Unwinding with a tasty drink by the fire is the perfect way to welcome fall, and these boozy treats will warm you up before you know it. They’re also so easy to make that you can enjoy them while you’re hibernating at home! From classic libations to festive new drinks that are incredibly creative, cheers the seasonal switch with these tasty fall cocktails.
Apple Cider Mimosa
Swap orange juice with seasonal apple cider for a fall take on the classic brunch drink. Combine 1/8 of a glass of pear vodka and 1/8 of a glass of apple cider, then top with champagne.
For a sweet touch, rub an apple slice around the rim of your champagne glasses, then roll the rim in cinnamon sugar. An apple slice makes a great garnish.
The Presbyterian is a classic cocktail that’s light yet flavorful with a gingery hint that makes it ideal for fall. Make a ginger syrup by juicing 1 pound of ginger and adding it to 3/4 cup of simple syrup. This should make enough for about 10 cocktails. Add 1 ounce of ginger syrup to 1 ounce of whiskey and the juice of half a lime. Stir and add ice, then top with a dash of club soda.
You can use any whiskey you like, but a rye whiskey gets great results. If you’re a real ginger-lover, add candied ginger to your glass for garnish.
The Gin Buck is a great variation on the Moscow Mule popularized around the 1920s. Its lightness makes it a popular summer drink, but its gingery notes also help it work through fall. Fill a Collins glass with ice, then add 1.5 ounces of gin and the juice of half a lemon or lime. Top your glass with ginger ale.
A lemon or lime wedge makes a great garnish for this classic cocktail. Choose a ginger ale made with cane sugar rather than corn syrup for extra bite.
The Autumn Fizz is a seasonal twist on a classic gin fizz developed by The Ebbitt Room at the Virginia Hotel, in Cape May, New Jersey. With the tartness of apple cider and lemon juice, it’s the perfect drink for sipping while you’re relaxing in the seaside resort’s piano bar or kicking back at home.
While the New Jersey resort wouldn’t dream of using anything but local Alibi, feel free to substitute your gin of choice.
Many people credit Tiki bar guru Craig “Colonel Tiki” Herman with the Poison Dart’s creation, but Tiki cocktail fans know it’s been around for generations. Add all the ingredients and some ice to a cocktail shaker, shake, then strain your drink into a coupe glass.
The Poison Dart is one of Polynesia’s few bourbon-based cocktails, so it’s a little heavier than the region’s summery drinks. That makes it a superb choice for cooler fall weather.
Dating back to the 1950s, think of the Diamondback Cocktail as an amped-up Old-Fashioned. The apple brandy gives it a great seasonal taste, and making one couldn’t be simpler. Just add 1.5 ounces of rye whiskey, 3/4 ounces of apple brandy, and 3/4 ounces of yellow chartreuse and ice to a cocktail shaker. Strain it over ice into a rocks glass, and garnish with a cherry or mint.
The Diamondback was the Lord Baltimore Hotel’s house cocktail. Its name refers to the diamondback terrapins found in the local area.
Bourbon Maple Old-Fashioned
Speaking of the Old-Fashioned, why not give this retro cocktail a fall twist? Adding maple syrup gives the cocktail a lush richness that will warm you up on those chilly fall nights. A cinnamon stick and maraschino cherry also make great seasonal garnishes.
Maple is an underrated fall flavor that’s perfect for cocktails because it adds sweetness without diluting the flavors as fruit juices can.
Apple Whiskey Sour
Adding seasonal apple cider gives a classic whiskey sour a fall feel. Making it couldn’t be simpler. Just blend 3 ounces of bourbon whiskey, 3 ounces of apple cider, 1 ounce of simple syrup, and 1 ounce of lemon juice with ice. Pour over ice to serve. Make sure all your liquids are chilled before blending.
Garnish your drink by adding a slice of lemon or apple or both if you’re feeling generous.
Americans have been drinking stone fences since colonial times. Honor their traditions this fall with this classic drink. Pour 2 ounces of rum and a splash of bitters into your highball glass. Add ice, and top with a hard apple cider. Garnish with a sprig of mint.
Some variations swap out the rum for whiskey, but the rum gives a richer taste that is perfect for fall’s cool weather.
“Two Guns” Miller
Smoking cinnamon gives this cool cocktail, developed by New York’s Pouring Ribbons, a seasonal kick. Stir together 1.5 ounces of Cabeza tequila, 1 ounce of Cocchi Vermouth di Torino, 1/4 ounce of Giffard Pamplemousse, 1 teaspoon of Sri Lankan Cinnamon-Infused Cabeza tequila, 1 teaspoon cane syrup, and a dash of mole bitters. Strain over ice into a glass.
This cocktail was named after colorful Arizona personality Harry “Two Guns” Miller. Don’t forget that smoking cinnamon stick garnish, which infuses the cocktail with smoky spice.
Kentucky Mulled Cider
We’ve all heard of mulled wine, but what about mulled cider? Making this boozy treat is the perfect way to take advantage of new season apple cider. Add your bourbon to a mug, and top it with warm apple cider and a splash of allspice for that fall flavor.
A cinnamon stick and slice of lemon make the perfect garnish for this seasonal treat. Feel free to use any bourbon you love in this tasty recipe.
Boozy Pumpkin Spice Latte
There’s a place for cafe pumpkin spice lattes, but during happy hour, it’s time for a boozier version. Microwave a cup of milk or half-and-half for a minute, transfer it to a lidded jar, and shake it vigorously for 30 seconds. Brew and pour coffee, add 2 oz. of Pumpkin Spice Irish Crème liqueur, and top with your steamed milk.
