As the weather cools down, consumers are likely to look to stronger spirits and heartier cocktails. Brown goods—particularly various whiskeys and bourbons—continue to captivate markets around the country. Also, lower-alcohol drinks continue to be a focus for many demographics—particularly millennials—who are trying to drink less. Hard seltzer is also making major inroads as it is both portable and environmentally friendly. Japanese spirits—particularly whiskey and gin—also continue to gain traction.
Bourbon has long had a great ride as the classic American spirit. Old Fashioneds remain as popular as ever, as do other interpretations of classics with Bourbon: such as a Bourbon-based Negroni. The Irish coffee, made with Irish whiskey—which was reportedly introduced to U.S. consumers by the Buena Vista Café in San Francisco in 1952—is a favorite all-year long, but becomes more popular in cooler weather. Japanese whiskys are also having a moment as more and more brands and ideations are arriving stateside.
No matter how much we fight it, as the weather turns cooler, imbibers turn to pumpkin spiced lattes. You can serve it morning, noon and night. And for the boozy kick, you can spike it with a variety of spirits, such as dark rum, bourbon or Frangelico—the darker the better. Serves 10-12.
Add the liquor, coffee, pumpkin puree, milk, sugar, vanilla extract, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon stick and .5 cup of heavy whipping cream into a slow cooker, and heat on high for at least 90 minutes. Whip the remaining .5 cup of cream until thick. Serve the slow-cooker mixture in a mug, top with some of the whipped cream, and garnish with grated cinnamon or nutmeg.