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Ten Fabulous Fall Cocktails

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General Fall Cocktail

Summer is in our rearview mirror, and we are preparing for those cold winds to begin blowing from the great white north. Fall is a wonderful season that transitions us from the sweltering heat of summer through to the bone-chilling winter months. (OK, maybe not so bone-chilling in the southern states, but you get the picture!!)

This awesome season brings us periods of early morning frost to an occasional Indian summer. It's where our clothes change from a short sleeve Oil Wash Tee to a long sleeve Henley. From a short sleeve Excursion Tee and Sandbar Swim Trunks to a warm Fleece and Linen Beach Pants

As we head into this yearly transformation, we provide, in no particular order, ten delightful fall cocktails that help you enjoy the season with family and friends just a little more. See if any or all of these become your fall favorite.


1. Apple Cider Bourbon Cocktail

Apple Cider Bourbon Cocktail

                              Recipe from

This recipe can be served warm or cold. In either case, we will start by making ‘Fall’ Simple Syrup, an essential ingredient for this recipe. We will use brown sugar instead of regular granulated sugar. You can also make more of the syrup by adding equal amounts of water and brown sugar. 

‘Fall’ Simple Syrup Ingredients

  • ½ cup of water
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • Optional – ¼ teaspoon cinnamon

‘Fall’ Simple Syrup Instructions

  • In a small saucepan, whisk all the ingredients together. 
  • Bring the mixture to a simmering level, and let it simmer for about 5 minutes until the sugar is completely dissolved. 
  • If going to serve cool, place the mixture in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will be good for up to two weeks if you want to make it in advance. (recommended). If serving warm, it is ready.

Ingredients (Two, 5-ounce servings)

  • 1 1/2 ounces of simple syrup (from above)
  • 4 ounces bourbon
  • 4 ounces apple cider
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • Optional Garnish– Cinnamon stick and a lemon wedge for each glass. 

Instructions for serving chilled

  • Fill a cocktail shaker with ice
  • Add the bourbon, the simple syrup, apple cider, and lemon juice
  • Stir the ingredients to combine, (do not shake)
  • Pour and serve into two glasses. (add the optional garnish as desired)

To serve warm, make the simple syrup and keep warm. Add the warm simple syrup with the bourbon, apple cider, and lemon juice. Do NOT add ice to the cocktail shaker when mixing. 

This recipe can also be made with apple juice. If so, you may want to add a bit more lemon, as apple juice tends to be sweeter than apple cider. 


2. Maple Old-Fashioned 

Maple Old-Fashioned

This recipe has a little twist on a cocktail that was one of my dad’s favorites. Whenever we went out for a special dinner (anniversary, birthday, graduation), he would always order an old-fashioned. This recipe has a small twist to that legendary drink, that we think you will truly enjoy. It is quick and easy to make and can be enjoyed all fall and winter.

Ingredients (Serves 1)

  • 2 ounces of bourbon
  • 1 ounce of maple syrup
  • 2 dashes of Angostura bitters
  • Optional – 1 maraschino cherry and an orange slice on a toothpick for garnish


  • In a large glass add the bourbon, maple syrup, and bitters
  • Add in one large ice cube or four smaller cubes, and stir the contents.
  • Carefully pour contents into an old-fashioned glass
  • Optional: Add the maraschino cherry & orange slice on a toothpick


3. Mulled Wine

Mulled Wine

There is nothing better on a crisp fall day than a soothing glass of mulled wine. This drink helps warm chilled fingers, toes, and rosy cheeks. It is also a drink that is easy to prepare. It starts with a bottle of red wine; a merlot or Grenache (Garnacha) is a great choice. Add in some fruit, some spices and it is ready to go.  Be sure to use whole spices, powdered spices will rise and sit on top.

Ingredients (Serves 6 to 8)

  • Use a heavy pot or a Dutch oven, or a crock pot
  • One bottle of red wine (we chose Merlot)
  • ¼ cup of brandy
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • Spices – 2 whole cinnamon sticks, 3 star anise, 3 whole cloves. (Use your favorites)
  • One large orange 
  • Garnish Suggestions– To each glass add a slice of apple, a cinnamon stick, a quarter-round orange, a few fresh whole cranberries, and star anise.

Instructions for a Dutch oven on the stovetop 

  • Pour in the bottle of wine, and the brandy
  • Cut the orange in half; Squeeze half the orange into the pot; Cut the other half into rounds and place in the wine.  
  • Add the honey and the spices
  • Warm the ingredients on low to medium heat for about 10 minutes. (Do Not Boil... boiling will burn off the alcohol in the wine)
  • Taste - If you want more taste of the spices, continue to warm, for another 5 to 10 minutes. If not sweet enough, add another tablespoon of honey.
  • When ready, serve in mugs with desired garnishes.
  • Remove from heat and cover. 
  • If additional servings are desired, gently reheat and serve. 

