The assortment of sweet and spicy notes in these ingredients are perfect for the late fall season and the focus of this month’s signature cocktail. Ciders appearing in your local liquor stores will mix beautifully with vodka, a sweet touch of cola, and salty grapefruit. The bitters pull it all together.
DETAILS ON THE INGREDIENTS:
 Signature Cocktail: East Cider Apple and fall flavors are emphasized in this slightly sweet and fizzy seasonal cocktail. Take advantage of the ciders now appearing in your local liquor stores. See the recipe with this post.
 Shacksbury Classic Craft Cider Some of the most gnarled trees in New England and old world orchards in England and Spain go into making this intense cider from Vermont. Cider is slowly fermented with cultured yeast in stainless steel, then aged for six months. The flavors really hold up in a cocktail. $9. shacksbury.com
 Industry Standard Vodka Direct from Brooklyn, and distilled from sugar beets, Industry Standard boasts a fruity, complex flavor with hits of vanilla and spice. Vodka “made by nerds” utilizes yeast grown in an on-site lab, from a strain originating in beet fields of France, thus adding dimension to the vodka’s delicate flavor. Go and see how its made for yourself! A tasting room is open to the public, and offers tours, cocktails, plus views of New York Bay every Friday and Saturday from 4 to 10PM, no reservation required. $36. drinkicd.com
 More Good Syrups Using locally sourced and organic ingredients, More Good has created a line of hand-crafted soda syrup concentrates. In this month’s cocktail we added a bit of the Cassia Kream Syrup whose recipe started out as a take on historical cola, but has added cinnamon and vanilla. With 50% less sugar than main stream sodas, this is the one to use with your Soda Stream. Their shop in Beacon, NY, also offers organic loose leaf tea, organic & fair trade herbs and spices, an extensive selection of over 50 flavors and varieties of cocktail bitters. Another reason to drink More Good: founder Jason Schuler, has partnered with Generosity.org in an effort to make clean water accessible to everyone on the planet, and the company has raised thousands of dollars for the cause. $13. drinkmoregood.com
 Bittermilk No. 5 Charred Grapefruit Tonic with Bulls Bay Sea Salt Bittermilk has created a line of cocktail mixers that each feature a bitter agent, a sweetener, and an acid—thus contributing to a well-balanced cocktail. The company is the brain child of husband and wife, Joe and MariElena Raya, of Charleston, South Carolina, a couple with deep roots in the restaurant/bar industry. In developing the No.5, lime and lemon juice were combined with cinchona bark, (the source of quinine for tonic). Fresh grapefruits are peeled and the skins are charred to help bring out bitter yet refreshing notes, then a touch of sea salt helps pull savory caramel notes and rounds out flavor. Works well with any light spirit. $15. shop.bittermilk.com
 Junior Merino Cachaca Lavender & Yuzu Bitters Junior Merino’s Intensives do the job of intensifying flavors in cocktails, and add complexity and elegance. Each is created with a different spirit base, which gets infused with botanicals. In this month’s cocktail we added a few drops of Cachaca Lavender and Yuzu. Also perfect for salad dressings, marinades, ceviche, soup, stew, desserts or seafood. $18. juniormerinostore.com
See the entire plan and recipes for hosting weekend guests with panache in 20 Holiday Comfort