It’s almost that time of year again when the leaves start to change colors, the weather cools down and kids are back in school. And sure enough, you’ll begin to notice flavors like pumpkin, apple, cinnamon and nutmeg making their way into just about every type of beverage. Fall is unlike any other season; it has many unique characteristics, including many festive food and drink recipes. For cocktail lovers, this means a lot of interesting alcoholic concoctions that incorporate seasonal flavors. Below is a list of Fall-inspired cocktails you have to try this season.

Hard Apple Cider Sangria

A glass of hard apple cider sangria.

So Good Food Blog

Sangria is fun to make and is appropriate for almost any occasion. There’s no need to mix up individual cocktails when this one’s all whipped together in one single pitcher. While wine is typically the go-to ingredient for sangria, hard cider creates an autumn twist. Adding a splash of apple brandy boosts it a bit more, and the fruit combination gives it a refreshing flavor.

What You Need:
– 1 cup quartered and thinly sliced unpeeled green, yellow and red apples
– 1 naval orange – quartered and thinly sliced crosswise
– 1 cup apple juice, chilled
– 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
– 1/4 cup apple brandy
– One 22-oz bottle hard apple cider, chilled
– Ice

In a pitcher, combine the apples with the orange, apple juice, lemon juice and brandy. Just before serving, add the hard cider. Serve in tall glasses over ice.

Recipe originally from Food and Wine Magazine

Apple Cider Mimosa

An apple cider mimosa.


Sparkling, fruity, and served in champagne flutes, mimosas are elegant cocktails to drink. While a mimosa can be enjoyed nearly any time of year, Fall is the perfect time to add a different flavor. Apple cider is crisp and fizzy and its sweetness is enveloped in the warmth of added cinnamon.

What You Need:
– 2 tablespoon sugar
– 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
– 1 cup apple cider
– 1 bottle champagne

On a small plate, combine sugar and cinnamon. Dip champagne flutes in water to wet the rims, then dip in cinnamon-sugar mixture. After that, fill champagne flutes 1/4 full with apple cider, then top off with champagne.

Recipe originally from Delish

Kahlúa Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate

A mug of Kahlúa pumpkin spice hot chocolate.

Home Cooking Memories

As the weather gets chilly, everyone will be looking for something warm to sip on. While kids gravitate toward hot chocolate, adults can mix up a different sort of rich and steamy drink using Kahlúa’s signature Pumpkin Spice Liqueur. This seasonal twist adds pumpkin and spices to the typical Kahlúa coffee blend, making it a special treat for those who love coffee and pumpkin pie.

What You Need:
– 1/3 cup Kahlúa Pumpkin Spice Liqueur
– 4 cups whole milk divided
– 1/2 cup granulated sugar
– 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
– Pinch of salt
– 1 cup pumpkin puree
– 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
– Optional toppings: whipped cream marshmallows, shaved chocolate, pumpkin pie spice

Measure 1/3 cup of Kahlúa and set aside. In a medium saucepan, whisk together 1 cup of milk, sugar, cocoa powder and salt. Whisk in remaining milk until fully combined. Heat mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved and very hot, but not boiling. Whisk in pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice. Continue to whisk and heat mixture. Turn off and move from heat just before mixture begins to boil – do not let it boil. Immediately whisk in Kahlúa. Pour into glasses and top with optional toppings, if desired.

Recipe originally from Home Cooking Memories

Maple Pear Sour

A maple pear sour cocktail.

Cheers! Magazine

Instead of the traditional simple syrup found in most cocktails, maple simple syrup takes center stage in this drink. Maple is a stunning Fall flavor with hints of woodiness and vanilla. And pears, like apples, really find their footing during the Fall. The addition of egg white adds a smoothness and creaminess to the drink that coats the belly during colder months.

What You Need:
– 1.5 oz Bombay Sapphire gin
– 0.75 oz fresh lemon juice
– 0.5 oz maple simple syrup
– 0.5 oz pear liqueur – can substitute for fresh pear juice or nectar (0.75 oz)
– 1/2 egg white

Shake all with ice and serve in a double rocks glass with ice. Garnish with lemon swath and pear fan.

