Fall Cocktail Recipe: Autumn Punch

There are some exciting changes taking place at The Rye Bar this season – beginning with a new addition to the team.  It is my pleasure to introduce Capella Washington, D.C., Georgetown Mixologist, Elli Benchimol.  Elli, is a seasoned bartending veteran with over 20 years of experience.  So what does she have in store?  “I’m really excited for the fall season and the entertaining that goes with it.  I love seasonal cocktails with lots of fall spice and warmth, like our new signature Hot Toddy.  But that is just the tip of the iceberg!  We will be offering more spirits and cocktails in The Rye Bar that are sure to surprise and delight.  In fact, I hope to bring a bit of D.C. history to each cocktail as well as the flair of Georgetown.”

Elli benchimol

Fortunately, being the Capella Washington, D.C. Insider, I was able to get a further sneak peek with a look at one of the brand new fall cocktail recipes, the  Autumn Punch Cocktail.  Find the recipe below.

Autumn Punch

 Autumn Punch Cocktail


  • Rye – 1 oz.
  • Apple Jack – ¾ oz.
  • Hibiscus Cider – 2 oz.
  • Habanero Spice – 1 dash.
  • Lemon – ½ oz.
  • Pickled Apple (1 cup of each of the following: apple cider vinegar, sugar, sliced apples – refrigerated)


Combine first 5 ingredients in a shaker over ice.  Shake vigorously for approximately 15 seconds.  Strain the mixture into a punch glass.  Garnish your drink with picked apples.  Enjoy!


Baked Apple Soufflé – A Twist On A Classic

There are certain things that I enjoy most when it’s cold outside. Like waffles with cinnamon, mulled wine, romantic movies and baked apples.  I still remember when I had my first baked apple. My grandmother made one for me with flaked almonds, jelly and a super creamy vanilla sauce on top. Since then, it has become a personal tradition to enjoy baked apples as soon as the temperatures begin to dip.

And while traditions are great, it is always fun to give them a new spin. In this case, that I caught up with Capella Breidenbacher Hof’s Executive Chef Philipp Ferber and asked for his take on the classic baked apple.  His interpretation? A Baked Apple Soufflé!


Baked Apple Soufflé
Recipe for 4-6 people


  • 10-12 small apples
  • 125g marzipan (room temperature)
  • 60g rum raisins
  • 50g roasted flaked almonds
  • cinnamon
  • 1 whipped egg white
  • 50ml clarified butter
  • powdered sugar


Preheat oven at 180° Celsius.

Begin by removing and reserving the top of each apple. Then discard the core using an apple corer.

Combine marzipan, raisins and flaked almond.  Add cinnamon to taste.  Whip the egg white until stiff peaks are formed.  Then add eggs to the marzipan mixture. This will be the filling for the apples.

Fill the hollowed out apples with the mixture capping each apple with its reserved top.

Place apples into a casserole dish and grease each with the clarified butter.

They are now ready to go into the oven for 15 minutes.

Before serving, dust the apples with the powder sugar.  I suggest serving them along with vanilla ice cream or sauce.

Now it is time to enjoy!

If you make this dessert at home, please be sure to share a photo with me Instagram or Twitter!

Fall Cocktails at Capella Ixtapa

Margarita making classes are one of our guest’s favorite activities.  They are practical, fun and Miguel Tafoya, our Mixologist, is a great teacher.  Not only does he teach you the basics of preparing a classic margarita, but he then helps you to create your own personalized version!  You will learn the history of a margarita and some of Miguel’s secrets in making this popular drink.  I always suggest this class to friends who are visiting because it is a great way to build a memory of your time at Capella Ixtapa— especially when you get home and make your signature margaritas for friends!

This season Miguel has prepared several new fall cocktails, and he offered to share not one, but two of them with us!  One is made with tequila, and the other with mezcal, a spirit made of maguey plant (a form of agave), which is gaining popularity in Mexico.

