As the season changes from summer to fall, the air gets crisp, evenings get darker, and sleeves get longer. With Halloween and Thanksgiving around the corner, you have plenty of opportunities to throw parties and impress your guests with fancy fall cocktails—but you need to make sure to adjust your libations so they suit the season and take advantage of the delicious flavors fondly associated with autumn. We've compiled a list of unique fall cocktails below to inspire you.
Cinnamon Maple Whiskey Sour
Cinnamon is a favorite fall flavor because its red-hot edge offers a bit of warmth with each taste. Maple brings to mind the beautiful fall foliage and the delicious taste of homemade pancakes on a chilly morning. Cinnamon and maple syrup are the perfect combination, as one brings spice and the other brings sweet. They balance each other out perfectly, and, in this cocktail, they blend together especially well, thanks to the addition of tart lemon juice. Here's the recipe!
Savory Gin and Beet Cocktail
Tamara Andersen of the recipe website Beyond Mere Substance came up with this brilliant cocktail, which prominently features beet juice. As beets are fall produce, this is an ideal drink for the harvest season. What makes this recipe super unique is that, thanks to the main vegetable ingredient and the cynar, it actually has a savory flavor. If you need something to balance out all the Halloween candy you'll be snacking on, try this drink! Also, the drink features beets' so-red-it's-almost-purple color, making it not just tasty, but pretty too.
Great Pumpkin Cocktail
You knew a pumpkin-based cocktail had to make the list! If you are a fan of pumpkin pies, this drink is for you. With pumpkin ale, apple brandy, maple syrup, and freshly grated nutmeg, this tastes like a pumpkin pie in a glass. It would be best paired with a viewing of a Halloween classic: It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. Check out the recipe here!
Apple Cider Mimosa
A favorite fall activity is apple-picking – by which we mean, going to an apple orchard as an excuse to consume copious amounts of cider and donuts. Replace the orange juice in your mimosas with apple cider, and you've adjusted this cocktail perfectly for autumn. The cinnamon and nutmeg in the cider give this drink a warm, spicy kick, and the sweet apple juice mixes perfectly with the tart, fizzy champagne. Here's how to make them!
Apple Cider Bourbon
After all the apple-picking, you'll probably have some apples left over for another cider-based cocktail. With a splash of ginger beer and lemon juice, this drink packs quite a spicy punch and will keep you warm all evening. Check out the recipe here! If you're looking for something else with that unique cider taste, try Demitri's salad recipe for Harvest Greens with Chili Cider Vinaigrette.
For this apple-based cocktail, you'll want to use green apples instead of red. You're going for sour instead of sweet because you need to maximize the mouth-puckering tartness to offset the powerful bite of vodka. This cocktail is a strong one, and it should be served with a hearty meal, like Demitri's recipe for Deba's Meatballs. You can find the recipe here.
Maple and Cider Kentucky Mule
This cocktail involves some of the same fall flavors as the previous ones: maple syrup, apple cider, ginger beer. One unique ingredient is the lime juice, the essential ingredient of a mule. The hard, sour edge of the lime juice emphasizes the vanilla in the bourbon as well as the sugary maple syrup, making for a dynamic flavor profile while also appealing to those who don't like saccharine drinks. Here's how to make your very own.
Brown Sugar Old Fashioned
The brown sugar added to a classic Old Fashioned gives this drink an autumnal twist because it adds a caramel flavor, bringing to mind caramel apples and kettle corn. Because this cocktail is sweet, sweet, sweet, we recommend serving it any night you have breakfast for dinner. Pair it with something salty, like Demitri's recipe for breakfast potatoes. Learn how to make this twist on the Old Fashioned.
The Harry Potter books and films usually begin with Harry returning to Hogwarts for the fall, so it makes sense to serve a cocktail this season that brings the Wizarding World to mind. If you drink this adult-friendly butterbeer, with its butterscotch schnapps and whipped cream, we guarantee you'll want to throw on a scarf and cozy up on the couch for a Harry Potter movie marathon. Check out the recipe here!
If you're putting together a cocktail menu for your fall party and want to pair these drinks with the perfect finger foods, check out Demitri's collection of recipes.