we tied in the warm, golden hues through the coloured glassware and of course the cocktail itself, the touches of gold through the vintage barware accents, and the dusty pink with the same napkins. Our garnishes of fresh thyme added that touch of green (and of course a little extra flavour as well), leaving us with a simple cocktail recipe that is almost as pretty as it is delicious.
Nectarine and Thyme Jam Cocktail
2 tsp Nectarine and Fresh Thyme jam
1 ½ oz bourbon
8 oz ginger beer
Fresh thyme for garnish
In the bottom of your glass, mix the jam and the bourbon vigorously until combined into a syrup-like consistency.
Top with ginger beer. There are so many different varieties, so it’s worth it to try a few different options until you find one you like — for me, that means not too sweet, and the spicier the better!
Add a few ice cubes and top with a sprig of fresh thyme for garnish. Enjoy
Photos: Jason Matos