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922 South Morton Street
Bloomington, IN, 47403
United States


Cardinal Spirits is a craft distillery in Bloomington, Indiana that specializes in producing extraordinary spirits from local ingredients.  

The Drop

The Drop is your source for all things craft. 


Erica Sagon

Today's secret ingredient: Nutmeg.

Cinnamon, cloves and other baking spices really hit the spot in cocktails this time of year, don't you think? For Cardinal bartender Baylee Pruitt, nutmeg is the real winner. It's one of her all-time favorite garnishes for fall drinks — she takes a whole seed and gives it a few passes on a fine grater right over the glass, letting the spice fall like snow.

"I like the look of it, I like the smell of it. I like the texture. I like everything about it," Baylee says. 

Pass on the powdery, pre-grated stuff and buy whole nutmeg seeds instead — they're right there in the spice aisle, or sometimes in the bulk area. It smells so amazing when you grate it fresh, and you'll get a whiff of it every time you take a sip of your drink.

Try freshly grated nutmeg as a garnish in Baylee's lovely fall cocktail called Spice Island, which crisply combines tart apples with flavors of cinnamon, raisin and brown sugar.


By Baylee Pruitt

Makes 1 cocktail

2 ounces Cardinal Spirits Tiki Rum
1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
1/2 ounce raisin-brown sugar simple syrup*
1 dash cinnamon bitters
1 dash Angostura bitters
4 slices of Pink Lady apple
Freshly-grated nutmeg, for garnish

  1. Place apples and syrup in a shaker and muddle.
  2. Add rum, lemon juice, both bitters and ice. Shake vigorously.
  3. Double-strain into an old fashioned glass filled with ice. 
  4. Grate fresh nutmeg on top of the cocktail to garnish. 

*To make raisin-brown sugar simple syrup: In a saucepan, combine 1 cup brown sugar, 3/4 cup water and 1/3 cup raisins. Heat until simmering, muddling the raisins as it's cooking. Cool completely and strain before using.