Is It Even Fall If You’re Not Drinking Hard Cider-Based Cocktails?

These days, Jade Verette is a proud proponent of the 1:30pm cocktail. As a chef-turned-mixologist-turned-podcaster-turned-Culinary-Internet-Person, she’s serious about her beverages. So, while quarantined in Brooklyn with her husband and her daughter, her afternoons will often require, say, a fresh margarita with a Tajín-spiced rim.
“Right now, you’ve gotta get your creative inspiration where you can find it,” she says. “Sometimes, it’s in a margarita.”
Like so many of the world’s craft cocktail wizards, Jade found her foray into mixology at a dive bar, pouring rum and cokes into plastic cups. She bartended throughout college before graduating into a licensing and marketing position at an A&R firm in New York — where she was laid off in 2009. Then, while looking for a new role in the music industry, she found herself once again behind the heavy wood of a bar.
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“Instantly, I rediscovered my love for cocktails,” she says. “My family had always loved craft cocktails, and I’d always enjoyed drinking, but behind the bar I was really picking up flavors and really identifying the nuances. It changed the way I tasted everything.” Suffice to say, she never went back to the music industry.
But Jade didn’t stick around behind the bar at some local haunt, either. She quickly went on to launch her own catering business, crafting bespoke cocktails according to her own specs without the oversight of a beverage director or a bar menu. Alongside private events, meals, and parties, Jade crafted food menus and cocktail pairings with a chef-cum-business partner for a roving supper club of her own creation titled The Dopest Dinner Party series. Then, she began working on a food and drink podcast with a friend — which is now signed to Spotify — before launching a second lifestyle podcast on her own terms with another friend.
“The really fun thing about doing what we do is that we craft new flavors for the moment at hand or the season or the specific event. We’re constantly innovating.” she says. “And calling creative shots while still doing what you love is such a blessing and a really dope opportunity.”
Present circumstances, however, do not lend themselves well to the roving dinner party model. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Jade’s had no choice but to make some serious pivots. Over the past few months, she’s moved her culinary work to online tutorials and short videos about what she’s cooking (“Culinary Experiences for the Soul”) or drinking (“Cocktails en la Casa”) at home with her family for subscriber fees. She’s continued to record her podcast remotely and to work with advertisers in the podcasting realm in order to make ends meet. And this October, over in Los Angeles, she’s hosting her first socially distant dinner party. “A bunch of people bought tickets for an event in LA months ago, which was…postponed, postponed, postponed,” she explains. “So, instead, we’re doing a pick-up dinner. Three courses. Branded merch. Cocktail-pairings to go. Then, once folks get back to their respective spaces, they can hop on a digital platform and share with a bunch of people in the area.”
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While she’s plenty tired of Zoom — and more than prepared to wax nostalgic about the joy of IRL meals in good company — she still delights in the ways we can connect with one another over food via our screens. “I’m so privileged to be comfortable enough to experiment right now,” she says. “Trying to find inspiring ways to navigate quarantine from a hospitality lens has been challenging but I’m trying to let myself have fun with it. So, fatigue or not, I say we just all get ourselves some bluelight glasses and keep on Zooming.”
Which is to say: who could be better suited than Jade to teach us a virtual thing or two about couch-born imbibing this season?
That’s why we tapped the culinary entrepreneur for some potable recipes to shake up in our own kitchens now that wine-in-the-park weather is dwindling. Working alongside hard cider giants Angry Orchard in celebration of the most objectively beloved of all seasons —  the fall —  she’s masterminded three thoroughly autumnal, cider-based cocktail recipes just for our readers. Scroll below for a look at how Jade is making the most of fall flavor — and, well, booze — while staying home.
Then, on a taskless sunday, might we suggest enjoying your own refreshments around… 1:30pm?
What you’ll need:
Moonshine Whiskey
Rhubarb Bitters
Strawberry Simple Syrup (Strawberries, Sugar, Water)
Angry Orchard Crisp Apple Hard Cider
Strawberry Garnish
Mason Jar
The Process:
1. Add Ice to your shaker.
2. Add 2 oz of small-batch moonshine.
3. Add 1 oz of strawberry simple syrup (instructions below).
4. Add 4 dashes of rhubarb bitters.
5. Shake what ya mama gave ya.
6. Strain into a mason jar with ice.
7. Top with Angry Orchard Crisp Apple Hard Cider.
8. Garnish with a slice of fresh strawberry.
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Strawberry Simple Syrup:
1. In a small saucepan, combine 2 cups of strawberries, 1 cup of raw cane sugar, and 1 cup of water.
2. Bring to a boil, and then turn down to a medium low heat and simmer for 30 min. Make sure you keep an eye on the liquid.
3. Strain into a container through a fine mesh strainer (don’t throw those strawberries away, use them for a strawberry shortcake).
4. Store in the refrigerator until cool.
What you’ll need:
Rye whiskey
Walnut bitters
Crisp Apple Angry Orchard floater
Honey crisp garnish
Rocks glass
The Process:
1. In your rocks glass, add 2 oz of rye whiskey.
2. Add 3 dashes of black walnut bitters.
3. Stir gently.
4. Add ice.
5. Top with Angry Orchard Crisp Apple Hard Cider.
What you’ll need:
Bourbon
Egg white
Lemon
Spiced simple syrup (cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar, water)
Crisp Apple Angry Orchard Floater
Star anise for garnish
Coup glass
The Process:
1. In your shaker, add 2 oz of bourbon whiskey.
2. Add 1/2 oz of fresh lemon juice.3, Add the egg white of 1 organic or pasteurized egg.
3. Add 1 oz of spiced simple syrup.
4. Shake it like a polaroid picture.
5. Strain into a coup glass.
6. Top with Angry Orchard Crisp Apple Hard Cider.
7. Garnish with a piece of Star Anise.
Spiced Simple Syrup:
1. In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup of raw sugar cane, one cup of water, 2 sticks of cinnamon bark, 5 pieces of clove, 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg, a piece of star anise, and a pinch of cardamom.
2. Bring to a boil, and then turn down to a medium low heat and simmer for 30 min.
3. Store in the refrigerator until cool.
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