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Cocktail Recipes

Fall Rye Cocktail: The Fallback

If you’re looking for the adult equivalent of your favorite fall treats (e.g. apple cider donuts), look no further that this fall rye cocktail. The Fallback, with its scent of spiced, roasted apples and plums, is the perfect taste of autumn, and notably easy to make.

The late and highly influential New York City cocktail expert Sasha Petraske created the cocktail for John Dory Oyster Bar (in the Ace Hotel). I first encountered Petraske’s influence during the early 2010s as a patron of Milk & Honey. The signless establishment was an unassuming “hole in the wall” in New York’s Lower East Side neighborhood. The Prohibition-era cocktail den required reservations, asked guests to knock, and know the password to enter. Simply tell the dapperly dressed bartender (mixologist) your mood, wait a few minutes, and be served the perfect cocktail. Milk & Honey epitomized dedication to the craft, as well as Petraske’s love for old-fashioned clothing and music.

Though Milk & Honey sadly closed, Petraske’s legacy lives on in several ways. He inspired some of the greats within our modern generation of bartenders, including Sam Ross (founder of Attaboy, which operates in the old Milk & Honey location). He is also the genius behind my local Long Island City favorite, Dutch Kills, among many others.

If you’re looking to recreate Petraske’s masterpieces, his journalist wife (Georgette Moger-Petraske) published a book with many of his writings and recipes. Check out Regarding Cocktails in the links below.

This particular fall rye cocktail relies on applejack. The fruit brandy is a strong alcoholic drink that was especially popular during the American colonial era. In the mood for rye, but feeling the autumnal apple might be a little much? You may want to try Brian’s favorite cocktail, the La Louisiane.


  • 2 dashes Peychaud's bitters
  • 1/2 ounce amaro nonino
  • 1/2 ounce carpano antica
  • 1 ounce applejack
  • 1 ounce rye whiskey
  • Orange or citrus twist (for garnish)


Build the drink in a rocks glass, adding the bitters, amaro, carpano antica, applejack, and whiskey. Add a large ice cube. Stir until the drink is cold. Garnish with a citrus twist.