Skip the Slices & Serve Pie-Inspired Cocktails this Holiday Season

Mississippi Mud Bottom cocktail
Images: Bastille Brasserie & Bar

Mad for pie? Drink your dessert.

 

"Fall has always meant one thing to me: pie," says Casey Chapman. “I grew up in rural areas, and we'd have big parties, picking and pitting cherries, and making pies; we'd do the same with apples, and squash, and potatoes, and I always loved the smell of the pies cooling that would flood the neighborhood.” It occurred to the bar manager at Bastille Brasserie & Bar in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia, that a lot of those aromas and flavors would carry over into cocktails, so he picked five of his favorites and collaborated with pastry chef and owner Michelle Poteaux on riffs for liquid versions.

What was challenging for some of the recipes was incorporating the rich flavors while keeping them light enough that you could finish a whole drink without it becoming too cloying or unctuous. Chapman used small amounts of modifiers like chocolate liqueurs balanced with lighter ingredients such as fresh cherry juice and sparkling cider. Smaller versions of several (or all) of the recipes would be fun to serve as shooters or in a mini-cocktail flight, too.

Their major benefit? Well, it’s twofold, according to Chapman. First, it’s easier to chat up family and friends when you’re sipping a cocktail instead of swallowing forkfuls of baked fruit and crust. Also, it frees up more of your appetite for the main attraction. “Wouldn't you rather sip your bundevara than eat Aunt Myrtle's Famous Burnt Sweet Potato Marshmallow Mound, and save all that room on your plate for turkey and gravy?” Yes, yes we would.

 

Bundevara cocktail by Casey Chapman at Bastille Brasserie & Bar - Thanksgiving dessert pie drink recipes

Bundevara Cocktail

Recipe courtesy of Casey Chapman, Bar Manager, Bastille

Bundevara is a Serbo-Croatian strudel-like pie made with shredded sweetened pumpkin wrapped in pastry that’s brushed with bourbon and sugar. Chapman recreates the flavors by mixing bourbon with a raw sugar syrup infused with sweet potato puree, cloves and nutmeg. Mandarinetto is reminiscent of the grated orange zest in the original recipe, and a Tuaca rinse adds a citrusy and vanilla aroma.

  • 2 oz. Four Roses Bourbon
  • 1 oz. Sweet potato syrup (see Note)
  • 1/2 oz. Don Ciccio & Figli Mandarinetto (can substitute another high-quality orange liqueur)
  • Tuaca, for rinsing the glass
  • Orange peel, for garnish

Pour a dash of Tuaca into a Martini glass, swirl to coat the glass, and pour out the excess. Add the bourbon, syrup and Mandarinetto into a cocktail shaker, add ice, and stir until well chilled. Strain into the prepared glass, squeeze the orange peel on top, and place it on the glass.

For the sweet potato simple syrup:

Add 4 heaping tablespoons of organic sweet potato puree, 1/2 cup raw sugar, 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg and 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves to a bowl. Stir to combine, add 1 cup hot water, and stir again until the ingredients are dissolved. Store in the refrigerator for up to a week.

 

Mississippi Mud Bottom cocktail by Casey Chapman at Bastille Brasserie & Bar - Thanksgiving dessert pie drink recipes

Mississippi Mud Bottom

Recipe courtesy of Casey Chapman, Bar Manager, Bastille

“The dark rum and cocoa flavors with a layer of creamy sweetness were always a perfect pairing for an after-dinner cup of coffee,” Chapman says. He brings those flavors together in this drink, which is finished with a Kahlúa float and Chantilly chocolate shavings.

  • 1 oz. Bailey's Irish Cream
  • 1 oz. Godiva White Chocolate Liqueur
  • 1 oz. Kahlua
  • Chantilly chocolate shavings, for garnish

Chill a cocktail glass with ice and water, and set aside. Add the Bailey's and Godiva liqueurs to a cocktail shaker, add ice, and stir until chilled. Pour out the water and ice from the cocktail glass, strain the drink into the prepared glass, and slowly pour the Kahlúa from the side of the glass so it settles to the bottom. Garnish with Chantilly chocolate shavings.

 

Tart Tatin Gingembre cocktail by Casey Chapman at Bastille Brasserie & Bar - Thanksgiving dessert pie drink recipes

Tart Tatin Gingembre

Recipe courtesy of Casey Chapman, Bar Manager, Bastille

This drink is inspired by the traditional French tart named for the hotel in Lamotte-Beuvron where it was first created. As the story goes, chef Stéphanie Tatin was making traditional apple pie when she accidentally left some apples burn that she was cooking with butter and sugar. She put a pastry base on top the apples, put it in the oven and then served it upside-down, to the delight of hotel guests. Here, those caramelized flavors are recreated with aged rum, ginger liqueur, apple butter and sparkling cider.

Add first three ingredients to a cocktail shaker and shake without ice to dissolve the apple butter. Add ice and stir until well chilled. Strain into a cocktail glass, top with cider, and garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.

 

Cherry Chiffon pie cocktail by Casey Chapman at Bastille Brasserie & Bar - Thanksgiving dessert pie drink recipes

Cherry Chiffon

Recipe courtesy of Casey Chapman, Bar Manager, Bastille

Though chiffon pie is usually made with lemons, Chapman’s favorite has always been cherries atop a chocolate crust. He turned to vodka, cherry juice and Cherry Heering to add great cherry flavor but keep it light enough for a cocktail; white chocolate and Irish cream liqueurs mimic the decadent flavor of the unexpected crust.

  • 1 1/2 oz. Tito's Handmade Vodka
  • 1/4 oz. Godiva White Chocolate Liqueur
  • 1/4 oz. Cherry juice
  • 3/4 oz. Bailey's Irish Cream
  • 1/4 oz. Heering Cherry Liqueur
  • Cherry on a pick and Crème Chantilly, for garnish

Add all ingredients except garnish to a cocktail shaker, add ice, and stir until chilled. Strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with the cherry and Chantilly cream.

 

3.14 pi pie cocktail by Casey Chapman at Bastille Brasserie & Bar - Thanksgiving dessert pie drink recipes

3.14

Recipe courtesy of Casey Chapman, Bar Manager, Bastille; Image by Don LaVange for Flickr

Perfect for fellow self-described “math nerds at heart,” his drink is complex, yet bright and easy-drinking. With the dilution gleaned from the ice, “it’s 3.14 ounces of autumn refreshment,” he declares.

  • 1 1/2 oz. El Dorado 5 Year Rum
  • 3/4 oz. Louis Royer La Belle Cognac & Orange Liqueur
  • 1/4 oz. Simple syrup
  • 1/4 oz. Lime juice
  • Dash Angostura Orange Bitters
  • Orange peel, folded and dropped into glass, for garnish

Add all ingredients except garnish to a cocktail shaker, add ice, and shake until well chilled. Strain into a coupe glass, and garnish with the orange peel.

 

Kelly Magyarics, DWS, is a wine, spirits and lifestyle writer, and wine educator, in the Washington, D.C. area. She can be reached through her website, www.kellymagyarics.com, or on Twitter and Instagram @kmagyarics.