The 5 Best Cocktails To Sip In The Fall

It's officially fall, and as October commences, it's time to watch the leaves change, get the pumpkin carving tools out of storage, and let the invites for Halloween and Thanksgiving festivities roll in. If you're thinking of hosting an autumnal get-together, attending an event, or even just looking for a treat to enjoy on Friday night under blankets while watching a scary movie, you may want a cocktail recipe to put the cherry on top of your perfect evening. 

There are plenty of cocktail recipes that make the rounds this time every year, but there are a few favorites that will satisfy your thirst for spooky seasonal spirits, no matter what kind of cocktail (or mocktail) you enjoy. Plus, these drinks don't just taste festive, they look festive, too, via Insanely Good Recipes. We've got the five best cocktails to enjoy this fall, no matter what kind of flavors your taste buds crave.

Apple Cider Mimosa

Shall we have brunch before pumpkin picking? Of course we shall, and we'll be dining on pumpkin pancakes with maple syrup and an apple cider mimosa on the side. This is certainly one of the more well-known festive fall libations, but just like a regular mimosa at a warm summer brunch, it's a classic for a reason. If you prefer your fall fare of the apple-y variety and would opt for a hot apple cider over a pumpkin spice latte any day, the apple cider mimosa is sure to satisfy precisely what you're seeking. 

To make your mimosa more fall-friendly, you'll be swapping out the classic orange juice for your favorite apple cider, via Insanely Good Recipes. Aside from being a versatile treat that is likely to appeal to the masses, this option is incredibly easy to make. All you need is your champagne, apple cider, and just a bit of brandy, via Well Plated by Erin. If you have champagne flutes, now would be the time to pull them out, and if you're feeling extra fancy, this drink can be elevated by giving the glass a rim of cinnamon and sugar. It's also easy to convert this choice into a mocktail: just mix apple cider with non-alcoholic sparkling wine.

Pumpkin Pie Moscow Mules

For many of us, fall just isn't fall without pumpkin spice, and pumpkin spice isn't pumpkin spice without a little spiciness. That is precisely why fans of fall-y flavors simply must try a Pumpkin Pie Moscow Mule. Ginger beer is a key ingredient in Moscow Mules, so the spiciness in this drink lends itself perfectly to a pumpkin spice-style revamp, via Gifford's Guide

Your booze-y base for this drink is vanilla vodka, and you'll add your favorite pumpkin butter for depth, sweetness, and a burst of autumnal flavor, via A Nerd Cooks. Then, freshly squeezed lime juice and ginger beer will cut the sweetness and spice up your drink. Feel free to use star anise, apples, and/or cinnamon sticks to garnish. Of course, if you have a set of Moscow Mule mugs, now is the perfect time to put them to use. That warm copper-y look pairs perfectly with an autumnal color scheme.

Pumpkin Pie Martini

If you like your pumpkin a little more on the dessert-y side, the Pumpkin Pie Martini is the drink for you. Chances are you've tried (or at least heard of) a chocolate martini: the ever-popular proof that martinis are surprisingly satisfying when they're made thick and creamy. The Pumpkin Pie Martini combines this fact with one of everyone's favorite fall desserts: pumpkin pie.

To make this drink, you can combine vodka and crème de cacao with heavy cream and some pumpkin pie spice, via Noble Pig. If you choose this approach, feel free to remove the vodka and swap out the crème de cacao for chocolate extract for a booze-free alternative. Another way to prepare the Pumpkin Pie Martini is to choose a pumpkin flavored vodka, via No Spoon Necessary. Combine with rum, vanilla extract, maple syrup, pumpkin puree, and half and half for creaminess. You can crush graham crackers for the rim of your glass and add whipped cream if you want to lean into the liquified pumpkin pie feeling a little more.

Mulled Wine

Since fall is here, there's finally going to be a chill in the air. You may want a warm cocktail that will take the edge off and warm you up not just because it's a cocktail, but also because it's warm and toasty. Mulled wine is known for being a hot alcoholic beverage that's perfect for a chilly day and is sure to put you in that cozy mood. There's nothing revolutionary about mulled wine, but there are many different ways to prepare it. 

Mulled wine is typically made with red wine, brandy, spices, and oranges, via Gimme Some Oven. Make sure that you stick with full-bodied red wine. Food blogger and chef Cookie and Kate recommends Zinfafndel, Merlot, or Garnacha. After that, you can experiment with spices like cloves, star anise, cinnamon, and even honey or maple syrup. Just keep in mind that a less-is-more outlook on your mulling spices tends to be your best bet, and that also applies to how long you'll be cooking your wine and how hot it should be.

Vanilla Chai Old Fashioned

Not every fall lover is a pumpkin flavoring aficionado. While that may make you feel a bit boxed in when it comes to many fall-y treats, you have plenty of options when it comes to your seasonal cocktails. A vanilla chai old fashioned is a great option, because it's flavorful without being too sweet and woodsy and spiced while steering clear of the ever-common pumpkin or apple flavors. 

An old fashioned tends to be a drink of choice for fans of whiskey. It's a classic cocktail made with whiskey, bitters, and sugar, often with an orange peel and ice, via Simply Recipes. If this sounds a bit too strong and bitter for your autumnal beverage, don't worry; the vanilla chai twist gives it just enough cozy vibes and added flavor. You'll start by making a vanilla chai simple syrup out of chai tea bags, vanilla extract, and maple syrup, via Half-Baked Harvest. Then, you'll mix your syrup with bourbon, orange bitters, lemon juice, and seltzer. Add ice, garnish with cinnamon, apple, or star anise, and enjoy a not-too-sweet but plenty fall-y cocktail in front of the fireplace. It doesn't get much more fall-y than that. Cheers!