If you can’t find Pumpkin Spice liqueur, use regular Irish Crème and a pumpkin spice creamer, or add regular pumpkin spice to your milk.
Pumpkin Spice Margarita
One good pumpkin spice treat deserves another! This take on the classic margarita calls for 1 ounce of fresh lime juice, 1 ounce of fresh lemon juice, 2 ounces of tequila, 1 tablespoon of pumpkin puree, and a splash of Cointreau or triple sec. Add these ingredients and ice to your shaker, then shake them and pour over ice into a cocktail glass rimmed with cinnamon.
An orange twist and a dash of cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice make excellent garnishes for this special fall drink.
Pumpkin White Russian
The Dude from The Big Lebowski would certainly trade in his trademark classic White Russian for this fall-inspired version. Swap regular coffee liqueur for 1 ounce of pumpkin spice Kahlua. Combine it with 2 ounces of vodka and 1 ounce of heavy cream, then stir.
Rimming your glass with a mix of sugar and sprinkles in earthy fall colors can make your white Russian feel extra special. If you’re really indulging, top with extra cream.
The Great Pumpkin Daiquiri
Daiquiri-lovers will appreciate this pumpkin-flavored fall drink. It was developed by New Orleans bartender Bennie Johnson, who kindly shares the recipe for folks who can’t visit his bar. Combine 2 ounces of rum, 1/2 ounce of allspice dram, 1/4 ounce of rum, 1/4 ounce of ginger liqueur, 1/4 ounce of simple syrup, 1/2 ounce of lemon juice, 1 tablespoon pumpkin puree, and ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake them, then strain to serve.
Johnson makes the cocktail with Gosling’s rum, as he feels its bite is a great foil for the sweeter liqueurs and pumpkin. However, you can add any rum of your choosing.
Fall is the season for Halloween, so it’s the ideal time for this spookily named classic cocktail. It gets its name because bartenders believed this potent drink had what it takes to raise the dead. Increase the quantities to make a large batch of this frightfully good drink for your Halloween party.
While the spirits in this recipe work well, feel free to substitute your own preferred varieties. Experiment to find the perfect creepy concoction.
Candy Corn Jell-O Shots
Candy corn Jell-O shots are another playful treat for those Halloween parties. Add a cup of water and two packs of unflavored gelatin to a saucepan. Warm over low heat until gelatin dissolves, then add half a can of condensed milk and 2/3 cup vanilla vodka to the mix. Stir to combine, then set aside half the mix. Add the rest to your shot glasses, filling no more than 1/3 of the way. Refrigerate for 30 to 40 minutes to firm up. Add another cup of water and one pack of unflavored gelatin to your saucepan and heat to dissolve. Stir in a pack of orange Jell-O and, once it dissolves, 1/3 cup of vanilla vodka. Add the orange layer to your shot glasses and chill again.
Finally, add yellow food coloring to your reserved milk mixture, stir it through and pour it into your shot glasses. Chill it to complete your candy corn Jell-O shots.
This autumnal cocktail celebrates the ever-popular apple and one of fall’s most underappreciated fruits, the fig. Muddle a fig and three Thai basil leaves into a cocktail shaker, then add ice. Pour 2 ounces of vodka, 1/2 ounce of lemon juice, 3/4 ounce of maple syrup, and 1.5 ounces of apple juice to your shaker. Strain it over ice, and enjoy.
Garnish with an extra fig and some basil leaves. Use a high-quality apple juice, like that of Fuji apples, for the best cocktail.
Caramel Apple Mule
Put a fall twist on a classic Moscow mule with our caramel apple mule. Add 1.5 ounces of Absolut vodka, 1/2 ounce of caramel syrup, 1 ounce of apple cider, and ice to your cocktail shaker. Shake it up, and pour it over ice into a traditional copper mug. Top with ginger beer, and serve.
The warm sweetness of caramel is the ideal foil for seasonal apple cider and spicy ginger beer in this cocktail. If this cocktail is too sweet for your taste, add a squeeze of lime.
Your Own “Pear-sonal Jesus”
Pears often play second fiddle to apples, but this fall fruit deserves its time in the spotlight. If you love pears, you’ll adore this drink developed by Denver bartender Jon Feuersanger. Combine 3/4 ounces of vodka, 1 ounce of pear liqueur, 1/4 ounces of violet liqueur, 1/2 ounce of lime juice, 1/4 ounce of simple syrup, a dash of pear bitters, and some ice in a cocktail shaker. Strain it, and serve.
While it delivers on flavor, this pear cocktail is relatively low in alcohol, making it a great choice for fall afternoons.
The Ultimate Buffalo Bloody Mary
Fall isn’t all about fresh produce. For many Americans, it’s also about football. The ultimate buffalo bloody Mary celebrates this tradition with its Buffalo wing garnish looking like it came straight from a tailgating party. Use whatever hot sauce you love with your wings.
Smirnoff is an easily accessible vodka, but you can certainly substitute your preferred brand in this recipe.
Winter will be here before you know it, but before the chill sets in, there’s time to enjoy this final boozy fall cocktail. Combine 1/4 ounce of Amaro CioCiaro, 1/4 ounce of maraschino liqueur, 3/4 ounce of Dolin Dry vermouth, and 1.5 ounces of Old Forester bourbon in a mixing glass. Fill the glass with ice, then stir it for 25 seconds. Let the mix settle for a few seconds, then pour it into another glass. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and a cherry.
This cocktail was developed by Los Angeles’ hot spot Simbal, where the bartenders prefer certain brands. Feel free to substitute your own favorites when making this drink at home.
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