As cookouts and pool parties are replaced with Halloween get togethers and holiday dinners, we’re switching casual beers with liquor. We’re always on the hunt for the perfect seasonal cocktail, and luckily we’ve found four terrific contenders, which will spice up all your autumnal celebrations, from costume parties to Thanksgiving. Party on with these irresistible fall cocktails!
Apple Cider Sangria
Sangria definitely doesn’t need to be a summer-only beverage. We’ve infused the wine-laced Spanish beverage with one of our favorite fall flavors: apples. Not only are they in the cider and liquor, we’re chopping them up and putting them on top.
Makes 1 pitcher
2 cups apple cider
1/4 cup calvados or applejack
Mixed colors of apples, cored, diced and tossed with lemon juice to prevent browning
1 bottle sparkling wine
1. Combine apple cider, Calvados, and chopped apples in a pitcher and chill for at least 1 hour. Pour into glasses and finish with sparkling wine, making sure each serving has chopped apples.
Cranberry Rum Punch
We’re always on the hunt for a new Thanksgiving cocktail, and we’re pretty sure this is it. Cranberries and lime juice add a zingy note to white rum in this punch, which is garnished with extra cranberries and mint sprigs. Mix this up in a pitcher, give it a chill, and you’re good to go!
Makes 6 Servings
2 cups fresh cranberries
½ cup sugar
1 cup white rum
½ cup fresh lime juice
Mint sprigs (for serving)
1. Bring cranberries, sugar, and 2 cups water to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring to dissolve sugar. Strain syrup into a pitcher; cover and chill. Set cranberries aside.
2. Add rum and lime juice to syrup; chill until cold, about 1 hour. Serve punch over crushed ice garnished with reserved cranberries and mint sprigs.
Makes 1 pitcher
Lemon, cinnamon, and apples are three of our favorite autumnal ingredients, so how could we resist including them in an alcoholic beverage? The Manzarita, a cool weather take on a Margarita, features Tequila, Triple Sec, and apple juice or cider. A cinnamon stick is the perfect natural swizzle stick.
2 lemons (quartered)
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
8 ounces Tequila or Mezcal
3 ounces Triple Sec
6 ounces Apple Juice or Cider
1 Cinnamon stick
1. Muddle lemons in a pitcher, adding ground cinnamon, tequila, triple sec and apple juice.
2. Stir, adding in cinnamon stick.
3. Serve over ice.
Bourbon Hot Chocolate
Dense and indulgent, hot chocolate makes a fantastic partner for a bracing booze like Bourbon. We love the addition of whiskey to this childhood favorite, especially topped with whipped cream and gooey marshmallows. Now, all you need is a big tree and a roaring fire…
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 cup whole milk
2 ounces semi sweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
a pinch of ground cinnamon and a pinch of chili powder (for Mexican hot chocolate)
a splash of booze: brandy, tequila, Bailey’s Irish cream, or bourbon
1. In a small pot over medium heat, bring 1 cup milk to a simmer, steaming but not scalding, 1–2 minutes. Add cocoa powder, chocolate chips and sugar, whisking continuously, until dissolved and well combined, 2–3 minutes. Pour into a mug and enjoy.
2. Add a pinch of ground cinnamon and bourbon to taste to your favorite hot chocolate recipe. Top with plenty of whipped cream and marshmallows.
Leah Bhabha is a cookbook co-author, recipe tester, and food writer who has written for numerous publications including Food & Wine, Marie-Claire, The Guardian, and Food52. She chronicles her cooking and eating experiences on her blog, OneHungryPickle.com.