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With the nights drawing in, it is time to think about autumn cocktails. Perfect for a bonfire night party or just sipping at home, here are four autumnal concoctions to warm your cockles.

sloe gin bramble autumn cocktail twist

A sloe gin bramble is a great autumnal twist on a classic and a great way to use your home made sloe gin

Sloe Bramble
We love sloe gin at Sub 13, and every year Tim braves the prickles to harvest the delicious, slightly dusty little gems from the hedgerows around his parents house to make a batch of the stuff. And now we have had a frost the sloes, which are the fruits of the hawthorn tree, are perfect for harvesting. Whether you make your own, or use a commercial version (we recommend Plymouth) a sloe bramble is a great way to enjoy this seasonal treat.

50ml Sloe gin
25ml lemon juice
10ml sugar syrup
10ml crème de mûre (blackberry liqueur)

Shake and strain the first three ingredients over ice cubes in a rocks glass. Top with crushed ice and drizzle the crème de mûre over the top. Garnish with sloes and some blackberries and maybe some lemon zest.

 

Glass of mulled cider

A nice glass of warming mulled cider

Mulled cider
No bonfire night would be complete without a warming mug of mulled cider, so here is our recipe for a winning brew. This recipe should make enough for six mugs.

1 litre quality, medium-dry cider
100ml sloe gin, preferably home made
5 cloves
2 star anise
2 allspice berries
1 vanilla pod
2 sticks cinnamon
1 orange, sliced
Seeds from 1 pomegranate
Runny honey, to taste

Place all ingredients except the sloe gin into a large saucepan and bring slowly to the boil, reduce the heat and leave to simmer for five minutes or so. Add the sloe gin and simmer for a further two or three minutes. Taste, and add some honey as required – this is really just to bring everything together rather than give you a ver sweet finished product. Ladle into warmed mugs or glasses ensuring you have some of the fruit and spices as a garnish for each drink. You could also add a grating of nutmeg to finish.

Classic fish house punch cocktail

Your guests will love the sophisticated flavours of a fish house punch.

Fish House Punch
This is a real American classic, but it is one of our favourite autumn cocktails. It is best made in advance and in bulk, so get some friends round and raise a glass!

8 lemons, sliced
500ml demerara sugar syrup
500ml lemon juice, freshly squeezed ideally
1 750ml bottle gold rum, we recommend Mount Gay
350ml cognac, we recommend Martell VSOP
350ml crème de pêche (peach liqueur)
350ml mineral water

About a day before, freeze a large block of ice using an old soft drink bottle. If you boil the water first or use filtered water it will freeze into a clear block. At least a few hours before you serve, muddle the lemons into a punch bowl, then add the sugar syrup. Just before your guests arrive, add the remaining ingredients and stir will to combine. Add the large ice block and serve, grating fresh nutmeg onto each cup. Makes 25 glasses.

Polish Martini
The last of our autumn cocktails is another nice apple concoction, this uses Zubrowka bison grass vodka and the amazing honey liqueur Krupnik.

20ml Zubrowka
20ml Wyborowa
20ml Krupnik
30ml pressed apple juice

Shake all ingredients and fine strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a slice of apple. Its a good idea to rub lemon juice onto the apple slice to prevent it oxidising a going brown.