Halloween is nigh upon us, and thirsty creatures in search of succor would do well to creep or crawl to Heavy Woods, where six new fall cocktails are being unveiled just in time for Bushwick’s scariest holiday. No tricks here, just treats – chief among them the Cherry Lafayette.
Made with Bulleit Bourbon, muddled brandied cherries, Angostura bitters and simple syrup, the cocktail is a smoky-sweet sipper, guaranteed to give you the warm fuzzies on a cold, dark night, without being cloying or candylike. “Brandied cherries are really awesome, they really say fall,” says Kiki D., Heavy Woods’ head bartender, who created the new cocktail list. “There are characteristics of bourbon, a sweet tartness of cherries, that comes out in the wood barrels. So the drink’s ingredients really complement each other.”
And, Kiki adds, the Kentucky bourbon is the perfect Southern companion to the New Orleans-inspired cuisine of Tchoup Shop, which runs the bar’s kitchen. “Bulleit is one of my favorite bourbons,” she says. “It’s not like Maker’s Mark, which is really bitey, or Jack Daniels, which is too sweet. This is a nice middle ground.”
The cocktail comes in a simple demi-rocks glass, over ice with a garnish of orange peel and a brandied cherry. A gentle, fruity sweetness hits the tip of the tongue first, followed by the woody warmth of bourbon, finishing with a smoky kiss at the back of the throat. The brandied cherries are sweet without being cloying, tender yet toothsome, while the orange peel adds a whisper of citrusy freshness, especially if you choose to dunk it in the drink. This is a drink to sit and savor, not pound – the kind meant for these chilly fall nights.
“It’s a simple drink; there’s not a lot going on with it,” Kiki says. “If people like bourbon, they’ll like this.”
If bourbon isn’t your thing, fear not. Other new creations at Heavy Woods include a twist on the classic French 75, with cognac instead of gin, as well as mescal- and dry sherry-based cocktails. Also on the fall menu: a reinterpretation of the Last Word, a gin-and-liqouer-based drink, as well as a hot toddy and mulled cider with applejack, two drinks guaranteed to warm your bones on cold fall nights. And if those are too fancy, there’s also Heavy Woods’ take on the boilermaker, with Guinness beer.
Bushwick Mixer is a weekly column somewhere at the crossroads of pop culture and mixology in the bars of Bushwick. Hashtag your photos of Bushwick cocktails with #BushwickMixer and let us know why they should be tasted by the author of the column. This week’s column was guest authored by Scott Nyerges, a local writer and photographer.