Autumn is a lovely time of year in Melbourne, some would say it’s the best time of year. Those hideous hot days have passed and the chill of winter is yet to arrive.
As the light gets softer and the shadows longer, it’s the perfect opportunity to slow down and take some time to enjoy the simple pleasures – good food, great drinks and pleasant company.
Today I’ve partnered up with ALDI who are all about ‘living richer lives for less’. What better way to live life richer than to celebrate the small stuff that we often take for granted, like the change of seasons.
I’m not a big drinker, but I do like to enjoy the occasional cocktail. There’s something quite nice about a drink that has been shaken and swizzled and poured into a fancy glass to be savoured slowly. And now that Autumn is upon us maybe it’s time to invite a few friends over and share an Autumn inspired cocktail and a few nibbles to welcome in the new season.
Whether you’re throwing a big cocktail party, or just inviting a couple of friends around for some quiet drinks, you don’t need to spend a fortune. ALDI liquor offers a variety of spirits, beer and wine at great prices, which means making your own cocktails at home is excellent value. The quality is very good too, which has been recognised by the recent Roy Morgan award for liquor store of the year!
All the money you save on drinks can go straight into making a cheese platter that will rock your world.
I’ve put together a range of cocktails that can be made with ordinary, commonly accessible ingredients and liquor that you can find at your local ALDI store. In fact you may already have most of what’s required already at home.
The only ingredient you may not be familiar with is Simple Syrup, which is just a syrup made of sugar dissolved water. It’s used to sweeten drinks and is very easy to make yourself. See my Simple Syrup recipe and instructions.
Don’t go out and spend a ton of money on fancy cocktail equipment and glassware, take a look in your cupboards and improvise. Here’s what I’ve used:
- 30ml (2oz) measure – where the recipe says 1 part, I’ve used 1 x 30ml measure
- a large glass jar with lid instead of a cocktail shaker – it works just as well
- Pretty glasses from the op-shop – around $1-$2 each
3 Easy Autumn Cocktails to Enjoy
I’m all about the Whiskey sours at the moment. I never used to like whiskey, but this classic cocktail has converted me. The balance of sweet to sour is just perfect, and the whiskey is nice and warming as the evenings get cooler.
It looks like a super fancy cocktail, but it’s so easy to make that it’s likely to become one of your favourite Friday night indulgences.
The foam is my favorite part as it softens the sharpness of the drink, but if you aren’t too fond of the idea of adding egg whites to your drink, just leave them out.
- 1 part Bluegrass Kentucky Bourbon
- 1 part lemon juice
- 1 part Simple syrup
- 1 egg white
- Cubed ice
- Orange peel and/or cherry to garnish
- Add all the ingredients (except garnish) into a cocktail shaker or jar and shake vigorously for about 20 seconds.
- Strain into a short glass or coupe (extra ice optional) and garnish with orange peel or cherry.
I’m not going to lie, I heartily downed this one today after the photo shoot and was very happy about it.
Apple Pie Bellini
A Bellini is traditionally made with peach purée and prosecco, but apples are more autumnal so I’ve given it a twist by using apple purée and a dash of apple cider. If you want to get extra fancy, rim the glass with some cinnamon sugar, for that real apple pie flavour.
Apple Pie Bellini
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp unsweetened apple purée
- Renberg Apple Cider
- South Point Estate Sparkling Chardonnay Pinot Noir NV or Monsigny Brut Champagne
- Apple slices to garnish
- In a saucer mix sugar and cinnamon. Wet rim of glass with water (or lemon juice) and dip into sugar mixture to coat edges.
- Spoon apple puree into bottom of glass
- Top with half and half cider and sparkling wine. You can use just one or the other if you don’t want to open up two bottles.
Pomegranate Moscow Mule
This variation on a refreshing Moscow Mule was inspired by my discovery of ALDI’s Westcliff 100% Pomegranate juice. I love the slightly tart flavour of pomegranate, combined that with the spicy kick of ginger beer and we have a match made in heaven.
Pomegranate Moscow Mule
- 2 parts Tamova Vodka
- 1 part lime juice
- 1 part pomegranate juice
- 1/2 part simple syrup
- Ginger Beer
- Extra lime to garnish
- Shake all ingredients (except ginger beer and garnish) in a shaker with ice.
- Strain into large mug filled with ice.
- Top with ginger beer and garnish with extra lime wedges.
The Ultimate Autumn Cheese Platter
No cocktail soirée is complete without a killer cheese platter full of seasonal fruits and indulgent nibbles. Luckily for us ALDI has a great selection of amazing local and imported cheese that is super affordable too. I’ve lashed out and chosen a Spanish Manchego, La Pave from France and a creamy blue. Pair with fresh and dried figs, grapes, nuts and crackers, and you’ve got yourself the perfect Autumnal cheese platter.
I must say that I’d make a terrible food stylist – I think I ate more cheese than actually made it to the platter. You can’t really blame me though, it’s delicious. I think I’m a bit addicted to the soft blue.
Fancy welcoming in the season with an Autumn inspired cocktail? Which one’s your favourite?
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