4 Autumnal Liqueurs That Need A Home On Your Bar This Fall

There’s nothing wrong with being a seasonal drinker. We love to match our cocktail, beer, and wine choices to fit the weather, and it’s around this time of year that we start craving those toasty, warm, comforting flavors that mirror the sights and smells that come along with autumn. Our liquor lad Tom has compiled a handful of liqueurs—along with some delectable ways to use each of them—that absolutely need a place on your bar this fall and winter. They’re perfect for any holiday gathering, as well as for a comforting treat at the end of any chilly day. Cheers!

Art in the Age Ginger Snap

Art in the Age Ginger Snap 

Inspired by a medieval German Monk recipe, this USDA organic spirit tastes just like a ginger snap cookie. Made with blackstrap molasses, fresh ginger, vanilla, cinnamon, and other baking spices, this is the perfect interpretation of sweet delicious ginger.

Ways to drink it: On its own, in rye, bourbon, or rum; in apple cider, or use it to make a boozy icing for your gingerbread cookies.

Cocktail: Dark and Snappy

1oz Ginger Snap Liqueur

1oz Myers Dark Rum

4oz Fever Tree Ginger Beer


St. George Spiced Pear Liqueur 

St George Spiced Pear Liqueur

In 1982 St. George opened its doors in Alameda, California as the first small craft distillery in America since Prohibition. While they make four award-winning gins, three pear based vodkas and a plethora of liqueurs, the one that stands out during the fall season is their Spiced Pear. Made from a pear brandy base with luscious Bartlett Pear juice added, this low alcohol spirit is spiced with cinnamon and clove to make it a warm and cozy autumn tipple.

Ways to drink it: On its own, in apple cider, with bourbon or dry scotch, or glaze a ham with it.

Cocktail: The Scottish Pear

2oz Bank Note Blended Scotch

¾oz St. George Spiced Pear Liqueur

2 Dashes Angostura Bitters

Serve in a coupe glass


Sortilege Maple Rye

Sortilege Maple Rye Liqueur 

Consisting of two parts Canadian Rye Whiskey and one part Grade A maple syrup, this delicious spirit comes straight from the maple syrup heartland: Quebec. Its slightly spicy rye base is balanced out by the sweet, luscious maple.

Ways to drink it: on its own, as a simple syrup in any cocktail, with bourbon, or drizzled on pancakes.

Cocktail: Breakfast Old Fashioned

2oz Evan Williams Single Barrel

1oz Sortilege Maple

5 dashes of Fee Brothers Black Walnut Bitters


Du Nord Du Nord Spiced Apple SpiritApple

Du Nord Apple is made right here in Minneapolis’s Seward neighborhood, with apples from a 66 acre orchard in Lake City, Minnesota. The result is a sweet but subtle apple flavor, fresh from the fields of the north to your glass.

Ways to drink it: on its own, in bourbon, warm mulled apple cider, with ginger ale, or with sautéed apples drizzled over vanilla ice cream.

Cocktail: A La Mode

2oz Apple Du Nord

1oz Heavy Whipping Cream

Drop or two of Vanilla Extract

A pinch of Nutmeg


Go High West, Young Man

As the old proverb says, “Go High West, young man.” This cutting-edge spirits producer has been a France44 favorite for as many years as they’ve been around. They’ve continually impressed with their forward-thinking, innovative products while still retaining the classic American spirit in their bourbon and rye whiskeys.

High West France 44 Double Rye Manhattan Finish

We’ve worked with High West to select our very own single barrel of Double Rye! Whiskey, complete with the France44 exclusive sticker and brand new bottle. One of just three single barrels to come to the state each year, this is definitely a rare and fleeting bottling. The whiskey itself is a blend of two-year 95% rye whiskey and 16-year 53% rye. But what makes this unicorn bottling so special is that it’s finished in Manhattan barrel.

That’s right—High West takes an old rye barrel, fills it up with rHigh West Barreled Manhattan - The 36th Voteye whiskey, sweet vermouth and bitters to make a gigantic 55-gallon Manhattan. After letting it mellow and age together for 120 days, the concoction is bottled and sent to us to sell to you so you don’t have to go through the struggle of making your own Manhattans! Check out the High West 36th Vote Barreled Manhattan to see the finished product.

After bottling up this giant Manhattan they take that cocktail-soaked barrel and finish the France44 Single Barrel in it for 15 long months before bottling it up at a busty 101.4 proof. This super spicy rye is boasting voluptuous notes of mint, clove, and cinnamon up front with the Manhattan barrel imprinting candied orange rind, cocktail glazed cherry, and vanilla notes. This beauty is perfect neat or in a cocktail.

Come get this rare bottling while you can—after all, fall is bourbon season!

Talisker Storm and the Rebirth of NAS Whisky


In recent years people worldwide have been drinking whisky of all types at a nearly exponential rate, so much so that distilleries are having a hard time keeping up with production. One thing people have clung to for the last few decades when purchasing, drinking, describing, and recommending high-end whisky is the age statement on the bottle. 10, 12, 18, and 21 year single malt scotch have become household staples when evaluating how special a whisky is. However, to meet demand, many new types of single malt are void of age statements of any kind. We call these NAS (Non Age Statement) Whiskies. Around 90% of all whiskies around the world are NAS and single malts are the new frontier. An age statement on a bottle is indicative of the youngest whisky in the blend. Take Glenlivet 12 year for example: all the malt in the blend is at least 12 years old. This is why most countries and some U.S. markets now have Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve, their new NAS version (soon to hit the Minnesota market). Products like this allow for more shelf stability, but also give the distillers and blenders more room to explore and create unique takes on their signature malts, blending the old with the young.

