The Harvest Moon Cocktail Recipe

The Harvest Moon Whiskey Cocktail from the PDT (Please Don't Tell) Cocktail Recipe Book

When in fall, make cocktails with fall names… or something.

Now that we’re into October it’s obligatory that we start making some fall cocktails, or at least ones that sound like fall. Above is the “Harvest Moon” from the PDT [Please Don’t Tell] Cocktail Book. Dreamed up by Daniel Eun in 2007, the drink is supposed to resemble the sky during the harvest moon, the reddish cocktail and the orange twist are evocative of those colours. Here’s the original recipe:

  • 1.5 oz Wild Turkey Rye Whiskey
  • 1 oz Lillet Blanc
  • .05 oz Lairds Bonded Apple Brandy
  • .25 oz Green Chartreuse
  • 3 Dashes of Abbots Bitters

Combine all ingredients, stir with ice, strain into a chilled cocktail coupe, and garnish with an orange twist.

As you can see I substituted the Wild Turkey with Bulleit and the Abbots Bitters with Root Bitters Spiced Orange. Both of these subtitution’s are because I didn’t have the other ingredients on hand, though the latter, instead of simply using another aromatic bitters, I opted for the Spiced Orange as it has more of those fall, pumpkin pie type spices I love.

For the cocktail itself, up front you definitely taste the apple brandy despite it being such a small amount, it’s quickly followed by the Green Chartreuse which really makes this cocktail overly bitter for me. Personally instead of the .25 oz, next time I might just use a barspoon of it. After the bitter herbal-ness of the Chartruese the spices of the whiskey and bitters really give it a nice long finish and the apple from the brandy returns to help round it out.

Outside of the bitter Chartreuse this is a great fall cocktail to replace ciders or even a mulled wine and I think you could even bump up the Apple Brandy just a touch to balance it out even further, depending on your taste.

Get the PDT Cocktail Book here.

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