Fall Cocktails at Capella Ixtapa


1 ½ oz. Tequila Centenario Reposado
½  oz. Chartreuse liqueur
½  oz. Controy (you can substitute it with triple sec, orange curaçao or Cointreau)
2 oz. Tuna fruit juice  (this is the fruit of the cacti -see the photo above)
½ oz. Lemon juice
¾ oz. Agave nectar
2 Mint leaves

Pour all tequila, Chartreuse, Controy, tuna fruit juice, lemon juice and agave nectar in a pint glass, add ice and use a shaker to combine.  Serve the content in a rocks glass, rimmed with granulated salt.  Garnish with mint.



1 oz. Mezcal
1 oz. X-Rated Fusion Liqueur
1 oz. Grapefruit juice
15 g. Pomegranate seeds
1 Maraschino Cherry for garnish
½ tablespoon of Agave nectar

Marinade pomegranate seeds with mezcal.  Add grapefruit juice and X-Rated Fusion Liqueur to a pint glass to combine.  Serve in a champagne glass.  Garnish with a maraschino cherry.


On your next visit to Capella Ixtapa, I invite you to try our new cocktails at the Terrace Bar, or join a margarita making class with our mixologist Miguel and create your own!   A visit to the Terrace Bar and margarita making classes are available also to Ixtapa locals and visitors with prior reservation.  For more information and reservation please contact us at 01.755.555.11.00, or send an email to the Capella Ixtapa Personal Assistants pa.ixtapa@capellahotels.com.

Back-To-School With Capella DC

Working at Capella Washington, D.C. has opened my eyes to so many local activities, meet-ups, eateries, venues, historical monuments, unique people and much more.  This month I am most eager to welcome the next generation of university students as the approaching move-in weekends near.  Capella DC is conveniently located approximately ten minutes from native Georgetown Universities, and a short drive from other major colleges like American University. As a matter a fact, you can actually view the historic Georgetown University campus from the rooftop of Capella!  Each of these universities represents so much of the history of Georgetown, D.C. and our entire country.  I can’t imagine a more vibrant location to learn, experience and understand the world than right here in the nation’s capital!

Capella DC's University Move-In Special

I remember this time last year when our initial team began preparing for the grand opening of Capella DC.  News of the upcoming fall semester was spreading quickly and as the weeks went on I remember spotting local students walking the streets of Georgetown, back-to-school shopping and of course breaking for ice cream at one of the local shops on M Street and Wisconsin Avenue.

I know that moving to college can be slightly stressful and frantic, so here are my tips for you to think about as your semester approaches:

1.  Pack lightly and try not to move EVERYTHING you own until you have truly determined the level of space and storage you have available in your place.  There is always time to make purchases after the move is complete rather than buying everything ahead of time.

2.  Remember to have fun while moving and un-packing!  I remember the day of my college move-in my mother made a short video capturing all of our moments together.  This process might seem like a pain, but looking back I know we made great memories that I will forever cherish.

To celebrate and help you cherish this moment, I’m excited to share a very special offer, exclusively for parents and students coming to Washington D.C. this August!  Enjoy your last weekend of summer in style with Capella Washington D.C.’s University Move-In Special, which includes:

  • A welcome amenity bag that includes a Capella journal, pen, water bottle, laundry bag, first aid kit and a personalized Capella magnet with emergency numbers and direct line to your Capella DC Personal Assistant
  • Sport’s Sack
  • $50 gas card presented upon check-out
  • Daily Continental Breakfast for three in The Grill Room
  • Overnight parking
  • Upgrade upon check-in (based on availability)

Parents and family traveling to D.C. now have an amazing opportunity to stay in a hotel that is local, personalized and professionally staffed by your Personal Assistant to manage all the weekend arrangements.

For more information on this exclusive offer, click here or e-mail us at res.dc@capellahotels.com.

I look forward to hearing about your story! Share your experience and photos with me during your stay on Instagram @CapellaDC!

Tarasca Soup

The fall is coming slowly to Capella Ixtapa.  The nights are becoming crisper and a new harvest of local crops has our Executive Chef Gonzalo Rivera busy revamping the menu.  One of my favorite menu additions is the Tarasca Soup.

The soup has great bold chili flavor and earthy taste.  It is perfect for cool fall days—it will warm up the soul.  Below find the recipe and you can try it for yourself!

