What do creative people drink in the fall?
September 2, 2010 6:50 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for the most delicious and creative fall/winter themed cocktails. Caveats and bonus point opportunities inside.

So it's very nearly Labor Day, and pouring some Absolut Citron into a glass of Sprite isn't really going to cut it for much longer. I would love to hear what kind of wonderful seasonal cocktail recipes are out there!

A catch: I really, really do not care for whiskey, bourbon included. I'll still appreciate recipes that include it, for others' sake, but bonus points for non-whiskey drinks.

Anything incorporating seasonal produce would be lovely! Really, anything that, when you mix it up, smells, tastes and feels like leaves falling and crisp, clear air. Thanks in advance!
posted by deep thought sunstar to Food & Drink (20 answers total) 40 users marked this as a favorite
I'd do something with some grapefruit and hendrick's gin, mixed with some torn sage, and a little club soda mixed over ice, or shaken and strained.
posted by TheBones at 6:59 PM on September 2, 2010 [1 favorite]

Heat up some cider with cinnamon and/or nutmeg.
Mix in some rum (spiced is best, white will do).
Drink it from a mug.
posted by oinopaponton at 7:03 PM on September 2, 2010 [2 favorites]

Pumpkin beer. I'm not trying to be a smartass. Most pumpkin beers are more like pumpkin pie spice, than anything vegetative. They also represent the only kind of "weird" beer my one brother-in-law likes, so it's our season to drink together.

Old fashioneds always seemed...autumnal to me.

That first day in October where it only gets up to 55F, and it's humid, so there's a chill in the air? That calls for hot chocolate (expensive stuff...use organic milk for extra richness!) with a tiny spritz of peppermint schnapps and a healthy dose of Amaretto.
posted by notsnot at 7:18 PM on September 2, 2010 [1 favorite]

Mulled wine, though not a cocktail, is reasonably easy to make. Sufficient sugar and brandy and fruits can cover over some pretty awful wine.

Becherovka and tonic tastes like Christmas.
posted by PMdixon at 7:28 PM on September 2, 2010

Something involving apples says fall to me. So maybe try these ideas - mixed drinks featuring cider, apple schnapps, Calvados, or applejack. The half apple schnapps/half Goldschlager over ice ("Apple Pie"), or half apple schnapps/half butterscotch schnapps ("Caramel Apple") mixes sound great!
posted by flex at 7:37 PM on September 2, 2010 [1 favorite]

Blue Ridge Manhattan:

Laphroaig rinse
Sweet vermouth
Peach bitters.

OMFGZ, best fall drink ever.

If not, I always have an image of fall in my mind of hanging my wool socks over the radiator, eating butternut squash soup, and drinking a glass of very smoky scotch, very neat... ymmv
posted by chicago2penn at 8:32 PM on September 2, 2010 [4 favorites]

Wave goodbye to gin season with something like a bramble cocktail, or any combination of gin, crème de mûre, gomme, lemon juice and the slightest dash of soda. Sloe gin also makes sense around September/October, especially in something like the Moulin Rouge (sloe gin, sweet vermouth, bitters).

flex is right that apples are a great way to say hello to autumn; in Germany, this is apfelwein season (I may be making some myself). And if you want the taste of evergreens, then pine liqueur is an option alongside Becherovka, the northern Italian amare with their minty/herbal edge and other Alpine spirits.
posted by holgate at 8:41 PM on September 2, 2010 [2 favorites]

I'm fond of Pegu Club's Earl Grey MarTEAni--it's more of a summer drink, but the shaken egg whites do help balance out the citrus high notes with some earthiness.
posted by chalbe at 9:49 PM on September 2, 2010 [1 favorite]

Dark & Stormy, of course. We Black Seal rum and...I forget which gingerbeer. Whatever it is, it's gingery, and not too sweet.
posted by rtha at 9:51 PM on September 2, 2010

It's not creative, but I like Vieux Carres (Benedictine is awesome), Kir Petillants, and good glogg. Chartreuse is good too, and anything with apple (calvados, applekorn). Ohoh, and drambuie, and if Bailey's in coffee bores you like it does me, try nocello (walnut liqueur) with coffee and fresh whipped cream. Heaven.
posted by ifjuly at 10:38 PM on September 2, 2010 [2 favorites]

Oh, and another boring standard, but go-to for me in colder months at bars where I don't want to make a fuss, amaretto sours.
posted by ifjuly at 10:40 PM on September 2, 2010

