With apple season in full force and the city enjoying the final throes of Indian Summer, the cold weather cocktail season officially begins. At Presidio Social Club, bar manager Tim Stookey is adding two new drinks to the lineup designed to unfog our lenses.
The fall-leaf-red Picante Pisco Punch ($10, pisco, lemon, lime, pineapple, rocoto pepper syrup) braces against the cold with the slow-building heat of Peruvian rocoto peppers that use the pisco punch as the delicious delivery system. The warming glow quickly turns to light sweat, but thankfully keeps the heat at a low simmer rather than a full boil.
Sometimes simpler is better, and it's Stookey's Apple Brandy Sour ($12, Calvados brandy, lemon, maple syrup) that seemed the most prepared to defend against the cold and damp Presidio air. The light dusting of grated nutmeg on top added just enough spice without dampening the juicy apple taste of the drink.
Based on a "calvados cocktail variation" from the Savoy Cocktail Book, the drink may be a variation of a variation, but the fine-tuning is what makes it so spectacular.
"To me it is reminiscent of baked apples and just screams fall," says Stookey.