10 Cocktails That Are Perfect for Your Autumn Quarantine
Warm up with these autumn-inspired drinks.
When the going gets tough, the tough get going, and when the weather starts to cool, the warm drinks start pouring. With Labor Day far behind us, it’s not just time to retire white wine, it’s time to shelf our favorite Mai Tais and Aperol Spritzes in exchange for something a bit more seasonal. While some might celebrate the autumn with pumpkin carving and apple picking, we prefer to ring in the season with booze. For our 21 plus readers looking to celebrate the season with a drink or two, we’ve rounded up 10 of the best fall-inspired cocktails to warm you up from the inside out.
Chairman’s Spiced Cider
Some of the best cocktails are those that take childhood favorites and add an adult twist: think boozy Shirley Temples or adult Capri Suns. Spiced, spiked cider takes the warm fall favorite we grew up with and gives us another reason to love it. You’ll need one-part cranberry juice, one-part Chairman’s Spiced Rum, two-parts apple cider, and cinnamon sticks—while we love a boozy remix, we also love an ingredient list we can count on one hand. In a saucepan, heat the juices and cinnamon stick (one stick per two servings) until bubbling. Remove from the heat and add your rum for the perfect fall welcome drink.
Bourbon Pumpkin Smash
Brown liquors tend to offer a flavor (or perhaps warm feeling) we associate with fall, so it’s only appropriate that we include a bourbon variety of the season’s most popular treat. This Bourbon Pumpkin Smash, created by Cake-n-Knife, is a little more involved than our spiked cider, but the payoff rewards the hard-work. The recipe requires the creation of a pumpkin-spice simple syrup (which you should save for pancakes, oatmeal, etc.) mixed with bourbon, lemon, and soda water. It’s fizzy and seasonal, the perfect drink to accompany a (socially distant!) pumpkin-carving get together with friends.
Pumpkin Spice White Russian
For many, the arrival of fall is dictated not by Labor Day or the calendar or the changing leaves, but by the arrival of pumpkin spice. If you’re looking to add a fall-festivity to your White Russian, consider a pumpkin spice half and half in place of heavy cream. With a healthy dollop of your favorite sweetener, this heavy drink is ideal for a night in and under the blankets. In addition to being perfectly cozy, it’s also simple, calling for equal parts vodka, Kahlua, and heavy cream.
Butterbeer Meets an Old Fashioned
The minds behind Honest Cooking worked tirelessly to make the fantastical town of Harry Potter ’s Hogsmeade come to life. Tapping into their love of magic and bourbon, they created a Butterbeer-inspired Old Fashioned. With four different types of liquor in this one sweet drink, it’s safe to say your Harry Potter Halloween marathon will be far from boring.
Sangria tends to evoke memories of warm summer days and nights spent on patios with friends and family as the pitcher is passed around. While we may have cornered sangria into the summer box, it’s here to let us know this fruity beverage is for more than May-August consumption. The fall sangria plays on the same concept—wine, fruit, and brandy—but takes a more seasonal approach, changing out pineapple for apples and pears for peaches. With a touch of cinnamon and apple cider, you’ll forget this was a drink you ever reserved for summer nights.
Ginger Pear Snap Cocktail
We’re making the most of autumn’s bounty with this cocktail that allows the (often underrated) pear to shine! Created by Boulder Locavore, this seasonal drink brings together the flavors of pear, ginger, caramel, rosemary, and rhubarb. It’s an ode to fall while still being lite and refreshing. Though the ingredient list is long, don’t be discouraged because, once you’ve had one, you’ll be glad your liquor shelf is stocked with what you’ll need to make more.
Pumpkin Spice Mule
At this point you’ve gotta learn there’s no getting away from pumpkin spice, so might we recommend you just give in and embrace it? The pumpkin spice mule plays on a classic by trading out plain vodka for pumpkin-flavored and lime juice for apple cider. With just about any variation of the mule you could imagine having already been created, the copper-mugs are a year-round staple.
This drink toes the line of both cocktail—can something this simple really be given that title—and “alcoholic’s breakfast.” An Irish Coffee takes your morning jolt and slows it down with a splash of your favorite Irish whiskey and brown sugar and cream to taste. While we might not recommend drinking this first thing in the morning (unless hair of the dog is your thing, we’re not here to judge), an Irish Coffee makes for a perfect early evening, brisk-night drink. It’s a vodka-Red Bull for the more-sophisticated (and cold).
Caramel Apple Martini
This Caramel Apple Martini takes your favorite fall-festival treat and turns it into a drink so perfectly sweet and sippable, you might find yourself having a few too many. On top of being absolutely delicious, Inspired by Charm’s version only calls for three ingredients: apple cider, caramel vodka, and butterscotch schnapps. It’s a simple drink you can whip up in a moment’s notice but one guests will think you labored over.
Hot Buttered Rum
A classic fall staple, this cocktail is fatty and boozy—exactly what you would want and need out of a cold-weather drink. And mixologists, move over, this drink is for our quarantine bakers who turned their spare time into an excuse to buy a KitchenAid. This recipe calls for beating butter and mixing spices, followed by a little booze. We’re not sure what to make of this—is it a cocktail or is it a dessert? What we do know, however, is that it’s soon to be the official drink of our fall quarantine.