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Autumn: Drink It In

Forget that old cocktail-menu mainstay, the apple-tini, in favor of the latest crop of fresh apple (and pear) drinks.

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Left, Barbounia's Olympia. Right, the Au Pear at Country.  

The Au Pear at Country
90 Madison Ave., at 29th St.; 212-889-7100
This dry mix of brandy-soaked pears, sparkling wine, and fresh mint has a crisper flavor than its main in-house competitor, the sweet Autumn in New York which uses Belle de Brillet—a French liqueur that's part cognac, part essence of Williams pears.

The Chinatown and The Cub Apple at the Cub Room
131 Sullivan St., at Prince St.; 212-677-4100
The first is an Asian-themed martini made with homemade pear-infused vodka, lychee purée, and Poire D’Anjou liqueur (then garnished with a nearly pickled lychee nut); the second is a sharp combination of puréed apples, apple liqueur, vodka, and sour mix.

The Jack Rose at Pegu Club
77 W. Houston St., nr. W. Broadway; 212-473-7348
Pegu's fall fruit cocktail gets its rosy glow from hard-to-find Laird's bonded (100 proof) applejack and the club's own grenadine. The drink works best when paired with a small plate of deviled eggs stuffed with smoked trout.

The No Name at O'Neals
49 W. 64th St., nr. Central Park W.; 212-787-4663
Bartender David Burke's drink doesn't have a name yet, but the impromptu concoction he whipped up when asked for "something with apples" delivered a potent, almost medicinal bite like an old fashioned with a fruity finish. The ingredients? Calvados apple brandy, vodka, and splash of lime juice, plus a slice of red apple for the rim of the glass.

The Olympia at Barbounia
250 Park Ave. S., at 20th St.; 212-995-0242
In a lofty, Mediterranean-inspired eatery, the tall, cool Olympia one-ups the classic mimosa with pear nectar, Bombay gin, and a peel of fresh lemon topped off by champagne. Toss back a few and the dining room's bizarre angel-wing-and-disco-ball chandelier may begin to make sense.


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