Instructions for a crock pot

  • Pour in the bottle of wine, and the brandy
  • Cut the orange in half; Squeeze half the orange into the pot; Cut the other half into rounds and place in the crock pot.  
  • Add the honey and the spices
  • Set the crock pot to low heat.
  • Cover and warm over low heat for 30 minutes to an hour
  • When ready, serve in mugs with desired garnishes.
  • Set crock pot to warm for additional servings.


4. Espresso Martini

Espresso Martini

       Recipe (slightly tweaked) from

Here is a drink we think would be perfect for those coffee and espresso drinkers. My wife loves her coffee and enjoys a good after-dinner drink as well. This drink fits the bill perfectly. Not only is it an awesome after-dinner beverage, but it looks just as pleasing too!!

Ingredients (Serves 1)

  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 1 ounce coffee liquor
  • 1 ounce of espresso (or 1 ounce of cold brew coffee concentrate)
  • ½ ounce of simple syrup
  • Optional – A few coffee beans for garnish


  • In a cocktail shaker, fill halfway with ice
  • Add vodka, coffee liquor, espresso, and simple syrup
  • Shake very well until a layer of foam forms on the surface
  • Pour into a martini glass and top with a few coffee beans as desired. (Make your own shapes)
  • Serve


5. Apple and Pumpkin Beer Cocktail

Apple Pumpkin Beer Cocktail

    Recipe and photo from

This beverage is ideal from before Halloween right through Thanksgiving. It has the best of what this season is about. Some of the fall ingredients are pumpkin ale, apple cider, and garnishes of the season.  So simple, and so tasty.

Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 8 ounces bourbon
  • 9 ounces apple cider
  • 2 ½ ounces lemon juice
  • 12 ounces of pumpkin ale (your favorite liquor store should have this in season)
  • Optional but recommended garnishes of cinnamon sticks and fresh cranberries


  • In a cocktail shaker add bourbon, apple cider and lemon juice. Shake thoroughly
  • Pour equal amounts into four glasses filled with ice leaving room for about 3 ounces of the pumpkin beer.
  • Now add the pumpkin beer to each glass (about 3 ounces each)
  • Optional – Garnish with a cinnamon stick and a few cranberries
  • Serve immediately


6. Autumnal Sangria

Fall Sangria

                                Recipe from

Sangria in the summer is loaded with fruits like strawberries, pineapples, kiwis, etc. We have a version of sangria that features some fall fruits like apples, pears, and of course oranges. So, when thinking of putting on your next fall gathering, give this Autumnal Sangria a try. 

Ingredients (About 10 servings)

  • 1 apple
  • 1 pear
  • 1/2 large orange for sangria, ½ orange for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • ½ teaspoon of cinnamon 
  • 1 bottle of dry red wine (Rioja, or similar)
  • 1 bottle sparkling cider
  • Optional Garnishes – Sinnamon sticks, orange slices


  • Slice each fruit thinly, and place them in a bowl.
  • Stir in the sugar and the cinnamon, mix well, and let stand for an hour
  • Pour in the red wine and let chill for several hours. (Up to 3)
  • Fill a glass with ice, add half a glass of the SPARKING cider. 
  • Then add the chilled red wine mixture and stir. 
  • Add the optional garnish and enjoy. 


7. Irish Coffee

Irish Coffee

Since my mother and grandmother were both born in Ireland, I could never leave this cocktail off the list. My grandmother always would give me hot tea with honey and a shot of Irish whiskey when I was sick. Irish whiskey is the essence of this drink. To simplify this recipe, we will top the drink with whipped cream instead of whipping up heavy cream, just make it a little less time-consuming.

Ingredients (Serves 1)

  • 2 ounces Irish whiskey – (Grandmom loved Jameson)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of maple syrup (brown sugar is another excellent option)
  • 6 ounces of hot coffee – (a medium to strong roast is recommended)
  • Optional – Whipped cream for a topping (we think it should be mandatory)


  • Pour whiskey and about half of the maple syrup/brown sugar into a heat-safe coffee glass
  • Add just a splash of the hot coffee to the glass 
  • Stir until the syrup/sugar dissolves
  • Add the rest of the coffee to the mug and stir. 
  • Taste and add a touch more sugar/syrup as desired
  • Optional – (OK mandatory) – Top the coffee with whipped cream


8. Color Changing Gin with Sparkling Wine

Empress 75

       Recipe and photo

Here is a drink that is truly as pleasing to the eye as it is to the taste buds. Rarely do we mention a specific type of alcohol product, but in this case, we make an exception. This recipe calls for a color-changing gin. There are several to choose from including: Ink; Ellis Butterfly Pea; Empress 1908; Secret Garden Lavender and Echinacea; and several others. We used Empress 1908, but any of these gins are worth a look. Their unique purple color adds to the enjoyment of this cocktail. It is a beauty!!

