You need only look as far as your farmers market to get inspiration for a fall drink. Hello, pumpkins, cranberries and pears. Whether you want a go-to beverage to sip during football games or a cozy drink to warm you on a cool evening, you’re sure to fall for these seasonal sips.
Consider this vibrantly colored cocktail the more complex, sophisticated cousin of the cranberry martini and the vodka cranberry. Recipe serves one.
2 oz. lemon vodka
¾ oz. fresh lime juice
¾ oz. unsweetened cranberry juice
½ oz. agave nectar or simple syrup
Frozen cranberries, for garnish (optional)
1) Combine the first five ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice.
2) Shake and pour into a chilled martini glass.
3) Garnish with 2 or 3 cranberries.
Shandies are usually considered summer drinks, but this pumpkin version combines the fresh taste of lemon with darker, spicier flavors. Recipe serves one.
1 oz. freshly squeezed orange juice
1 oz. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 Tbsp. pumpkin butter
5 oz. pumpkin ale
Freshly grated nutmeg (for garnish)
1) Combine orange juice, lemon juice and pumpkin butter in a cocktail shaker.
2) Shake and strain into a pint glass over ice.
3) Fill the rest of the glass with beer and garnish by grating whole nutmeg over the top.
The combination of apples and pears gives this version of hot cider a well-rounded flavor. If you’d like to spike it, try adding Calvados apple brandy or your favorite bourbon to taste. Bonus: As the cider simmers on the stove, the sweet smells of fall will envelope your home. Recipe serves eight.
4 c. apple cider
4 c. pear nectar
4 tsp. dark brown sugar
2 cinnamon sticks (plus more for garnishing)
1 Tbsp. crystallized ginger, finely chopped
2 Tbsp. dried orange or lemon peel
4 whole cloves
4 allspice berries
1) Place all ingredients in a saucepan and simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes.
2) Remove from heat and let steep for at least 20 minutes.
3) When you’re ready to serve, rewarm cider gently over low heat for a few minutes.
4) Press it through a mesh strainer to remove solids.
5) Pour into mugs and garnish each with a fresh cinnamon stick.
Using pure Concord juice will give this drink a true grape flavor that’s refreshingly unlike the stuff your preschooler drinks at snack time. If you’re feeling ambitious and can find Concord grapes locally, you can also make your own fruit juice from scratch. Recipe serves one.
½ c. pure Concord grape juice
½ c. seltzer
1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
Simple syrup to taste (optional)
1) Combine all ingredients and ice in a drinking glass and stir gently.
Nothing says “party” like a colorful bowl of punch, and this fizzy, nonalcoholic version celebrates one of autumn’s most iconic ingredients. Recipe serves 8.
Juice of 2 lemons, freshly squeezed
1½ liters of cold ginger ale
1½ c. cold pomegranate juice
1 orange, seeded and cut into rounds (optional, to float in bowl)
1 lime, seeded and cut into rounds (optional, to float in bowl)
1) Combine first three ingredients in a large punch bowl and stir well.
2) Add orange and lime slices if desired.