Lush Life

To be a lush chef, does not mean to drink in excess - this can result in scary fires and bad dishes. A lush chef is one who enjoys gourmet cooking/baking, often with fresh ingredients and the smart use of one's home bar. If there happens to be half a bottle of beer, a glass of wine, or a sip of brandy left over...well, one cannot be wasteful. I give you permission to imbibe.

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The Lush Chef
Twitter: @thelushchef Provenance: Santa Monica Dish: Coq au Vin Spirit: Whiskey Wine: Malbec Beer: Hefeweizen Farmer's Market: Santa Monica on Main Street
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Oct 17, 2013

Fall Cocktail Round-Up

It's now starting to feel like autumn in Los Angeles.  Even though our leaves really don't change out here, us Angelenos get in the spirit by artfully scattering fake leaves and acorns on our tables, and setting out pumpkins on the front porch.  You know it's really fall when this McSweeney's article gets passed around about decorative gourds — makes me laugh every year.  So to get you all in the spirit, here's a rundown of some of my favorite, seasonal cocktails.  So toss some gourds around your neck and get that shaker out!
Figs are in abundance at the market right now, and this fresh fig cocktail with bourbon, maple syrup, balsamic vinegar (yes, try it!) and orange juice, really "falls up" your Old Fashioned.  If you don't have access to fresh figs, then buy some fig jam, add a little cinnamon, rye whiskey and lime juice, and you have yourself this lovely Whiskey Fig Jam libation.
Of course, everyone is obsessed with anything pumpkin flavored right now, so I've got you covered. Warm up those crisp, autumn evenings with a Hot Pumpkin Buttered Rum that has both regular butter and pumpkin butter, along with some pumpkin pie spice and brown sugar.  It's the perfect dessert when topped with whipped cream!  Before you use that whole can of pumpkin purée for a pie, save an ounce for The Midnight Pumpkin Cocktail, which includes tequila, Cointreau and lime juice on a cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar-rimmed glass.
If you're really into shrubs (drinking vinegars) like I am, then The Spicy Cider Mill Cocktail with bourbon, apple shrub and ginger beer, is incredibly refreshing and perfect after a day of picking apples or raking leaves.  Make a batch of ginger syrup, because you'll want to add it to just about any fall and winter cocktail this season, including this Bourbon, Ginger & Pear Cocktail.  For Thanksgiving, you can't go wrong with a really, boozy punch.  You'll be busy slaving over the stove, so make a couple batches of this Pear & Bourbon Punch with pear juice, lemon juice, bourbon, honey and a French sparkling hard cider.

And if you're looking for even more ideas, here's last year's Fall Cocktail Round-Up.