So long, piña coladas, farewell, frozen margs! This isn’t a goodbye forever, but we are going move forward and switch to drinks that remind us of fall.
We start to crave darker liquors such as bourbon and brandy, cozy fruit flavors, like apple and blood orange, as well as spices such as ginger and chile, to help us warm up and ward off the chill in the air. Or, if it’s still hot where you are, at least get you in a festive mind-set.
Whether you’ve got a holiday feast or a quiet night in, here are cocktails to fit every mood and occasion.
Apple Brandy Sour, above. When you’re done apple picking, head back inside for this tart and tasty tribute to fall.
Sangrita de Fruta. This riff off a nonalcoholic chaser becomes a nice little cocktail in its own right. Eliminating tomato juice lets other flavors such as pomegranate come through in making this “sangrita”— which in Spanish means “little blood” — a spicy, fruity number.
Blood Orange and Bourbon Boulevardier. This wintry drink is a lot like a negroni but with whiskey instead of gin. Blood orange adds its signature color — and edge.
Hot Buttered Apple Brandy. When you’re facing a nippy evening, this warm, apple pie-like drink will do the trick to warm you up. Vanilla, butter, apple brandy, orange zest and chai blend together to make a very cozy sipper.
Cranberry-Ginger Punch. Looking for a great party punch? Orange, cranberry, ginger liqueur plus a bottle of sparkling wine make an easy-to-please, amber drink.
Fig Brandy and Brandied Figs. Do this today! Why? Because you’ve got to soak those figs for at least a month to infuse them with flavor — and you’ll add deep, complex layers to the brandy, as well. The brandy keeps for a year; the figs will be eaten up fast!
Thanksgiving Daiquiri. Save some of your cranberry sauce and mix it up with rum and lime for this very on-brand cocktail.
Crimson Crane. Bourbon and crème de cacao pair unexpectedly well with cranberry juice in this smooth drink.
Bitter Harbor. Tawny port and mezcal complement each other beautifully with just a hint of Gran Classico Bitter to bind them.
Cocoa Smoke. Chocolate, mezcal and a hit of ancho chile? So mysterious, so intriguing, so perfectly fall.
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