4 Autumnal Rye Whiskey Cocktails Using The Best Of The Season’s Ingredients 

Like the colours of the leaves, the fruit and vegetables we bring home from the local farmer’s market changes colour with the seasons; from summer’s bright berry reds to the dulcet, honeyed tones of autumn. Think the pale chartreuse of pears, the dark gold of apples, the purple of figs and of course, the orange of seasonal squashes

So too does the colour of the liquids we bring home from the local bottle shop change in texture. From the effervescent summer rosés to the deep autumn ambers of whiskey, it’s a seismic shift reflected in our changing appetite for how we want to eat and drink.

A warming whiskey is just the thing to savour on these autumn evenings. At the moment, we’re particularly fond of rye whiskey from Maryland, which is traditionally sweeter than those from Virginia and Kentucky, but still with that peppery, astringent back-note. This is because the whisky makers in Maryland mix their rye grain with a high percentage of corn, which lends sweetness, balancing the rye’s characteristic spiciness.  

Interestingly, this type of whiskey is the original base spirit of classic New York cocktails, such as the Manhattan and Old Fashioned, so if you’re looking to be ultra-traditional in your mixing of these classic cocktails, it’s American Rye Whiskey all the way. And who are we to complain?

Getting into the – ahem – spirit of things, we’ve spoken to the experts behind Sagamore Spirit, whose American Rye whiskies have earned more than 100 awards internationally, including the title of World’s Best Rye Whiskey in 2019, for their favourite autumnal cocktail recipes that make the most out of those seasonal ingredients we mentioned earlier.

Pumpkin Spice Sipper

Move over Pumpkin Spiced Latte, there’s a new, grown-up autumn drink in town, and it goes by Pumpkin Spice Sipper, or PSS.  

Just like the PSL, the aromatics of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger in the Pumpkin Spice Slipper evoke familiar, cosy memories of autumn, creating a sense of nostalgia and the desire to connect with and embrace the autumnal season – just the ticket on these colder, darker nights, don’t you think? 

The recipe is for a single serve:


  • 1.5 oz Sagamore Spirit Signature Rye Whiskey
  • 1.5 oz Pumpkin Puree
  • 1.5 oz Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • One Heavy Dash Pumpkin Spice (cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger) 
  • Ground Cinnamon for garnish


  • Fill shaker halfway with ice and add all ingredients. 
  • Shake to combine all ingredients. 
  • Strain into a rocks glass over one large ice cube. 
  • Garnish with a dusting of ground cinnamon.

IDEAL Tip: Give this one an extra shake or two to ensure each seasonal flavour blends to perfection.

Sagamore Pear Sour

The comedian Geroge Carlin once said that “a pear is a failed apple”.

Whilst we’re big fans of this stand-up comedian, we can only conclude that he never enjoyed a pear in its prime, which to our humble taste is unbeatable.

That said, it’s true that a pear is a paradoxical fruit, and a perfectly ripened one is a remarkably hard thing to come by, and they can often go from impenetrable and sour to brown and mushy in the space of a single day.

Once you find one that’s in its prime, however, it’s one of those autumnal moments of pure joy – just like having a sip of your first PSS. Pear is an underdog flavor that shines in this unique take on a classic sour, and we’re celebrating it now with a toast…


  • 1.5 oz Sagamore Spirit Signature Rye Whiskey
  • 2 oz Pear Juice
  • 0.5 oz Lemon Juice
  • 0.5 oz Cinnamon Syrup*
  • One Fresh Pear
  • Lemon & Ground Cinnamon for garnish


  • Cut the pear into quarters and remove core. Place ¼ into shaker and muddle.
  • Add Sagamore Spirit Rye Whiskey, pear juice, lemon juice, and cinnamon syrup.
  • Add ice and shake until cold.
  • Strain into a rocks glass over ice, and garnish with a lemon wheel and ground cinnamon.

*Cinnamon Syrup: Mix one cup each of water and sugar with two cinnamon sticks in a small pot. Cook on med-low heat until sugar is dissolved and reduce to a simmer for 10-minutes. Cool and store in refrigerator. Yields 1 ½ cups.*

For a batch recipe click here.

Sagamore Apple Butter

Yes, we said butter. In a drink. What are you afraid of?

A deliciously savoury cold weather cocktail which calls to mind, of all things, the flavours of a tarte tatin in cocktail form (what could be better, quite honestly?), made even more gluttonous with a pat of the real stuff.


  • 1.5 oz. Sagamore Spirit Signature Rye Whiskey
  • 4 oz Cinnamon Apple Spice Tea
  • 0.5 oz Lemon Juice
  • 0.75 oz Honey
  • Unsalted Butter for garnish


  • Steep tea bag in hot water according to boxed instructions.
  • Add Sagamore Spirit Signature Rye Whiskey, lemon juice and honey. Stir until combined.
  • Garnish with one tablespoon butter to melt on top.

For a batch recipe, click here.

Fig Old Fashioned

A ripe fig is a rare treat, as a wise woman once said. The season is short, and finding one at its peak not guaranteed, but when you do, the temptation to scoff it there and then is hard to resist. 

These guys don’t ripen after picking, so it’s a take-me-as-you-find-me situation when shopping. As such, it’s best to enjoy a fig as soon as you take it home, and we can’t think of a better way of doing so than by using fresh fig as a garnish in this classic Old Fashioned recipe, turned up a notch of two.


  • 2 oz. Sagamore Spirit Signature Rye Whiskey
  • 0.5 oz Dark Brown Sugar Syrup*
  • 2 Dashes Sycophant bitters (orange and fig bitters)
  • 1 Dash Angostura bitters
  • Fig for garnish


  • Add all ingredients into a mixing glass.
  • Add ice and stir until cold.
  • Strain into a coupe glass and garnish

*Dark Brown Sugar Syrup: Mix one cup each of water and sugar. Cook on med-low heat until sugar is dissolved and reduce to a simmer for 10-minutes. Cool and store in refrigerator. Yields 1 ½ cups.*

Sagamore Spirit Double Oak Rye Whisky is available from Native Spirits, Whisky Exchange and Master of Malt retailing at £60 for a bottle of the good stuff. And with that, we’re raising a responsible glass to you as we light the scented candles and cosy on down. Cheers!

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