With cozy Netflix movies queued up, late fall is finally upon us. But that doesn’t mean you have to give up on a little happy hour fun. Sure, it might be time to say goodbye to breezy, beach-side drinks, but tasty Thanksgiving and fall-themed sippers are lovely in their own right. Read on for the best 11 fall cocktails from all over the country and get ready for some serious pumpkin-apple-squash-infused delights. Bonus: The bartenders spilled some of their pro secrets…
1. Apple Pie Moscow Mule at Flour & Barley in Las Vegas
This elixir features an apple base with a hit of citrus and sweet finish from caramel syrup. You might just want to make a quadruple batch.
– 1 1/2 ounces Crown Apple
– 1/2 ounces lemon juice
– 3/4 ounces caramel syrup
– 2 ounces ginger beer
Add Crown Apple, lemon juice and caramel syrup into shaker tin, shake well and pour into glass. Top with ginger beer and garnish with a dash of cinnamon sugar, if desired.
2. Smashing Pumpkin Cocktail at the Grant Grill in San Diego
What’s not to love about flavored rum? Okay, if you don’t, try swapping it for your favorite flavored vodka.
– 2 ounces Pumpkin and Star Anise Infused 10 Cane Rum
– 1/2 ounce Grand Marnier
– 3/4 ounce St Elizabeth All Spice Dram
– 3/4 ounce Massanez Ginger Liqueur
– 3/4 ounce saffron syrup
– 2-3 dashes cardamom bitters
– 1 ounce fresh meyer lemon
Combine all ingredients and garnish as desired.
3. Heirloom Mary at 1 Hotel South Beach in Miami
Bloody Mary aficionados, listen up! This fun riff on the brunchtime staple has a herbacious and earthy twist. For a fun party move, set up an area with your favorite Bloody Mary accoutrements (olives, we’re looking at you) so your guests can build their own.
– 1 ½ ounces Absolut Vodka
– 4 ounces Bloody Mary mix (like this one we love!)
Shake and strain over fresh ice into a Collins glass. Garnish with chili salt rim, poblano pepper, cherry tomato and a stick of celery.
4. Pomegranate Rickey at The Rickey in New York City
– 1 1/2 ounces Tito’s vodka
– 1 ounce Pama Pomegranate liqueur
– 3/4 ounce lime juice
– 1/2 ounce agave
Mix all ingredients together and serve with an ice cube (for an impressive visual, freeze pomegranate seeds in an ice cube and pop one or two out into a drink). Garnish with a lime wedge.
5. Butter Candy Martini at Flour & Barley in Las Vegas
Butternut squash steals the show in this flavorful, seasonal cocktail. Not into super sweet libations? Leave out the simple syrup for a mellower flavor.
– 1 1/2 ounces Stoli Vanilla
– 3/4 ounce triple sec
– 1 ounce candied butternut squash
– 1/2 oz simple syrup
Muddle butternut squash with simple syrup, add triple sec and Stoli Vanilla into shaker tin. Shake well and strain. Garnish martini glass with cinnamon sugar on the rim, pour drink into glass.
6. The Pilgrim’s Cup at Artisanal Bistro in New York City
Sophisticated cocktails don’t have to be stuffy! This aromatic potion lets smokey mezcal steal the show, but you can also swap it for regular ol’ tequila.
– 2 ounces El Jolgorio Pechuga Mezcal
– 1/2 ounce dessert wine, like Chateau Guiraud Sautern
– 3/4 ounce fresh squeezed lime juice
– 1/2 ounce agave nectar
– 2 dashes chocolate aztec bitters
Combine all ingredients and double strain before pouring. Garnish with lime zest and pink peppercorn for aromatics.
7. Hot Apple Toddy at Rustic Root in San Diego
Don’t think you like bourbon? Allow this cocktail to prove you wrong. With apple cider and ginger-y goodness, it’s hard not to love this simple-to-prep beverage. Happy hour, indeed.
– 1 1/2 ounces vanilla-infused bourbon
– 3/4 ounce ginger-spiced simple syrup
– 6 ounces hot apple cider
Mix all ingredients and serve in tall coffee/tea glass and garnish with an apple slice, or candied apple slice, if you’re feeling fancy.
8. Beat the Devil at Betony in New York City
Beat the devil and #BadMondayVibes you shall with this fantastic cocktail. Utilizing traditional Peruvian pisco, this brandy balances out the wine and coffee in this tasty beverage.
– 2 ounces La Diablada Pisco
– 1 ounce cold brew coffee
– 1/2 ounce full-bodied red wine
– 1/2 ounce cascara syrup
– 1/4 ounce orange oleo saccharum
For oleo saccharum, muddle rinds of lemon, orange, or other citrus with sugar, and allow to set for 1-24 hours to extract the oils. Strain the extracted liquid before use. Shake all ingredients, and pour through a fine mesh strainer into a chilled cocktail glass.
9. Autumn NoMa Cider Cocktail at NoMa Social in Westchester, New York
As easy to prep as it is lovely in taste, this seriously seasonal fall cocktail also benefits from a few dashes of cinnamon added to the mix for a nice kick.
– 1 ounce Fireball Whiskey
– 1/2 ounce Original Sin Hard Apple Cider
– splash of ginger ale
Mix all contents together, shake and serve.
10. El Antiquado at Food Wine & Co. in Bethesda, Maryland
This pisco-based old fashioned (hence the name) goes down really smoothly. Don’t say we didn’t warn you. The flavor from the orange peel’s oils really heightens this classic cocktail, so be sure to really muddle it thoroughly.
– 2 1/2 ounces Macchu Pisco
– 1 ounce simple syrup
– 1 orange slice
– 10 dashes of aromatic bitters
Cut an orange slice (mostly rind). Place orange slice into a rocks glass. Add aromatic bitters on top of orange. Muddle the orange slice until all juice has been removed. Do not remove orange slice. Add 1 ounce of simple syrup to the existing mixture. Add 2 1/2 ounces of Macchu Pisco to the existing mixture. Add one shaker cap of ice to glass and mix until blended. Garnish as desired and enjoy!
11. Pears on Fleek at CATCH in New York City
This fruity cocktail is perfect for pear fans, but you can also swap the pear cider for apple cider, or even champagne, for a fun twist on this tasty recipe.
– 1 1/2 ounces Belvedere
– 1/2 ounce St. George Pear Brandy
– 1 ounce poached pear syrup
– 3/4 ounce lemon juice
– 1 ounce pear puree
– hard oear cider, to taste
Combine all ingredients and top with cider. Serve on ice in a mason jar.
What’s your favorite autumn-themed cocktail in your area? Or are you more of a DIY mixologist at home? Share with us in the comments below!