A Cocktail to Fall For

Gather celebrates the season with The Fallen Empire, and it’s delicious.


Signs of the season include rum, reduced apple cider, and stout foam for The Fallen Empire.

Photo by Lori Eanes

Inside Berkeley’s beautifully unique and immediately welcoming restaurant Gather, there is something you may not know about: a full bar. Tucked in the back corner, past the open kitchen with cascading ivy vines is a rectangle cocktail space with indoor and outdoor seating. When you pull up a stool here, you can refresh your palate with a cooling beverage, or since November may be blustery, warm up with The Fallen Empire. Inspired by the season, this rum-based, apple-cider infused drink is topped with a light and airy foam from a stout that creates an unusual and all-pleasing texture. There is a spice-forward taste that is perfect for a breezy evening when cozy comforts are in order.

“It’s a great fall drink. It has a lot of those apple pie flavors,” said bar manager Jacob Kardon. He added that it can also be excellent if re-created at home and served at a party. “I find that it can be done as a big punch bowl; it works very well like that. So if people are taking this recipe and modifying it, I would probably make it as a big punch bowl.”

Before you attempt to redesign this allspice dream on your own, savor it in a spacious dining room where the bartenders know how do it just right. And if you’re wondering about the name, Kardon said it wasn’t a reference to current political times; he just wanted to note the season in the title. Either way, it’s a delicious nod to November and will warm you up whether you are preparing for the collapse of society or just celebrating the coming holidays.  

The Fallen Empire

.5 ounce apple cider, reduced

1.5 ounces dry rum

.5 ounce Averna Amaro

.5 ounce lemon juice

2 bar spoons of allspice

1 ounce stout foam


Reduce the apple cider to about a third so it’s pretty thick; at Gather, bartenders start with a large quantity, a half-gallon. Add all the ingredients to a shaker. Shake and pour that over ice in a brandy snifter and top it with about an ounce of stout foam. At home, try pouring the stout from about 6 inches above the glass for a very heady foam. For a punch bowl amount, use an entire bottle of stout.