While trying to rid my hair of summer’s salt and sand, I’m also taking a moment to reevaluate the structure of my closet and drawers. Small-space living leaves few places to hid wardrobe changes, and organization is especially important for apartment dwellers like me. Take the time to pull all those Ts from your dresser. Throw out the dingy shirts, or rip them up into cleaning rags if you have a hard time letting go of summer favorites. Haven’t worn that vintage flannel in two years? Donate it. You don’t need it. I promise you another one will be screaming your name in no time. Hang all those linen shirts and seersucker suits in the back of your closet. Even though we’re all praying for an Indian summer, it’s just not OK to wear them past Labor Day. And while you’re at it, treat yourself to a Diptyque sachet to make sure everything smells fresh and clean when you retrieve it next spring. (Ambre is my personal favorite.)
And speaking of scents, put those fresh summer perfumes and colognes to rest, and treat yourself to a new, seasonally appropriate fragrance. Lately, I’ve been jamming on Frederic Malle’s “L’Eeau d’Hiver.” Composed by Jean-Claude Ellena, it’s a subtle mix of bergamot, hedione, and iris interlaced with a powdery white musk and just a drop of honey. Fall also calls for a cocktail-hour switcheroo. Don’t get me wrong; I love a good margarita—but this time of year, I’m for putting the tequila bottle toward the back of the liquor cabinet and bringing Ransom’s Old Tom Gin to the fore. Heartier and richer than its stuffy English cousin in the fancy hat and red coat, this gin has an unmistakably smoky finish. It’s a smooth aromatic spirit that you can even enjoy neat. I encourage you to give it a try—you might never go back.
Here’s my fall-inspired take on this classic cocktail, created by Ada Coleman, the head bartender at London’s Savoy hotel in the 1920s.
1½ ounces Old Tom Gin
1½ ounces Barolo Chinato
2 dashes Fernet Menta
Pour all ingredients into a mixing glass filled with ice. Stir thoroughly and strain into a cocktail glass.