8 Best Cocktail Recipes to Make This Fall
Fall is in full swing, with the holidays on their way. Whether you’re looking to escape the brisk weather and enjoy a beverage indoors or take advantage of your final days outside before the harsher winter temperatures hit, we’ve compiled a list of the best fall cocktail recipes.
Michter’s Orchard Old Fashioned
Louisville, Kentucky whiskey brand Michter’s shared this recipe on Twitter last month. We tried it out and deemed it worth sharing. A nice cross between an Old Fashioned and a crisp glass of apple juice, this is a very nice drink. The angostura bitters add their signature cinnamon flavor, which gives you a nice apple-cinnamon flavor that is extremely Fall. The recipe is rock-solid in terms of balance. The whiskey gives just enough bite, and this is a perfectly sweet Old Fashioned with just a bit more tartness than usual thanks to the apple. The use of maple syrup instead of the simple syrup that’s in a typical Old Fashioned is also a nice substitution that provides a different kind of sweetness.
- 2 oz Bourbon (we used and recommend Michter’s US*1)
- Barspoon maple syrup
- 3 dashes Angostura bitters
- 1 oz fresh acidic apple juice
- Combine Michter’s US*1 Bourbon, maple syrup and bitters and stir until chilled
- Serve in a rocks glass over a large piece of ice
- Top with the apple juice
- Garnish with an apple slice (we skipped this step)
Basil Hayden Autumn Sour
A variant of the classic whiskey sour that uses apple cider vinegar to add a fall twist, this recipe from Basil Hayden makes for a tasty, fresh and tart drink. You get the whiskey, lemon and fresh-shaken texture of a whiskey sour, but the apple cider vinegar adds a really great fresh-apple flavor, and the honey adds a different sweetness than standard simple syrup, which fits nicely in the context of this drink. We’d recommend going a little bit heavier on the Angostura bitters than one dash, as cinnamon flavor would be a welcome fit with the apple, and one dash doesn’t really provide much.
- 2 parts bourbon (We used and recommend Basil Hayden)
- 1 part fresh lemon juice
- ¾ part honey
- 2 dashes apple cider vinegar
- 1 dash Angostura bitters
- 1 sprig of Charred Rosemary (we skipped this garnish)
- Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice.
- Shake vigorously and strain into a rocks glass.
- Serve neat or on the rocks.
- Garnish with a sprig of Charred Rosemary. To char the rosemary sprig, place it over an open flame (either on a grill or stovetop) and rotate for 5-10 seconds until the herb begins to smoke and brown slightly.
Glenlivet Spiced Cider
Among all of these fabulous recipes, this cocktail is the highlight of the list for us. It’s warm and delicious. Think spiced apple cider meets Hot Toddy — but with scotch. This perfectly-proportioned recipe truly makes for a delicious drink. We used Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve, which is a light, fruity scotch that exquisitely complements the cider.
- 2 parts single malt scotch whisky (we used and recommend The Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve)
- 3 parts apple cider
- 0.25 part lemon juice
- 0.25 part honey water
- Nutmeg, cinnamon stick and clove-studded orange peels for garnish (we skipped the orange peels)
- Build in pot or crockpot and combine all ingredients
- Add cinnamon sticks, clove studded orange peels, and grated nutmeg
Social Hour Harvest Whiskey Sour
Too busy to make a drink? Buy one ready to serve! This canned cocktail won’t let you down. Made with 13-year George Dickel Tennessee Whiskey, honeycrisp apple, Meyer lemon, cinnamon, maple and cardamom, this fall-exclusive drink is one of the best RTDs on the market.
We reviewed this canned cocktail in the most edition of our Ready To Drink roundup and were very impressed. Here’s what we had to say:
“Whiskey sours aren’t attempted much in an RTD format and for good reason. It’s tough to pull off a canned version of a cocktail that’s generally only any good if it’s freshly shaken, but Social Hour absolutely nails it with this release. It’s whiskey sour meets spiced apple cider, and it kicks total ass. The apple and cardamom pop on the floral nose, and the tasting experience is extremely well structured. The first sip blasts you with lemony sweetness, and then some whiskey notes enter and mingle with the sweetness. The flavors then gently dissolve into sweet, Honeycrisp-apple goodness.”