Recipe originally from

Spiced Cider Margarita

Glasses of spiced cider margaritas.

Domesticate ME!

You can’t say, “margarita,” and not think of a good time. The word itself evokes something festive, and this seasonal twist on the classic Mexican cocktail highlights the subtle sweetness of apples and the mescal creates a slight smokiness. Hints of cinnamon and spice from the apple cider in this drink bring about a feeling of rustic coziness.

What You Need:
– 5 oz spiced apple cider (if you can’t find spiced cider, you always can spice your own)
– 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
– 0.5 oz Grand Marnier or Cointreau
– 1.5 oz mescal or gold tequila

For garnish (optional):
– 2 tablespoons raw sugar
– 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
– Cinnamon sticks
– Apple slices

Start by rimming the glass. In a small bowl, combine the raw sugar and cinnamon. Pour a splash of Grand Marnier into a separate bowl. Dip the rim of the glass in the Grand Marnier to moisten it, and then immediately dip the glass in cinnamon sugar (you’ll have enough cinnamon sugar for about 4-5 cocktail glasses). Pour all the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake until well combined. Pour over ice into your rimmed cocktail glass and serve. Garnish with an apple slice, a cinnamon stick, and a dash of ground cinnamon, if you’d like.

Recipe originally from Domesticate ME!

Mulled Spiced Cheribundi

Glasses of mulled spiced cheribundi cocktails.

Richard Jung, Getty Images

Mixing together bourbon, root beer, and cherry juice with a few warm spices may seem odd, but this drink will make a believer out of anyone. Cherry juice is the star with its tart tang, which works surprisingly well with spices used in root beer. Cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice all provide those Fall flavors that play on the caramel notes of the bourbon.

What You Need:
– 32 oz Cheribundi Tart Cherry Juice
– 8 oz bourbon whiskey
– 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
– 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
– Pinch allspice
– 0.5 oz root beer
– Cinnamon sticks and orange slices for garnish

Heat all ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat until the liquid begins to simmer. Ladle into heated coffee cups. Garnish with a cinnamon stick and orange slice.

Recipe originally from The Spruce

Port Old Fashioned

A port old fashioned cocktail.

Town & Country Magazine

There’s something to be admired about simple cocktails. Bold and warm, old fashions depict the old-timey bars in which patrons walked in and ordered “the usual.” Adding a rich and fruity port to the equation adds a whole new dimension to this classic drink. The sweetness of maple syrup and the flavorful oils of an orange peel bring out a caramelized flavor.

What You Need:
– 60 ml Haig Club
– 10 ml ruby port
– 2 dashes original bitters
– Lemon peel and a cherry to garnish

Fill a short glass with ice. Add bitters, port and Haig Club. Stir for 30 seconds. Finish with garnish.

Recipe originally from Haig Club

Irish Coffee

An Irish coffee.

Steve Allen, Getty Images

Sometimes, you just need to bring back an original, and for Fall that means an Irish Coffee. This cocktail combines the rich, silky flavors of coffee with the warm, vanilla-honey flavors of Irish whiskey. While it’s delicious year round, what makes this drink great for the Fall is that it will warm you up no matter how chilly it is outside.

What You Need:
– 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
– 1 tablespoon brown sugar
– 1 jigger Irish whiskey (1.5 oz or 3 tablespoons)
– Heavy cream, slightly whipped

Fill footed mug or a mug with hot water to preheat it, then empty. Pour piping hot coffee into warmed glass until it is about 3/4 full. Add the brown sugar and stir until completely dissolved. Blend in Irish whiskey. Top with a collar of the whipped heavy cream by pouring gently over back of spoon. Serve hot.

Recipe originally from Food Network

Caramel Apple Mule

Caramel apple mules in copper cups.

The Gastronom

Caramel apples alone are reminiscent of Fall; everyone remembers eating those classic tasty treats on a stick. You’ll need to pick up a few packs of caramel candies from the store if you want to make this drink. The trick is to melt the caramel and swirl it into the vodka; that brightens up the apple liqueur, giving it an even better Fall flavor.

