Brian MacGregor on Fall Cocktails at the Wingtip Club

Finding inspiration for making a cocktail can come from some random places, but let’s start with one of the most basic places: classic cocktail books. This is where great bartenders look when writing a new menu or exploring what their forefathers did when they are seeking inspiration. I feel this is true of all people who work in creative fields.

When I was working on the fall menu for Wingtip, I (of course) started paging through all the books in our bar’s cocktail library, and pulled out a few gems I had not used in the past; I found additional inspiration in history (below) and music (more on that later).

Two cocktails fit these thoughts, and are seasonal, too. First is the Jack Rose, a classic New York cocktail containing apple brandy, grenadine, and lime juice. In this case I chose to use Clear Creek 2-Year Old Golden Delicious apple brandy from Oregon, Small Hands Food grenadine, and organic lime. This is a fall treat to behold. Drinking one resembles biting into a tart apple freshly picked off a tree on a cool crisp fall day.

The second drink is Charlemagne’s Orchard. While researching Calvados (see: the birth of apple brandy) I was struck to find that Charlemagne was one of the first people to plant apples in the Calvados region, and that there is an apple cider fortified with calvados called Pomme de Normandy. After trying it for the first time, an idea popped into my head and we started to get to work on a new drink. The end result was Charlemagne’s Orchard: a blend of Pomme de Normandy, Wild Turkey rye, lemon juice, and chamomile tea syrup. We serve it in a tall collins glass with a few apple slices. This is a long cool drink to be enjoyed at any time during our lovely fall weather here in San Francisco.

Jack Rose
2 oz. Clear Creek apple brandy
.5 oz Small Hands grenadine
Half a squeeze of lime.
Combine all ingredients in a mixing tin. Add ice, shake and double strain into a cocktail glass.
Garnish with a lime wheel

Charlemagne’s Orchard
1.5 oz Christian Drouin Pomme de Normandy
1 oz Wild Turkey rye
.5 oz chamomile syrup
Half a squeeze of lemon.
Combine all ingredients in a mix tin. Add ice, shake and strain into a collins glass with fresh ice.
Garnish with apple slices.

Be Sociable, Share!

Brian MacGregor

Wingtip Bar Director Brian MacGregor has tended bar in San Francisco for over nine years, learning his trade from such local legends as Jeff Hollinger, Jonny Raglin, and Thad Volger. Although he credits his cocktail crafting skills to these fine practitioners, he learned the art of hospitality at a very young age from his father, a career bartender in his childhood home of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Brian has, for three years, creating award-winning drinks and building an extensive collection of rare and fine spirits at some San Francisco’s most acclaimed bars and restaurants such as Jardiniere, Jasper’s Corner Tap and Kitchen, and Absinthe Brasserie and Bar. Currently, Brian resides in San Francisco with his wife, Carey, a bartender herself, their two cats and their greyhound, Pooka.

Submit a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *