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Stage a Coup(e)!

As the fall season approaches, delicate and fresh summer imbibes give way to spirit-forward lowballs and cocktails served “up.” Need a few fresh ideas to invigorate your fall/winter beverage menus? This bartender has your back with three winners that celebrate the coming chill of winter, minus the ice.

Justin Pasha serves Michael Cerbelli and guest (not shown) onstage at Michael cerbelli’s: The Hot List™ 202

Melon Mamma

A spin on a traditional margarita, the Melon Mamma from Justin Pasha of The Cup Bearer adds a whiff of smoke via a couple barspoons of mezcal. Be sure to double strain for best result.

The Melon Mamma, served on stage during Michael Cerbelli’s: The Hot List™ incorporates tequila and mezcal with a watermelon wedge as the eyecatcher. Photo courtesy WTA Photo via SpotMyPhotos 


2 oz tequila
.25 oz mezcal
1 oz fresh lime juice
.75 oz agave syrup
3 cubes watermelon
Tajin dusted rim  


Muddle melon and agave together inside shaker, add all liquid ingredients along with ice, shake vigorously, double strain cocktail into coupe glass with Tajin dusted rim, garnish with melon slice. And head over to Special Events for more from Justin Pasha from the Cup Bearer on how sippers & spectacle can combine to elevate events. 


Another cocktail from Justin Pasha of The Cup Bearer served during Michael Cerbelli’s: The Hot List™, the Candela is a delicious sipper with a smoky cinnamon topper that pops upon first sip.

2 oz. Plantation Pineapple Rum
.25 oz. demerara sugar syrup
3 dashes chocolate bitters
Orange peel
Cinnamon vapor bubble 

The cinnamon vapor bubble on the Candela Cocktail is placed with a Flavour Blaster gun, which retails for about $400 online. Photo courtesy Clane Gessel Photography


Combine all liquid ingredients inside a mixing glass, add ice and stir well. Strain into coupe glass, garnish with orange peel and cinnamon vapor using a Flavour Blaster gun. 

A perfect cocktail for the Halloween season, the Petit Caquiri is a dark play on a conventional daiquiri. Photo courtesy Lefteris Kalampokas 

Petit Caquiri

Asked by wedding planner Phaedra Laikou to develop a cocktail for an Ellwed magazine styled shoot, the result was this darkly gorgeous libation from Petit Camion of Greece. Petit Camion is Greek for “Small Truck,” and this mobile bar service is one you should definitely follow on Instagram.  

2 oz. Plantation Pineapple Rum
2 oz blueberry infused rum
.66 oz fresh lime juice
.66 oz blackcurrant syrup
.33 oz cherry liquor
2 dashes cranberry bitters
A small pinch of black edible food color  


Combine all ingredients in a shaker, add ice. Shake vigorously. Strain into coupe glass. Garnish with a slice of black fig (or dry fig upon availability). Dry ice for “show” only, remove upon serving. 

Kathleen Stoehr

Kathleen Stoehr is the Director of Community & Content Strategy for Informa Connect | Catersource and Special Events magazines, including all digital content for both websites and e-newsletter products. She also vets, hires, guides and coordinates all live education at Catersource Conference & Tradeshow, Art of Catering Food, Leading Caterers of America Executive Summit, and bridge content at The Special Event.