Talisker Storm

Talisker Storm hit the U.S. market in the spring of 2013. It was greeted with a mix of excitement from fans and skepticism from traditionalists, marketed as a bolder version of Talisker’s signature 10 year with more maritime sea salt, smoke, and sweetness. There are many aspects besides age statements that affect the end product. Two major elements are the types of casks (ex-bourbon, sherry, port, rum, etc.) and the land from which the malt is distilled and aged. Talisker Storm definitely falls into the latter category as this is the perfect example of an island scotch with almost spicy sea salt, billowing smoke, and light toffee sweetness: classic Talisker in profile, only much bigger. In the winter of 2013, Talisker Storm won Highland/Island Single Malt of the Year, as successful a debut as possible. Priced at $60 (equal to its classic 10 year counterpart), the whisky did not seem to catch anyone’s attention, so now, to prove to everyone Talisker Storm’s quality, we have it at the low price of $37.99. With the overall price of scotch as high as it is right now, there is no better deal out there. Come on in and try this beautifully complex single malt on the tasting bar, perfect for the fall season!

Gin-nesota: Winning Big in San Francisco

With Minnesota gins on fire as of late, the accolades have started to pile up. Our great state landed two golds, three silvers, and one bronze medal in the San Francisco World Spirits Competition! Out of more than 1850 entrants, our very own Loon Liquors, Tattersall and Vikre all hit the podium.

Loon Liquors may not have the recognition yet, but their new Metropoligin took home silver.  This eclectic gin has a mix of woodland flowers, bright citrus, cardamom, rosemary and black currant. It’s unlike any other on the market, local or otherwise. All of its botanicals mingle together effortlessly, keeping one another in check without any one dominating.


Tattersall took home a silver and a bronze for their Barrel Gin and flagship Gin, respectively. Their classic gin boasts a blend of 22 botanicals that toe the line between citrus and juniper with hints of mint, earth, and spice. It’s a versatile gin for making all sorts of refreshing cocktails. Their silver medal winning Barreled Gin is aged in French oak Chardonnay barrels, giving it a much more floral and herbaceous tone than their flagship. Meant to be drunk in martinis, negronis, or just neat, this gin is the perfect dry base for any drink!

Our friends up in Duluth at Vikre Distillery nabbed a gold for their Boreal Juniper and a pair of silver medals for their Cedar and Spruce! All three are malt-based, giving them pronounced viscosity. Their Juniper (which also has 94 points from Wine Enthusiast) has a very distinctive note of rhubarb on the midpalate and is perfect for gin and tonics. Vikre’s Boreal Spruce lets a unique note of spruce dominate the classic juniper, a spin on the old classic. The Cedar, on the other hand, has a hint of sumac, anise, and toasted wood, making it perfect for the colder months. As a bonus, their Aquavits (the Norwegian cousin of gin), took home a pair of silver medals as well!

Here at France 44 we are very proud to support local distillers. Try one, try them all; the end of summer is coming fast! Then again, gin season is year-round, isn’t it?

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Cocchi Vermouth Takeover


Summertime is the perfect time to explore fortified wines, especially the Cocchi lineup! The Cocchi line can brighten up your classic cocktails you would usually drink in the cold months as well as shine as the base of low alcohol cocktails. They make a vermouth and two Americanos, and we will be diving into the differences this weekend with open bottles of all three!

Cocchi Di Torino is their 100-plus-year-old family recipe sweet vermouth, and was named Whisky Exchange’s 2014-15 Spirit of the Year. Cocchi Di Torino is dark and rich with black fruit and intricately woven herbs and spices of bitter orange, Artemisia, rhubarb and cinchona. Di Torino is not known for its bitterness like many high end sweet vermouths, but more about the spices. Cinnamon, caramelized brown sugar, bitter orange, rhubarb and cocoa dominate this vermouth making it lighter bodied for summer Manhattans and Negronis.

Cocchi Americano is a bianco or blanc, not a sweet vermouth but instead an Americano, derived from amer, or bitter gentian. While some producers have taken out many of bianco’s more bitter qualities (Lillet Blanc for example), Cocchi Americano embraces its gentian along with some of the same herbs as Di Torino: Artemisia, bitter orange and cinchona. Dominant notes of orchard fruits like peach, pear, and orange make this aperitif wine much brighter in style. It’s perfect when cut 4 to 1 with tonic or club soda, or drunk on its own before a meal with an orange rind. It’s also stellar in a vesper or as a unique twist in a Negroni instead of sweet vermouth.

Cocchi Americano Rosa: Cocchi Americano with rose petals, vanilla, and saffron added? Count us in! An Americano with added florality, weight and richness, Cocchi Rosa is the perfect pairing with anything grapefruit (Palomas with San Pellegrino and tequila anyone?), or in brighter versions of classic cocktails instead of sweet vermouth such as a Martinez or Manhattans.

Cocchi Barolo Chinato is the family’s pride and joy, a truly beautiful aromatized wine balanced between bitter and sweet with the main botanical being quinine, or cinchona. Cinchona is the main ingredient in tonic water: it is an antimalarial entity used in many curative medicines as well as spirits. Best served after dinner instead of before, it has been seen for centuries as a therapeutic wine aiding in digestion.