Maybe a Fur Collar?
posted by ifjuly at 11:22 PM on September 2, 2010 [2 favorites]

Good call on the mulled wine. I'd opt for a White Lady, though I've never used egg whites.
posted by Atom12 at 3:20 AM on September 3, 2010

Response by poster: This is great so far! Thanks so much, people! Keep 'em coming....this is shaping up to be one excellent long weekend so far! ;)
posted by deep thought sunstar at 3:41 AM on September 3, 2010

Sherry mixed with cranberry juice works very well. The most famous sherry is Harvey's Bristol Cream, but there is a Canadian sherry called Golden Cream which has the same flavor and is much less expensive. The exact proportion is not critical, but you might try 2 parts cranberry juice to one part sherry.
posted by grizzled at 6:36 AM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]

Strong green tea with a shot of ginger liqueur.
posted by JoanArkham at 7:42 AM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Now I remember. Good timing because I filed away a TON of cocktails about a week ago after being reinspired by one I had out that blew me away. Here we go:

Arabesque and Winds of Fall, both designed with fall specifically in mind, but they both involve bourbon; French 75 (a fave of mine); Mr. Soule's (brandy); Cardamom and Pop Punch with Rum; Green Tree which has creme de menthe with rum; Cram which is a cranberry jello shot; Gin Fix which is really pretty summery but I don't know why, blackberries always feel fall-like to me even though they're not; Miracle Cocktail; Martinez which has sweet vermouth; Rompope or Mexican eggnog; Milk Punch with Chartreuse and Cognac; The 44 Cordial which involves some upfront legwork as you steep 44 coffee beans in rum for 44 days. Hot-buttered rum is more full-blown holiday season I realize, but Saveur's got some recipes for that too if you're interested. And for Glogg. And other milk punches. Also, sometimes something with anise flavors or floral perfume-y ones works well--creme de violette etc. Mirabelle might work too come to think of it, since we already talked about Poire William and Calvados.

The cocktail that blew me away last week was pretty much a Pimm's Cup, but altered in ways that made it feel less summer-only. Here's my stab at what it was:
Mystery Cocktail

1 ounce Pimm’s 1
1 ounce Hendricks gin
1/2 ounce coconut rum
2 ounces club soda
a good ginger ale--the sort of small-craft bottled stuff that is very gingery, a bit fiery (if you wanted to get fancy/DIY, another way of handling this would be to use fresh ginger with simple syrup to make your own impromptu ginger flavor and then rely on the club soda for all of the carbonation)
a cucumber slice or two

You can do this in either a Collins or highball glass or a double Old Fashioned glass (read: wide tumbler).

Put the Pimm’s and gin over ice, then pour in the club soda and ginger ale (enough to nearly fill the glass) and stir. Add the cucumber and mash slightly. Pour in the coconut rum and stir gently.

I know it seems finicky to add club soda with the ginger ale instead of going all the way with just ginger ale, but it’s that little touch that makes it perfect: the ginger flavor is strong because you’ve used a good, authentic and strong ginger ale, but if not diluted with club soda it will overpower the delicate herbal flavor of the Pimm’s. You want the zing, but for it to then recede into the background after the initial glow, making way for the herbal cleanness in the middle and finally the sweet nutty coconut aftertaste.
I never thought I'd want coconut rum in my Pimm's for god's sake, but I swear to you it is delicious. It starts out all ginger-fiery, then the middle of it tastes more like a standard Pimm's Cup, all herbal-y and tea-like and refreshingly vegetal, then at the end you get this sweet, almost vanilla-y nutty rich finish. It's wonderful.
posted by ifjuly at 8:52 AM on September 3, 2010 [8 favorites]

Damn, I keep thinking of more.

Queen Elizabeth: Benedictine, dry vermouth, lime juice
Sidecar: cognac, cointreau, lemon juice, lemon sugared rim (warning, rather sweet)
Aviation: gin, maraschino liqueur, lemon juice, optional creme de violette, cherry
Blue Moon: gin, lemon juice, creme de violette
End-of-summer Rosemary Iced Tea: homemade iced tea made with rosemary-infused simple syrup, gin Pimm’s or vodka, fresh herbs as garnish
French Connection: cognac, amaretto
trashy but! Car Bomb: stout and irish cream

And if it's just a matter of boredom, you could always twists on all-purpose classics. Like a perfect martini (has sweet vermouth along with dry) if you haven't tried one yet, or a Gibson or rose martini or something.
posted by ifjuly at 8:58 AM on September 3, 2010

