Summer has slipped out the backdoor, and with it went the tomatoes and fresh flowers. It’s full-blown pumpkin season, and I must admit that I am a bit squash-obsessed. I daydream about pumpkin ravioli and honey-glazed acorn squash. I’m filled with an unbridled desire to cover my kitchen table with bodacious butternuts, bohemian blue hubbards, and oblong delicatas with their stylish and edgy green stripes. But the fairest of them all is the carnival squash, with its sweet, dense flesh and pixelated flecks of yellow, marigold, and sage. Also known as festival squash, this darling gourd is the love child of acorn and sweet dumpling varietals. And yes, it’s drinkable. So while I’ll gladly sip your pumpkin ales and maple Manhattans, I’d rather toast fall with a carnival squash–infused old–fashioned.
The old-fashioned is the great grandfather of mixology. In fact, it’s technically the definition of a cocktail: spirit, sugar, water (or ice), and bitters. Building an old-fashioned begins by muddling together sugar and Angostura bitters, the sweet and spicy backdrop for a rye or bourbon whiskey….
Our favorite fallish spin on the old-fashioned includes muddling not sugar, but crystallized ginger with the bitters for a little extra heat and spice…..