Our 2014 Best Bartender winner, Nicole Hassoun of The Gin Joint (2317 Calvert St. NW; 202-234-4110), mixes up this autumnal drink for the bar’s fall menu.

The Fall 75

1 oz. Junipero gin
1 oz. spiced kuri squash purée (see recipe below)
2 dashes fresh lemon
2 dashes honey syrup

Shake, strain into coupe glass. Top with sparkling wine and a sprig of lemon balm.

Spiced kuri squash purée

1 kuri squash, cubed
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp cardamom pods
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp juniper
1 tsp black pepper
2 cloves
3 cups water
1/2 cup maple syrup

Cook everything in saucepan until squash is very soft. Strain through fine mesh sieve, refrigerate. Serve or use it to make the cocktail above.

Read the rest of the Express Best of 2014 issue.