editor’s note: I found a new kitchen staple in Eric Prum and Josh Williams’ cookbook, Host. Chock full of inspired-yet-approachable recipes and advice for creating delicious meals for friends, the book truly feels like it was written for me and others like me who just like to keep things simple and tasty. But if you thought this cookbook was Prum and Williams’ first rodeo, you’d be oh-so-wrong. Since founding their company, W&P Design, the duo have created more than 200 food and bev products, including the Mason Shaker, Peak Ice Works, and the Carry On Cocktail Kit… these guys are legends! And today, they’re joining us to share four recipes that belong at the very top of your fall must-make list.
From Eric and Josh: There’s something special about fall in Brooklyn. After long, steamy summer nights, the air takes on a crispness that’s welcome and refreshing. People start busting out their flannel collection, and the markets start filling with seasonal additions like apples and squash. We like to celebrate the season by gathering our friends for Saturday afternoon drinks — these get-togethers are reminiscent of football Saturdays in college, but instead of sports, everything is centered on food, drink and catching up after a busy week of work. We make a point to plan a low-maintenance menu that won’t wake us away from our time with friends. As the afternoon fades to night, we keep warm with tall glasses of easy-to-make spiked cider and crusty bread topped with burrata and squash.
Cider has had a well-deserved comeback recently, and these days local producers are upping the cider game by making complex, refreshing versions that showcase local fruit (and are much less sweet than former “boozy apple juice” versions). As good as hard cider is drunk straight, we’ve found that it also makes for a consistently excellent cocktail ingredient. We like to punch up bottled cider by spiking it with applejack, a brandy distilled from apples, and warming spices. We build this drink in a cocktail shaker, infusing the applejack with the spices before topping it with refreshing hard cider.
Get the recipe for this Spiced Hard Cider here!
This cocktail has a story that, you guessed it, starts with a campfire. A few years back, we were camping in the Adirondacks with a group of friends. The sun went down, a campfire was lit, and a Mason jar of whiskey began making the rounds. Many sips and stories later, we turned in, only to wake up feeling a little oppressed by the morning sun. So we did what any hardy outdoorsman would do: took a sip of the dog that had bitten us the night before. And wouldn’t you know, the whiskey tasted amazing. The smoke from the campfire had infused the spirit while the jar sat open, making it smoky, earthy and even better than we’d remembered. We knew right then that we had to recreate that flavor, which brings us to the Campfire Sour. It transports us back to that camping trip, even when we’re deep in the urban jungle of New York. We’ve come up with a method for infusing whiskey without the campfire, but we highly recommend taking a camping trip of your own for smoky-whiskey purposes.
Get the recipe for this Campfire Sour Cocktail here!
This is a great snack to put out at the start of a casual gathering. A mix of nuts is candied with maple syrup and fall-friendly herbs, with delicious salty-sweet results. Be sure to make these at least 90 minutes ahead and let them cool before serving, so they become nicely crunchy.
Get the recipe for these Maple Roasted Nuts with Mixed Herbs here!
Burrata is essentially your favorite fresh mozzarella with a cream-filled center — basically the best thing ever created. As with fresh mozz, burrata classically is partnered with summer’s fresh tomatoes and basil. But we see no reason to give up our burrata fix in fall; after tomato season ends, we pair the cheese with sweet roasted acorn squash, pine nuts and golden raisins.