This limited release can be purchased on the Social Hour website. A four-pack of 250-milliliter cans goes for $28 — bit pricy but worth it, as this is absolutely one of the best RTD cocktails on the market.
WhistlePig Maple Whiskey Sour
This is a killer cocktail. Whiskey sours are one of our favorite cocktails to make at home, and this is an awesome variant. The barrel-aged maple syrup adds a really lovely, deep, smooth sweetness and mixes absolutely perfectly with the PiggyBack Bourbon, which — as delicious as it is neat — turns out to be a rockin’ cocktail bourbon, adding a lovely oak character to this sweet, tart cocktail.
- 2 oz bourbon (we used and recommend WhistlePig PiggyBack 100 Proof)
- 0.75 ounce maple syrup (we used and recommend WhistlePig Barrel Aged Maple Syrup)
- 1 oz lemon juice
- 2 dashes of bitters (we used Angostura)
- 1 egg white
- Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker
- Fill shaker with ice, cover, and shake vigorously until outside of shaker is very cold, about 20 seconds
- Strain cocktail into a glass. WhistlePig recommends using an old-fashioned or rocks glass filled with ice, but we opted for a coupe glass.
Apple Snap Snap Cocktail
This is a cocktail recipe introduced by actor Joel McHale on “Rachael Ray.” The ingredients make a great, but the listed proportions are a little bit out of whack. The rye whiskey plus ginger beer and cinnamon stick work together to form a nice spicy character that pairs very well with the apple cider, making for a splendid fall cocktail. McHale opted for High West rye whiskey on the show, but we used WhistlePig PiggyBack 6 Year Rye Whiskey to make this cocktail.
- 1 oz rye whiskey (we recommend more like 2-3 oz. McHale eyeballed this recipe on the show, and while he said 1 oz, he definitely used more than that).
- 0.25 oz Grand Marnier
- 3 oz fresh apple cider
- 0.5 oz lemon juice
- 5 oz ginger beer (we recommend cutting this down to about 3 oz., if for no other reason than you’re gonna need a pretty huge cup to fit 5 oz along with ice and everything else)
- Cinnamon stick and apple slice (we skipped the apple slice) for garnish.
- Put ice in a Collins glass
- Pour in all of the liquid ingredients
- Gently stir and garnish with the apple slice and cinnamon stick.
Hot Apple Gin Toddy
This recipe is a gin-based take on the traditional Hot Toddy. For more gin-based fall cocktails recipes, check out our sister site, Gin Raiders.
- 2 oz apple juice
- 1.5 oz barrel-aged gin
- 1 tsp honey
- 0.5 oz lemon juice
- Pinch of cinnamon
- 2-3 apple slices
- Combine the apple juice, honey, lemon juice, cinnamon and apple slices in a small saucepan.
- Stir ingredients and heat until boiling.
- Immediately take the saucepan off of the stove and pour in the gin.
- Give it a stir and pour it into a mug.
- Optional: garnish with a cinnamon stick if you’re feeling fancy.
Better Than Basic Pumpkin Spice Latte Cocktail
This cocktail recipe, which comes to us courtesy of our sister site, Rum Raiders, combines an iced pumpkin spice latte with a twisted rum version of a White Russian. White Russians normally call for vodka and coffee liqueur with a splash of heavy cream. This version replaces neutral vodka with a more fall-appropriate dark rum.
- 1 cup water
- 0.5 cup light brown sugar
- 0.5 cup granulated sugar
- 1.5 tbsps pumpkin pie spice
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 0.25 cup pumpkin puree
- 0.5 oz dark rum
- 1 oz coffee liqueur
- 0.75 oz pumpkin pie spice syrup
- A splash of half and half
- First, we’re going to make the pumpkin spice syrup. In a small saucepan, place water along with the brown and granulated sugars, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla extract.
- Bring the mixture to a simmer and occasionally gently stir.
- Let simmer for 2 minutes to dissolve the sugar and allow the spices to bloom.
- Reduce the heat to low and stir in the pumpkin puree until it is fully incorporated and smooth.
- Remove from heat.
- Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a storage container and let it cool. This is your pumpkin spice syrup.
- Pour the dark rum, coffee liqueur and pumpkin pie spice syrup into a glass with ice.
- Stir until mixed well together.
- Pour half and half on top slowly for a cool visual effect and then stir to combine.
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