700g               Cooked black beans, in their juice
300g               Roma tomato, roasted
2L                    Chicken or Vegetable broth
250g               Chopped and roasted white onion
50g                 Ancho chile, roasted and without seeds
150g               Pasilla chile, roasted and without seeds
1/4 bottle      Dark beer
100g              Garlic, chopped
5g                   Cumin, roasted and ground
5g                   Orégano, roasted and ground
15g                 Epazote, strips
10ml              Olive Oil

For garnish:
15g                  Cilantro, leaves and stem
30g                 Cotija Cheese
2                      Corn Tortillas (Fry and cut into crispy strips)
1                      Avocado
45g                 Sour Cream
Sea Salt to taste
Black Pepper to taste


– Heat a soup pot over high heat and add the olive oil until smoking point.  Then add onion and garlic, lower to medium heat and cook for 10 minutes.  Add half of the oregano and half of the cumin and continue to cook for 1 minute.

– Immediately add tomato, chilies, beans, 5 cilantro stems and cook for 10 more minutes.  Season to taste with oregano and cumin.  Add chicken or vegetable broth. Cook for 25 minutes more on low and season with salt and pepper.

– Take off the fire and let it rest for 10 minutes.  Using an immersion blender, combine the soup until smooth.

– Serve in a deep warm bowl and add garnish.

Tip:  If you feel the soup is too spicy, add a little of sour cream! The soup should have a silky smooth texture.

Buen provecho!

Sopa Tarasca

El otoño llega lentamente a Capella Ixtapa.  Las noches se vuelven más frescas y una nueva cosecha de productos locales tiene a nuestro Chef Ejecutivo Gonzalo Rivera ocupado renovando el menú.  Una de mis favoritas dentro de las nuevas adhesiones al menú es la Sopa Tarasca.

La sopa tiene un fuerte sabor a chile y sabores a tierra.  Es perfecta para esas frías tardes de otoño -te calentará el alma.  Encuentra abajo la receta ¡para que la puedas preparar tu mismo!

700 gr.             Frijoles negros cocidos, en su jugo
300 gr.             Jitomate saladet, asado
2 lts.                Caldo de pollo o de verduras
250 gr.             Cebolla blanca asada, cortada en trozos
50 gr.               Chile ancho, tostado y sin semillas
1/4 botella        Cerveza negra modelo
150 gr.             Chile pasilla, tostado y sin semillas
100 gr.             Ajo, picado
5 gr.                 comino, tostado y molido
5 gr.                 orégano, tostado y molido
15 gr.               epazote, en tiras
10 ml.              aceite de olivo

Para la guarnición:
15 gr.               cilantro, hojas y tallo
30 gr.               queso cotija
100 gr.             tortillas de maíz (2 tortillas enteras fritas y 1 en tiras crujientes para guarnición)
30 gr.               sal de mar (al gusto)
15 gr.               pimienta negra entera
1 pza.              aguacate
45 gr.               crema ácida


– En una olla de acero inoxidable, a fuego alto agregue el aceite de olivo hasta punto de humo.  Posteriormente, añada la cebolla y el ajo, baje el fuego a medio y cocine por 10 minutos.

– Agregue la mitad del orégano al igual que el comino y cocine de nuevo por 1 minuto. Inmediatamente agregue el jitomate, chile pasilla, chile ancho, frijoles, 5 ramas de cilantro y cocine por 10 minutos más.  – Continúe sazonando a su gusto con el orégano y comino.  Incorpore el caldo de verduras o de pollo.  Cocine por 25 minutos más a fuego lento y sazone a su agrado con sal y pimienta.

– Retire del fuego y deje reposar por 10 minutos; a continuación licúe la sopa a velocidad alta por 2 minutos y pase el líquido por un colador fino.  Rectifique la sazón y ajuste a su gusto.

– En un plato hondo  y tibio, agregue la guarnición a su gusto y sirva la sopa.

Tip:  Si considera la sopa muy picante, agregue crema acida o queso crema a discreción, la sopa debe tener una textura sedosa.

Buen provecho!