Before you ask: Yes, there's a pumpkin-spiced vodka fall cocktail.
There are two types of people: those who become giddy about PSLs by mid-August and those who wish everyone would just live out the end of summer, dammit. But even if you're less than thrilled about cooler weather, a fall cocktail made with the fruits and spices of the season might just get you in the spirit.
"As the weather gets cooler, I like to use warmer flavors in drinks," says Bryn Lumsden, the owner of and head bartender at Damn the Weather in Seattle, who created these first three autumnal sips. "A dash of allspice can really change the complexion of a classic cocktail, and a grating of roasted coffee bean adds a toasty component."
"I love to use healthy veggies and fruits in my cocktails this time of year to tap into the warmer, richer tastes of the season," adds Corey Hayes, the food and beverage director at Nomi Park and the Wayfinder Hotel in Newport, Rhode Island, who created some of the other concoctions below.
Pick one of these festive fall cocktail recipes perfect for your friendsgiving, a tailgate, or a chill brunch. Shake one up, serve with these eight healthy fall snacks, and get cozy by the fire.
Paris, Texas + Autumn Negroni + Bat Macumba
Lumsden's fall cocktails turn classic drinks into craveable ones fit for the season.
Paris, Texas Fall Cocktail: [left] Rim a rocks glass with a lime wedge, and dip in chili salt (made with equal parts chili powder and kosher salt). Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, and add 1 1/2 ounces tequila, 3/4 ounce fresh lime juice, 3/4 ounce crème de cassis, and a dash of angostura bitters, and shake vigorously. Strain the fall cocktail into a rocks glass filled with ice.
Autumn Negroni: [center] Fill a cocktail shaker or a pint glass with ice, and add 1 ounce gin, 1 ounce Italian vermouth, 1 ounce Campari, and 1/8 ounce allspice dram. Stir until well combined and chilled, and strain the drink into a coupe or a rocks glass filled with ice. Garnish the fall cocktail with an orange peel twist.
Bat Macumba: [right] Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, and add 1 1/2 ounces silver cachaça, 1/2 ounce fresh lime juice, and 3/4 ounce pineapple syrup, and shake vigorously. Strain into a coupe glass. With a zester, grate a fresh roasted coffee bean over top of the fall cocktail for "coffee dust."
Pumpkin Spice Fall Cocktail
Photo: The Taste SF
Add 2 oz Hangar 1 Straight vodka, 2 tablespoons fresh pumpkin purée, 2 oz horchata liqueur, 1 oz ginger liqueur, a splash of cream, and 3 dashes Angostura bitters to a cocktail shaker full of ice. Shake until very cold and well-combined. Strain the fall cocktail into a glass filled with crushed ice and garnish with a cinnamon stick.
Big Sister Fall Cocktail
Photo: Vanilla and Bean
Add a handful of ice, 2 1/2 oz cranberry juice, 1 oz fresh-squeezed orange juice, 1 oz ginger beer, 1 1/2 oz citrus vodka, 1/4 oz simple syrup, and a few drops of fresh lemon juice to a cocktail shaker. Test to see if it needs a bit more simple syrup. If so, add just about a 1/4 teaspoon more at a time. Shake three to four times. Pour over ice. Garnish the fall cocktail with 3 or 4 sugared, skewered cranberries.
Sparkling Fig & Honey Fall Cocktail
Photo: Hello Glow
Combine 1/4 cup honey, 1/4 cup water, and 6 figs (cut into quarters) in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over low heat and whisk continuously until the honey is melted and the figs begin to soften. Add 2 sprigs thyme and let simmer for an additional 10 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat and let the mixture sit for a few minutes. Remove thyme sprigs. Use a food processor or immersion blender to blend the honey and figs into a smooth syrup. In a small pitcher, combine the 1 cup champagne, 1/2 cup apple cider, and 1 oz orange liquor. Add two tablespoons of the fig syrup and stir. Pour the fall cocktail into two glasses and garnish with extra thyme and fig slices.
Fall Harvest Sangria
Eat Yourself Skinny
Place 2 honeycrisp apples (chopped), 1 Bartlett pear (chopped), 1 orange (sliced), and 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds (or cranberries) and 2 cinnamon sticks in a large pitcher. Pour in one bottle of white wine, 2 1/2 cups apple cider, and 1/2 cup vodka. Mix well. Allow to marinate in the fridge for a few hours. Add 1 cup club soda before serving.
Blackberry Basil Port and Tonic
In the bottom of a cocktail shaker, muddle 2 ounces white port, 1/2 ounce lemon juice, 4 blackberries, and a few basil leaves. Strain into a rocks glass filled with ice. Top with tonic. Garnish the fall cocktail with a basil sprig and a blackberry.
Green Garden Fall Cocktail
Beware: Jacob's lime green fall cocktail has a kick to it.
To make the cocktail:Rim a glass with a lime wedge, and dip in chili salt (made with equal parts sea salt, sweet paprika, and red pepper flakes). Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, and add 1 1/2 ounces blanco tequila, 1/2 ounce yellow Chartreuse, 1 ounce cucumber juice, 3/4 ounce green bell pepper syrup, 1/2 ounce fresh lime juice, and 1 thyme sprig, and shake vigorously. Strain into the prepared glass filled with ice. Garnish the fall cocktail with a thyme sprig.