What You Need:
– 1.5 oz caramel vodka
– 0.5 oz lime juice
– 3.5 oz apple cider
– 4 oz ginger beer

Combine all in a copper mug with ice. Garnish with apple slice.

Recipe originally from The Gastronom

Yale Beets Harvard

A Yale beets Harbard cocktail.

New York Times

The famed Yale University drinking spot, The Anchor Spa, has created a cocktail that plays on its rivalry with fellow Ivy League school, Harvard. Spicy and buttery dark rums are combined with the sweet, earthy flavors of beets to give this cocktail a special flavor. Rum always works well in sugary drinks, and this one is no exception.

What You Need:
– 1.5 oz buttered rum
– 0.5 oz Smith & Cross Jamaican rum
– 0.75 oz orange acid
– 2 dashes molasses bitters
– 0.75 oz beet syrup
– 1 dehydrated orange wheel

Combine the first five ingredients (see below for buttered rum and orange acid recipes) in a tin cocktail shaker and shake well. Pour into an Old Fashioned glass over a single 1 ½-square-inch ice cube. Garnish with the dehydrated orange wheel (recipe below).

Buttered Rum:
– 2 sticks unsalted butter
– 1 bottle Plantation 3 Stars rum

Melt the butter in a pan with the rum over high heat, stirring until combined. Transfer to a 4-quart plastic container and freeze overnight. Chip away the butter from the top of the frozen mixture, and let the remaining butter-infused rum come to room temperature before using.

Orange Acid:
– 32 oz freshly squeezed orange juice
– 30 grams citric acid
– 20 grams malic acid

Mix all ingredients together and stir until the acid powder is fully emulsified.

Dehydrated Orange Wheels:
– 1 orange

Thinly slice an orange (mandolins work well), and lay the wheels on a foiled baking sheet. Place in the oven on its lowest possible heat until dehydrated (this can take different lengths of time depending on the oven). You can also set out the wheels to dehydrate overnight, which is the method used at The Anchor Spa.

Recipe originally from the New York Times

Autumn Smash

An Autumn smash cocktail.

Pixels + Crumbs

The aptly-named Autumn Smash gets its moniker from how the drink is made. Fresh lemon is muddled before adding cognac and pear liqueur. The cognac has strong flavors of raisin and vanilla, and contains a hint of jasmine. Top the whole thing off with soda water and a fresh slice of pear for a lighter Fall cocktail that touches on several key flavors of the season.

What You Need:
– 2 oz Cognac
– 1 oz pear liqueur
– 1 oz soda water
– Slices of fresh pear and lemon for garnish

In a cocktail shaker, muddle the lemon slices to release the juice. Add the brandy, pear liqueur and ice. Shake well, and strain into a rocks glass half filled with ice. Top with soda water and garnish with alternating slices of fresh pear and lemon tucked between the ice and the glass.

Recipe originally from Crate & Barrel

Apple Bourbon Bellini

An apple bourbon bellini cocktail.


Bellini is just as fun to drink as it is to say out loud. This elegant cocktail is great for celebrations and toasts! Made with prosecco, the champagne of Italy, this sparkly concoction is amplified with fruit puree. Fall is all about the apples, so why not go for a little apple in your Bellini? This winning combination of apple puree, prosecco, and a splash of bourbon is pure Autumn bliss in a glass.

What You Need:
– 3 apples, cored and cut into wedges
– 1-2 tablespoons Water
– 1 teaspoon Granulated Sugar
– 1 teaspoon Lemon Juice
– 6 oz apple bourbon, Such as Red Stag
– 1 bottle prosecco (you’ll have extra prosecco left for more drinks)

Put the apples into a blender or a food processor with the water, sugar and lemon juice. Blend until smooth and transfer to a small bowl. Place a heaping tablespoon of the apple puree into the bottom of each champagne flute. Add 1 oz of apple bourbon per glass, then top with the prosecco.

Recipe originally from Food Fanatic

No other time of year is better for experimenting with new and unique flavors than Fall. When else can you make alcoholic drinks using seasonal fruits, hot liquids and sugary baking spices? Be sure to refer back to this list throughout the Fall season for ideas and inspiration. But hurry; you only have until December 21 to try them all.