My personal favorite is warm apple cider (a microwave will do) with Goldschlagger - the gold flakes floating on top is a pretty touch. And I second the pumpkin beer, yum. Fall is my favorite beer time.
posted by maryr at 10:23 AM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: There's plenty you can do with rum, cognac, tequila, and bitters (especially some of the newfangled ones coming out these days). For rum, some tiki drinks include ingredients like orgeat, cinnamon, and nutmeg, which tend towards autumn/winter. Also, outside of rum, I'd tend towards flavors that are smoky or spicy or include pear or apple. I know you said you don't care for whiskey but you might like some cocktails that include rye. Stirred drinks also remind me of fall because they're silky in texture, not airy and refreshing.

London Cocktail #2

* 1 1/2 oz rye
* 1/2 oz orgeat (I like Trader Tiki brand, it has fewer artificial ingredients)
* 2 dashes orange flower water
* 1 whole egg
* Nutmeg

Shake and strain, serve up, grate a bit of fresh nutmeg on top.


* 1/2 oz Fresh Lime Juice
* 1/2 oz Simple Syrup (mix 1 cup sugar with 1 cup water, and shake like hell to make simple syrup)
* 1/4 Los Amantes Joven mescal
* 1/2 oz Jalapeno-infused Blanco tequila (try Tanteo)
* 1/2 oz Herradura Reposado tequila
* 2 Dashes Angostura Bitters

Shake and serve in a coupe glass that has half rim of 2 to 1 Smoked Salt / Kosher salt mix.

Slight Detour

* 1 oz. Herradura tequila reposado
* 1/2 oz. jalapeno-infused blanco tequila (try Tanteo)
* 1/2 oz. Del Maguey San Luis Del Rio mezcal
* 1 barspoon agave nectar
* 2 dashes The Bitter Truth Bittermens Xocolatl Mole Bitters
* Orange twist

Stir with ice and strain into cocktail glass.

The New England Daiquiri

* 2 oz Ron Zacapa 23 year old Rum
* 1/2 oz fresh Lemon Juice
* 2 tsp Maple Syrup
* 1 Dash Bittermens Xocolatl Mole Bitters

Shake and serve up in a cocktail glass.

Opaka Raka

* 1 1/2 oz Junipero Gin (or Tanqueray)
* 1 1/2 oz Don's Spices #2 (get this from Trader Tiki, it's great, vanilla mixed with allspice)
* 3/4 oz Fresh Lime Juice
* 1/4 oz Simple Syrup
* 1 dash Bittermens ‘Elemakule Tiki Bitters

Shake with ice and serve in a highball glass filled with fresh ice. Garnish with a lime wheel.

The Trinidad Sour

* 1 oz Angostura Aromatic bitters (remove the dasher to do this more easily)
* 1 oz orgeat syrup
* 3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
* 1/2 oz rye whiskey

Shake well with ice and fine strain in to a cocktail glass.

Here's my favorite one, though it's a punch meant for 2-4 people, so you could probably halve the recipe. The pear-and-apple infused tequila keeps in the fridge for a while, as does the tea-infused vermouth.

Porfirian Punch

Cut 3 Bartlett pears and 1 Granny Smith apple into cubes (peels, cores and all), and place in a glass jar or container. Add 2 cloves and one cinnamon stick and one liter of Herradura Silver Tequila. Store for 6 days, shaking periodically. Double-strain all the fruit and spices out and keep refrigerated.

Take a 750ml bottle of Martini & Rossi sweet vermouth and infuse it with 3 heaping tablespoons (depends on the size of the bottle) of Market Spice tea brand (can buy the loose leaf on amazon.com or substitute any orange black tea) and let it sit for 1 1/2 hours. Strain and keep refrigerated.

* 9 white sugar cubes
* 3 oz club soda
* 1.5 oz market spice tea-infused Martini & Rossi sweet vermouth
* 1.5 oz Manzanilla sherry
* 3 oz fresh lemon juice
* 6 oz pear-infused Herradura Silver Tequila
* 6 oz club soda (yes, they list this ingredient twice)

In a measuring cup, muddle sugar cubes with club soda (reserving 6 oz for later) until dissolved, then add rest of ingredients. Stir constantly to combine, add ice, then stir & strain into a punch bowl. Garnish with thin slices of pear.
posted by kathryn at 10:52 AM on September 4, 2010 [3 favorites]

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