To make the green bell pepper syrup: Place 1 cup water, 1 cup sugar, and 1/2 green bell pepper (chopped into small pieces) in a pan; simmer on stove until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat, let cool completely, and strain out the pepper.
Rosemary After Midnight Fall Cocktail
Rosemary isn't a standard cocktail garnish, but this drink from Jacob proves it's one of the best.
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, and add 1 ounce mezcal, 1 ounce apple brandy, 3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice, 3/4 ounce simple syrup (made with equal parts sugar and water), and 1 rosemary sprig, and shake vigorously. Strain the drink into a highball glass filled with ice, and top with sparkling water. Garnish the fall cocktail with an apple fan (stack 3 apple slices, then fan them out). Secure with a cocktail pick or a toothpick and another rosemary sprig. (BTW, apples are *loaded* with health benefits.)
BURCU ATALAY TANKUT/Getty
Use your leftover Aperol from all those summer spritzes in this pomegranate-topped fall cocktail.
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, and add 1 ounce vodka, 1/2 ounce Aperol, 1/2 ounce rosemary syrup, 3/4 ounce blood orange juice, and 1/4 ounce fresh lemon juice, and shake vigorously. Strain the drink into a collins glass filled with crushed ice, and top with club soda. Garnish with a spoonful of pomegranate seeds.
To make rosemary syrup: Steep a small bunch of rosemary in 2 cups hot simple syrup (made from equal parts sugar and water) for 30 minutes. Strain, remove and discard rosemary, let cool, and refrigerate until ready to use (up to 3 weeks). (If you love this flavor profile, you'll also love this blood orange and rosemary salad recipe.)
Cranberry and Spice Spritz
When all the cranberries go on sale post-Thanksgiving, whip up this fall cocktail to make the most of the deals.
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, and add 1 ounce brandy, 3/4 ounce spiced cranberry syrup, 1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice, and 2 dashes cherry bark bitters, and shake vigorously. Strain the drink into a champagne flute. Top with sparkling wine. Garnish with 3 cranberries.
To make spiced cranberry syrup: In a medium saucepan, combine 2 cups water, 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries, 2 cups sugar, 6 whole cloves, 6 whole star anise, and 6 black peppercorns. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat, and let cool completely. Strain the cooled mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into an airtight container; discard solids. Refrigerate until ready to use (up to 3 weeks).
This fig-infused fall cocktail gets a shot of sweetness from brown sugar syrup and rich port, making it an ideal dessert drink.
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add 1 ounce fig-infused rum, 1 ounce tawny port, 1/2 ounce Hoodoo Chicory liqueur, 1/4 ounce brown sugar syrup (equal parts brown sugar and hot water), and 1 ounce fresh lime juice, and shake vigorously. Strain the drink into a coupe glass. Garnish with a lime wheel and a slice of fig.
To make fig-infused rum: Add 2 cups sliced dried figs to 1 liter rum. Let the mixture macerate for 1 to 2 weeks, then strain off the solids. Refrigerate until ready to use (up to 3 weeks). Pro tip: The infused figs can be used as a spread for crusty bread with some Brie. (And then turn to these yummy recipes to use up the fresh ones.)
Hayes created this blend, which pairs citrus pairs with green apple to create a bright, fresh, and fruity fall cocktail.
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add 1 1/2 ounces vodka, 1/2 ounce St-Germain, 1/2 ounce. lemon, and 1/2 green apple, muddled (muddle sliced apple with the skin on using a mortar and pestle or a muddler). Strain, and serve in a martini glass. Garnish with a few apple slices.
The earthy beets in this fall cocktail shine thanks to the bite of bitters. Plus, the addition of ginger beer gives the entire drink a fizzy kick that's sure to keep you coming back for a second sip.
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add 1 1/2 ounces gin, 1/2 ounce lemon juice, 1 1/2 ounces prepared beet puree, and 2 dashes orange bitters. Strain, serve in a coupe, and top with ginger beer. Garnish with a thinly sliced beet. (BTW, you'll score quite a few nutrients from those pink veggies.)
Apple Pimm's Cup
This fall cocktail will help you use up whatever's remaining of your summer Aperol. The hint of rhubarb from the apéritif pairs beautifully with the muddled red apples.
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add 1 1/2 ounces Pimm's, 1/2 ounce lemon juice, and 1/4 ounce Aperol. Strain, and pour into a highball glass over ice. Add 1/4 red apple, muddled (muddle sliced apple with the skin on using a mortar and pestle or a muddler), top with seltzer, and garnish with an apple slice. (Don't forget to pair the drink with these rhubarb-heavy recipes.)
Pear plus ginger equals a fall cocktail with zing and complexity, which is exactly what you need in the middle of a dreary autumn. "[These cocktails are] pretty much the most delicious way to kick back with friends and celebrate the cooler nights," says Hayes.
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add 1 1/2 ounces rum, 1 1/2 ounces prepared pear puree (Hayes likes the purees from Boiron), 1/2 ounce lime juice, 1/4 ounce simple syrup (made with equal parts sugar and water), and 1/4 prepared ginger puree. Strain, and serve over ice in a rocks glass. Garnish with a pear slice.
This article was written by Laura Rege, Renee Cherry and and Isabel Burton from Shape and was legally licensed through the Industry Dive publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to email@example.com.