Confession: My first cocktail was a Tokyo Tea—and no, I wasn’t 21 yet. Thanks to my older sister who looks enough like me, I was able to start bar hopping much younger. Hopefully my daughter doesn’t follow in my rebellious footsteps, and if she does, let’s hope she has better taste, because the electric green Tokyo Tea isn’t exactly the most sophisticated of adult beverages. The good news? Maturity has made me appreciate alcohol—as opposed to its effects—and the complexities of what can be done when it’s mixed, muddled, shaken, and stirred with fresh-squeezed fruits, syrups, or sodas. Current cocktail favorites include Negronis, homemade jalapeño-cucumber margaritas (courtesy of my lingering summer garden), and well-made Manhattans. I still don’t discriminate when it comes to spirits, but at least I’ve graduated from pouring them all into the same glass, right?
Speaking of liquor, this month’s feature story, “Drink Up,” is all about alcohol. Pour yourself something strong and then turn to page 53 for 22 must-try cocktails (including the one on our cover from Land Ocean), plus some fun, informative facts about each establishment where they’re available. We also introduce you to four of our region’s most beloved bartenders, recommend home bar must-haves, spotlight local distilleries, and share a handful of beautiful (and boozy!) recipes courtesy of mobile mixologists. No matter how ominous the political (and actual) climate may be, at least we have cocktails to carry us through.
In honor of autumn, we have a cornucopia of content dedicated to one of the most special seasons. Turn to The 10 Spot (page 18), for creative ways to welcome it—think Apple Hill adventures, foliage-filled drives, and harvest-inspired cooking classes.
Speaking of autumnal eats, this issue’s Taste department (page 78) includes must-make recipes that highlight fall’s most versatile vegetable: the squash. Whether stuffed, roasted, or served as soup, this prized produce pairs perfectly with cooler temps. For all the pumpkin spice latte lovers out there, we have you covered, too. Flip to page 80 for “5 Perfect Pumpkin Drinks” you’ll want to sip all season long.
Happy fall, y’all—and remember: This too shall pass, so keep your spirits up...and flowing. Cheers!
— Megan // email@example.com