Not even cocktails are immune to the power of pumpkin spice. As cooler temperatures arrive for much of the U.S., this season’s beverages are transitioning away from bright, summery flavors like mint and citrus. Now bolder, boozier drinks with earthy and woodsy undertones, orange citrus, and baking spice are headlining cocktail bars coast to coast.

“In the fall, we shift from lighter clear spirits like gin, rum, and tequila to bolder dark bases of whiskey, brandy and aged rum,” says Pete Stanton, head bartender at Bar Fiori. “Sugars move from simple syrup, fruit cordials, and honey to maple, brown sugar, and molasses.”

Using warming and pumpkin spice elements like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves alongside darker liquors and sugars, these restaurants are highlighting the best of autumn in a glass.

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Bar Fiori
Credit: Bar Fiori

Chicago, Illinois: Sweater Weather, SideDoor

Bartender Aren Bellando created this cozy fall cocktail with a nod to pumpkin spice using cold weather ingredients like bourbon, maple syrup, and pumpkin purée. The shaken and double- strained Sweater Weather is made with Chairman’s Reserve Spiced Rum, Ezra Brooks Bourbon, maple syrup, pumpkin puree, cardamom bitters, egg white, and freshly grated nutmeg.

New York, New York: Legal in Vermont, JIMMY

At this swish rooftop bar atop Manhattan’s James New York-Soho hotel, the Legal in Vermont cocktail incorporates maple syrup (what else?) alongside Hudson Baby Bourbon, orange bitters, cinnamon, and purple basil.

Los Angeles, California: Minute ‘Til Midnight, Officine BRERA

A seasonal twist on the classic Old Fashioned formula (muddled sugar, bitters with whiskey or brandy, and a twist of citrus rind), this cocktail combines Buffalo Trace Bourbon paired with a fresh pumpkin purée and walnut bitters, which add a rich and nutty flavor. It’s garnished with nutmeg for a bit of spice!

Washington, D.C.: It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, Quarter + Glory

Beer in a fall cocktail? It works. Mixologist Kenneth McCoy combines Old Overholt Rye Whiskey, Schlafly Pumpkin Ale, Allspice Dram, and grated nutmeg in this cheekily named cocktail, a throwback to the famous autumnal “Peanuts” episode.

“It’s the allspice that makes me think of baking pies, and the pumpkin beer that makes me think of Thanksgiving in this cocktail,” says McCoy.

Miami, Florida: Club Paradise, The Anderson

Miami is year-round summer (jealous). But even Miami embraces the spirit of fall with a beach-meets-cold-weather cocktail, Club Paradise. Horchata, a traditional Latin American rice and coconut milk beverage laced with cinnamon, is spiked with rum and nutmeg in this fall interpretation.