Fall has officially arrived, and that means it’s time for a round-up of our favorite autumnal libations. While bright, effervescent cocktails scream summer and sunshine, rich, warming beverages help us embrace the chillier temperatures that come with the changing of the leaves. Whether it’s smoky scotches, warm hot toddies, or recipes celebrating the bounty of the season (apples, figs, and cranberries), the season has a deliciously distinctive taste. Here are some of our favorite inspired offerings that taste like fall:
Vanilla Bourbon Hot Toddy
Perfect for places where the weather is more severe (we’re looking at you, New York), a hot toddy is a perfect choice to warm up on a cold night. A hot toddy (also known as hot whiskey in Ireland) is typically a mixed drink made of whiskey, lemon, honey, and hot water. Unlike other hot cocktails, such as mulled wine or warm cider, hot toddies are light rather than overwhelmingly sweet. We love this elevated take on a classic hot toddy, which pairs rich vanilla with bourbon for a complex yet comforting flavor.
- ¾ teaspoon of raw honey
- 4 whole cloves
- 1 whole anise star
- 1 cinnamon stick (or ½ teaspoon of cinnamon)
- 1.5 cups of bourbon
- ¼ tsp of vanilla bean seeds or ¼ tsp of vanilla extract
- 1 slice of lemon
- ½ cup of boiling water
Add the raw honey, cloves, anise star, cinnamon, and vanilla to a heat-proof mug. Pour in the boiling water, add the bourbon and lemon. Stir until the honey is melted.
Vanilla Fig Old Fashioned
Our love for old-fashioned cocktails cannot be exaggerated. For us, there’s nothing better than the time-honored mixture of sugar, bitters, whiskey, and orange. It’s a drink that not only makes you feel like you’ve stepped onto the set of Man Men, but it’s a fail-safe classic that screams sophistication and tastes like heaven. For a fall-inspired take on this classic, we’re pairing fresh figs and warm vanilla to infuse the bourbon and give a new, yet respectful twist on our favorite cocktail staple.
To infuse the bourbon simply steep about a cup of dried figs (cut into pieces) and two split vanilla beans in a sealed container with a fifth of your favorite bourbon for about two weeks.
- 1/2 fresh fig
- 1 orange wedge
- 3/4 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 oz of your fig infused bourbon
- 1/2 fresh fig and small wedge of fresh orange for garnish
Add the fresh fig and the orange wedge to the bottom of your glass and muddle. Once the fruit is broken up, add the balsamic vinegar and the fig infused bourbon. Top with ice and stir well before straining into a chilled rocks glass. Add additional ice and garnish.
Apple Cider Mules
Perfect for gatherings, pumpkin patches, and autumnal happy hours, we’re transitioning the classic Moscow Mule to a cider-based spirit. It’s still refreshing, with a base of ginger beer and a healthy splash of vodka, but fresh apple, spicy cinnamon, and hard cider make this a more fall-focused drink. So grab your scarf, indulge in your favorite fall pastime, and get ready to toast to the season with this quick and simple recipe.
- 4 oz. vodka
- ½ cup of ginger beer
- ½ cup sparkling cider
- Sliced fresh apples
- Cinnamon sticks
Fill two copper mugs with ice and top with 2 oz vodka into each cup. Fill cup to about two-thirds of the way full with sparkling cider, then top with a floater of ginger beer. Garnish with fresh apple slices and a cinnamon stick.