clyde mays fall classic cocktail

The aptly-named Fall Classic from Gramercy Tavern is fall flavors in a glass, in the best way possible. I first found out about this fall cocktail from a recipe in Bon Appetit magazine. One of the things I love about this fall cocktail is how incredibly balanced it is. Its base is Clyde May’s, the official Alabama state spirit. Clyde May’s is the official bourbon of next month’s Bourbon by the Bay Event, a can’t miss on the Gulf Coast. A double punch of apple (apple cider and an apple brandy like Calvados or its American cousin Applejack) provides the sweetness, tempered by fresh lemon and a dash of bitters.

clyde mays whiskey cocktail

The Spirits

Whiskey or Bourbon

Now that we’ve actually been experiencing some real fall weather, it’s time to bust out the brown liquor for a fall cocktail. Clyde May’s is particularly apt for this drink, as it is said the original distiller, Clyde himself, used to throw dried apples into the barrels for flavor. Use any good, medium-bodied bourbon or whiskey with notes of caramel and apple to complement the accompanying ingredients.

Applejack or Calvados

Calvados is a French apple brandy. It has to be produced in Normandy to be called Calvados. But it isn’t exactly easy to procure in these parts. Applejack is a perfectly respectable and delicious substitution, and you can even use a domestic apple brandy if you can’t find Laird’s Applejack, my favorite of the stateside apple brandies.

I tweaked the original recipe (leaving out the thyme simple syrup) a bit to be slightly less sweet–the thyme garnish is optional but would make a lovely addition.

clyde mays whiskey cocktail
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Fall Classic Cocktail

This sweet and tart whiskey tipple is the perfect fall cocktail for cool, crisp evenings.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Servings 1
Author Amanda


  • 2 tablespoons applejack or apple brandy Calvados or Laird’s applejack
  • 2 tablespoons whiskey or bourbon I used Clyde Mays Alabama Style Whiskey
  • 2 tablespoons honeycrisp apple cider
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 dash of Angostura bitters
  • Fresh apple slice sliced crosswise
  • sprig of thyme optional


  1. Shake everything but the apple slice and thyme in an ice-filled shaker for thirty seconds or until cold.
  2. Strain into a coupe.
  3. Garnish with apple and thyme.

What kind of fall cocktail are you mixing up lately? Let us know in the comments.

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