Autumn has always been an exciting time in the drinks space. From Oktoberfest beer and limited-edition bourbon unicorns hitting shelves, to the more recent phenomenon of seasonal hard seltzer packs, cooler weather brings innovation to the beverage industry forefront. It also signifies a return to comforting flavors — from ripe apples and pears, to Thanksgiving staples (we’re looking at you, pumpkin spice).
As much as we enjoy frozen cocktails and crisp rosés, the VinePair staff is ready to embrace the warming flavors that fall has to offer. While some are retrieving aged wines from the cellar, others are mixing up autumnal concoctions to sip as the leaves turn.
Wondering what you should be sipping this fall? Read on for VinePair’s recommendations.
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“Last year, I put together a mixed case of Volnays from Marquis d’Angerville and sent it to my parents’ house. We’ve worked through some of the bottles, but on Thanksgiving, we’ll pop one of the bottles that needed some time to age.” —Josh Malin, president and co-founder
“Thanks to the recent episode I just listened to from our new podcast, “Cocktail College,” I am really excited to revisit the Old Fashioned this fall. It’s a cocktail I haven’t consumed in some time, so I am excited to revisit it and try it at a few great bars around the city.” —Adam Teeter, CEO and co-founder
“I recently had the exceptional Irish Coffee at the Dead Rabbit in NYC, and it got me very excited to not only return for more this fall (when it’s arguably more seasonally appropriate to have them), but also work on making the perfect version at home”. —Joanna Sciarrino, executive editor
“I know Espresso Martinis were the drink of the summer, in a way, but I’ve fallen in love with Mr. Black and feel like I could create some really fun fall-inspired cocktails this season. Maybe something with pumpkin and cinnamon. I also really love Willie’s Superbrew’s Pear and Cinnamon seasonal hard seltzer. Hopefully they release it again this year!” —Danielle Grinberg, art director
“While there’s long debates on pumpkin-flavored beers, I always look forward to my all-time favorite Saranac Pumpkin Ale. As for cocktails, I try making variations of apple cider bourbon cocktails, some as simple as any type of bourbon you’re willing to mix, like Four Roses; apple cider, cinnamon, and lemon juice!” —Allison Kuklinski, manager, brand partnerships and activations
“At the risk of being extremely predictable, I am very excited about all the Oktoberfest beers coming out right now. I’ve made it my mission to try as many as I can at local breweries and beer bars I haven’t visited in a while. The 4-pack in my fridge at this moment is Greenpoint Beer & Ale Oktoberfest. It’s exactly what you want in an American Märzen-style lager, and it’s brewed across the street from my apartment.” —Cat Wolinski, managing editor
“Pumpkin Spiced Seltzer! Just kidding, I tried that last year, and it’s… not for me. Instead, I’m most looking forward to trying the usual, annual limited-edition American whiskey releases — those that I can get my hands on, at least!” —Tim McKirdy, senior staff writer
“To me, fall is about all things warm and cozy. I’m looking forward to sipping on a mug of hot chocolate spiked with Alpenglow, a cordial from 10th Mountain Whiskey & Spirit Company based in Vail, Colo. The liqueur adds a nice touch of vanilla spice and truly tastes like autumn.” —Katie Brown, associate editor
“Fall is my favorite season, but this year, I also want to hold onto summer for just a little bit longer. That’s why I’m really looking forward to crafting an autumnal take on a Gin and Tonic by adding a splash of apple cider, an orange, and a cinnamon stick to the classic drink. It’s crisp, cool, and incorporates just the right amount of fall flavors.” —Hannah Holladay, editorial intern