It’s that familiar time of year when the growing chill in the air drives a slow transition from afternoon happy hours on sun-drenched patios to cuddling up under a blanket with cozy cocktails. We find ourselves starting to crave those soul-warming flavours that remind us of fall.
Like traditional gin, Sobrii non-alcoholic gin is a versatile spirit that can easily be adapted to suit the flavours of the season. We’re sharing a few autumn-influenced recipes to help inspire your cool-weather cocktail making.
This complex but fruity cocktail will help you carry a few tropical vibes into autumn. The combination of pineapple and chai takes inspiration from grilled pineapple, a classic Brazilian dessert that’s typically served dusted with cinnamon.
This recipe requires a shaker (we’ve outlined a few essentials for an alcohol-free home bar cart here) but, in a pinch, you can shake the ingredients together in a mason jar. Use the cylindrical part of the lid to strain the mixture into your glass.
2 oz Sobrii
1 oz pineapple juice
½ lime juice
¾ oz chai tea syrup**
½ oz San Pellegrino natural mineral water
Fill a double rocks glass with ice. Combine all ingredients in shaker, except the San Pellegrino and garnish. Fill shaker half-way with ice and give a vigorous shake. Strain into glass. Top with San Pellegrino and garnish with mint.
**To make the chai tea syrup, bring 1 cup of water, 1 cup of granulated sugar and 2 bags of chai tea to a boil. Stir and bring to a simmer for 5 minutes. Let cool to room temperature. The chai tea syrup lasts for up to two weeks in the fridge.
Tip: Experiment with making different tea syrups to mix with your Sobrii cocktails by substituting your other favourite tea bags into this basic recipe.
Combining apple cider with refreshing lemon and soothing honey, this cocktail is like a trip to the apple orchard on a crisp fall day, in a glass.
1.5 oz Sobrii
½ oz freshly-squeezed lemon juice
½ oz honey syrup**
¾ oz San Pellegrino natural mineral water
Add ice cubes to a collins glass. Combine all ingredients, except San Pellegrino and garnishes, in shaker and shake for 20 seconds. Strain into glass. Top with San Pellegrino. Stir with cinnamon stick and garnish with apple slices.
**To make the honey syrup, combine one part honey and one part boiled water. Stir until dissolved. Let cool to room temperature. It can last up to two weeks in the fridge.
Tip: Use the leftover honey syrup to sweeten your morning tea.
While cocktails made with Sobrii are wonderful served solo, they can also make a perfect pair for a variety of comforting cool-weather dishes. Recently, at the special Italy Unboxed virtual event, Toronto chef Craig Harding showed us how to match these two delicious fall cocktails with a hearty pasta recipe from his Italian restaurant, La Palma.
Wild Boar Cavatelli, Dandelion and Fennel Soffrito
Although these ingredients might seem unapproachable for newer home chefs, this recipe can be adapted to suit your tastes and available ingredients. Substitute the wild boar for any good quality Italian salami, and swap in your favourite dried pasta for the cavatelli. You can also use other bitter greens, such as rapini, or even spinach or arugula in place of the dandelion.
½ pound of your favourite short noodle pasta: cavatelli, orecchiette, penne, etc
¼ bulb fennel, diced
¼ onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
¼ cup olive oil
½ cup dry white wine
¼ cup of butter
2 handfuls of raw dandelion
½ cup of grated cheese, such as piave or parmigiano
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil
- Remove sausage from its casing. In a large pan, brown sausage meat in a little bit of olive oil. Use a wooden spoon to break the sausage into small pieces
- Set sausage aside in a bowl. On medium heat in the same pan, add the soffrito ingredients (fennel, onion, garlic, olive oil) and gently cook down until translucent. Add a pinch of salt and pepper to help soften the veggies
- Deglaze (scrape up all the brown bits) the pan by adding the wine and using the wooden spoon to make sure nothing is sticking
- Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook with a rolling boil to your preferred doneness. Save a few ladles of pasta water before draining to add back into the sauce
- While the pasta is cooking, add the greens to the hot pan and cook for one minute. Set pan aside
- Add the pasta, a few ladles of its cooking water, and the butter into the pan and cook on low for 1-2 minutes
- Divide into 2 bowls and top with grated cheese