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Autumn's a confusing time in the Sunshine State. The summer rains have ceased but the humidity remains; Thanksgiving approaches, but you wouldn't know it by the heat of the sun. What's a frustrated South Floridian to do?

Celebrate both seasons with draughts of infusions. Clear liquors such as vodka or rum flavored with fruits and spices, infusions are especially rejuvenating at two Delray Beach restaurants, 32 East and Dakotah 624, both located on East Atlantic Avenue. 32 East offers two house specialties -- an amalgam of three Appleton rums soaked with pineapple and vanilla beans, and Absolut vodka spiced with seven different chili peppers (including the brutal Scotch bonnet) -- as well as at least three other alcohols whose flavors depend on seasonal produce. Dakotah 624 makes available three infusions: vodka fragrant with a summery combination of cantaloupe, honeydew, watermelon, and pineapple; the same blend in tequila; and a more autumn-oriented mixture -- rum and vodka with apples, raisins, cinnamon, and cloves.

Infusions may not be what the early Americans had in mind as a way of celebrating the harvest, but as a modern-day American, I'm more than happy to give thanks for them.

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Jen Karetnick is an award-winning dining critic, food-travel writer, and author of the books Ice Cube Tray Recipes, Mango, and The 500 Hidden Secrets of Miami.
Contact: Jen Karetnick