Saturday, October 1, 2016

Autumn Daze

Welcome to the south, sun.  On September 22 the sun’s ecliptic (the imaginary plane along which the planets orbit) intersected with the celestial equator (the imaginary projection into space of Earth’s equator) to mark the autumnal aequus (equal) nox (night) – more commonly known as the equinox.   The days are now getting shorter and the temperature cooler (in the northern hemisphere at least) as the sun spends its time south of the celestial equator.  Hopefully things will cool off soon in Texas, too!

The Autumn Box by Robert Yarger

Last spring we enjoyed a springtime “daisy” cocktail to celebrate the early bird (see why spring came early this year).  The classic daisy is light and refreshing with a base spirit (originally gin), citrus and sweetener.  It gave rise to another well known classic, the margarita (daisy in Spanish) which swapped the gin for tequila. We paired up the daisy with Kamei’s “Spring Box” to keep with the theme, of course.  It’s only fitting we continue that theme now, and give fall its fair due.
The Autumn Box by Robert Yarger takes on a more traditional rectangular prism (box) shape than many of his designs, yet remains one of his more beautiful creations thanks to the vibrant fall colors it features.  Made with shimmering leopardwood, dark wenge, and the bright reddish orange padauk which really makes it pop, the Autumn Box does evoke the traditional feelings of fall.  

Something sneaky going on here ...

Robert describes how working with the red wood left a strange coating of sawdust over his shop so it looked like he was on Mars.  The box appears rather straightforward, with two apparent end panels locked in place by long dovetailed slider bars.  Getting one side open is usually not too tricky, but don’t “fall” for that – there’s something going on you may have missed, and revealing the second hidden compartment is all but impossible until you discover the exact set of secret moves required.  Winter may come on ere you deduce these devious moves, but you won’t mind.  The box is so pleasing to look at and manipulate, you can take your time.

The Autumn Daze

While doing just that we can sip on something special to celebrate the season.  The spring daisy we enjoyed the last time the days and nights were equally long was light and refreshing.  Let’s put an autumn spin on that and bundle up with a little warmth, shall we?  I mentioned that the margarita can be considered a daisy with tequila (for a little history of the margarita see here).  For this autumn daisy I used a special anejo tequila which has been infused with serrano peppers and cinnamon.  Anejo tequilas are aged for at least 1 year, often in oak barrels, which adds complexity and maturity similar to other aged spirits.  The aging for this particular tequila is for 28 months, which imparts a rich amber color as well, and the infusion of peppers and cinnamon give it a uniquely warming heat and delicious spice.  To this wonderful base I added lime juice and lightly sweetened things up with the perfect dry curacao.  Finally a few dashes of chocolate bitters to enhance the orange and cinnamon flavors and we have the perfect fall cup to contemplate these autumn days.  As the days grow shorter, let one of these “Autumn Daze” cocktails put you into a pleasant autumn daze.  Cheers!

A double dose of autumn

The Autumn Daze:
2 oz Soltado Anejo Tequila (if you don’t have Soltado, try infusing some spice to a different anejo)
1 oz fresh lime juice
½ oz Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao
2 dashes Xocolatl Mole Bitters
Shake together over ice and strain into a favorite glass.  Garnish with some chilly weather and warm companions.

For the previous equinox this year see:

For other boxes by Robert Yarger see:

For the perfect margarita see:

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