Fall is in full swing, meaning it’s time to trade in light and refreshing gin and tequila-based cocktails for the warmer flavors of whiskey, brandy, amaro, and aged rum. From riffs on seasonal classics like the Hot Toddy and Hot Buttered Rum, to cocktails made with autumn flavors like apple, maple, pumpkin, and allspice, these selections are the ideal pairings for all your favorite fall festivities.
Throw on a sweater, grab a blanket, and cozy up with these 10 cocktails from VinePair’s recipe library to get in the spirit of fall.
There may be no drink more comforting and nostalgic than a mug filled with hot chocolate. This cocktail takes the childhood favorite to the next level by adding a sweet dulce de leche sauce and dark rum. Drizzle the sauce into the bottom of a mug or serving glass, and stir in the spirit and prepared hot chocolate. Garnish with whipped cream, marshmallows, and more dulce de leche, and toast to the holiday season.
It wouldn’t be a fall cocktail list without at least one Hot Toddy recipe (lucky for us, this one has two!). This drink adds cranberry and apple juice to the traditional recipe, giving it the full flavor of fall. Heat fruit juices in a saucepan, pour into a serving glass, and add bourbon. Then, garnish with apple slices and a star anise pod.
This cocktail is reminiscent of freshly baked cinnamon buns, but the added kick of rye whiskey and Chila ‘Orchata, a rum liqueur, takes this recipe to the next level. Stir together both spirits with Monin’s Cinnamon Bun syrup in a mixing glass. Strain into a rocks glass, and serve with a cinnamon stick for an extra flair of fall.
Two classic fall drinks come together in this drink: Bourbon and apple cider. Shake together both ingredients, along with lemon juice, egg white, cinnamon, and ice. Strain into a glass, and garnish with slices of apple and a dusting of cinnamon. This silky sipper is best drunk fireside.
In need of a caffeine boost? Look no further. Inspired by the Irish Coffee served at NYC’s Dead Rabbit, this recipe combines Irish whisky, Demerara simple syrup, and drip coffee. Top with a cream float made with heavy cream, powdered sugar, and a pinch of cinnamon, and garnish with freshly grated cinnamon.
This autumnal riff on the Old Fashioned pairs perfectly with Thanksgiving festivities. Make the classic drink more seasonal by swapping out simple syrup for richer maple syrup, and use walnut bitters in place of Angostura bitters. Combine both with bourbon, serve in a rocks glass, and garnish with a cracked walnut.
With the holiday season fast approaching, this cocktail is great to sip on while cooking for friends and family. Combine cranberry and orange juices with brandy, lemon juice, simple syrup, and egg white in a shaker with ice. Serve with an orange slice and, if you wanna get fancy, dress it up with a sprinkle of dried rose petals.
Pumpkin may very well be the trendiest of fall flavors. From lattes, to beer, and even hard seltzer, pumpkin spice is everywhere (for better or for worse). This cocktail has the flavor of the beloved PSL, with an added touch of aged rum. Dry shake the spirit, pumpkin purée, spiced-honey simple syrup, and an egg white. Add ice and shake again, then strain into a cordial or coupe glass, and serve with a dash of pumpkin spice blend.
Developed by Nicole Battle, president of the Pittsburgh chapter of the United States Bartenders’ Guild (USBG), this cocktail doubles as a dessert. As its title suggests, this riff on traditional Hot Buttered Rum substitutes amaro for traditional rum. Combine the liqueur with hot water and a batter made of vanilla ice cream, butter, brown sugar, cinnamon sticks, and cloves in a steam pitcher. Steam the liquid, pour into a mug, and garnish with shaved nutmeg.
Another riff on a classic autumn cocktail and cold remedy, this Hot Toddy variation uses cinnamon whiskey (think Fireball) to add a spicy kick to the warmed drink. To make this cold-weather staple, steep herbal tea in a mug of hot water. Then, remove the tea bag and stir in the whiskey, honey, and lemon juice. Add a cinnamon stick for the full autumnal feel.