Ingredients (serves 1)

  • 1 ½ ounces of Empress 1908
  • ¾ ounce of fresh lemon juice
  • ½ ounce simple syrup
  • Sparkling Wine
  • Optional: Garnish with a lemon twist


  • Add Empress 1908, lemon juice, and simple syrup to a cocktail shaker and mix well
  • Pour the contents of the shaker into a champagne flute
  • Then add the sparkling wine to top the drink
  • Optional: Add the lemon twist to the top of the flute
  • Serve and enjoy


9. Pear and Elderflower Collins

Pear and Elderfower Cocktail

                               Recipe and photo from

Often, ‘fall’ drink recipes seem to steer towards apple cider. While we included a few cider recipes here, we thought another fall fruit, the pear, harvested from late summer through October, should be included in this list. Just like apples, there are many species of pears with different flavors. Interestingly, wood from pear trees is one of the preferred materials in manufacturing high-quality woodwind instruments and furniture. Let’s give the flavorful pear its due, with this delightful recipe.

The first step, which should be done in advance, is to make honey syrup. It is easy. This syrup will be used later in the cocktail recipe.

Honey Syrup Ingredients

  • ½ cup honey
  • ½ cup water

Honey Syrup Instructions

  • Add honey and water into a small saucepan over medium heat
  • Stir the mixture until the honey is dissolved
  • Allow to cool, then place in an airtight container
  • Refrigerate the syrup; can be stored for up to one month

Now let's make the cocktail itself!

Ingredients (Serves 1)

  • 2 ounces of vodka (note: gin works just as well but we used vodka in our preparation)
  • ½ ounce elderflower liqueur
  • 1 or two teaspoons of pear liqueur
  • 1 ounce pear puree
  • ¾ ounce of freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ ounce of honey syrup (from above)
  • Club soda
  • Garnish – A thin slice of pear; A hint of cinnamon 

Instructions for cocktail

  • Add vodka (or gin as desired), elderflower liqueur, pear liqueur, pear puree, lemon juice, and honey syrup to a cocktail shaker with ice, and shake well
  • Strain the ingredients into an ice-filled Collins glass
  • Top off with club soda. Leaving a little room for stirring
  • Stir in the glass
  • Optional: Garnish with a slice of pear, and cinnamon
  • Serve 


10. Hot Buttered Rum

Hot Buttered Rum

                                Recipe from

Fall brings out sweaters, light jackets, along with the beauty of fall foliage. One drink that can’t be overlooked this time of year is hot buttered rum. A comfy warming drink that is sure to please when coming in from raking leaves, cleaning gutters, or returning from a sporting event. 

Ingredients (Serves 2)

  • 4 ounces of dark spiced rum
  • 8 ounces of hot water (previously boiled)
  • 2 teaspoons of brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of unsalted softened butter
  • A few drops of vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • Optional: Cinnamon stick for garnish


  • Add sugar, butter, vanilla extract, cinnamon and nutmeg to a 2 cup Pyrex measuring cup
  • Muddle the ingredients together
  • Add the rum and the hot water to the measuring cup and stir. (mix well)
  • Pour evenly into two coffee mugs
  • Optional: Add a cinnamon stick to each glass
  • Serve warm


We promised ten drinks but we snuck in another drink just for you. This drink was added as a special request from Mike, our founder. It is a fall drink he REALLY enjoys, as you can see in the photo below. (You will have to excuse the name of the drink; we were hoping for something a little more ‘catchy’.) 

The Mike

Mike holdin The Mike - Edited

                                Mike and "The Mike"


  • 2 ounces Papa’s Pilar Dark Rum (a go-to rum for Mike)
  • 4 ounces orange juice (freshly squeezed if possible)
  • A splash of Luxardo Cherry Juice
  • Garnish - three Luxardo cherries


  • In a cocktail shaker add the Papa’s Pilar Rum, orange juice, and cherry juice
  • Shake well then pour into an old-fashioned glass filled with ice
  • Top with the three Luxardo cherries on a toothpick and serve

These cocktails scratch the surface of fantastic fall beverages. Now that fall has arrived we hope these cocktails have put you in more of an autumnal spirit. With fall football, followed by Halloween and Thanksgiving, there will be plenty of opportunities for gathering with friends during this wonderful season. 

To elevate the sensory experience of these cocktails, consider pairing it with a complementary element. For those with a sweet tooth, serving it alongside a piece of rich chocolate can enhance the sweetness and add a delightful contrast to the cocktail's flavors.

Alternatively, for a touch of luxury and a more sophisticated pairing, a cigar pairing could be an excellent choice. The smooth, balanced profile of Vega Fina Cuban cigars, for instance, can complement the cocktail's taste, harmonizing especially well with the bourbon's depth and the subtle tartness of the lemon.

Overall, thoughtful pairing transforms a simple drink into a sophisticated, multi-dimensional experience, inviting the connoisseur to indulge in a moment of pure gustatory pleasure.

Let’s toast…here’s to a happy and healthy autumn! 

Enjoy… Cheers to all.

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