When the air is suddenly crisp and your friends, family or even coworkers want to gather, nothing quite makes a fall soirée like a cocktail that is in season. Fall drinks can add that certain something extra to any event, especially if there is a nip in the air. If you are still in Margaretville from summer, here are a few drink ideas for your fall soirée that will bring you out of flip-flops and sunshine and into the crunch of leaves, flannel and an abundance of spice.
Red Nose Punch
When the weather starts to change, so do the colors of noses. If you boast that just raked leaves for several hours red nose glow, you might need a cocktail to match. If you have to serve a large crowd, you don’t want to be whipping up individual cocktails with a laundry list of ingredients. For a big crowd at a fall gathering, try red nose punch. This seasonal recipe from Saveur requires cranberry juice, fresh cranberries, bourbon, fresh lime juice, sliced limes, cinnamon infused simple syrup and lager beer.
The recipe also has a built in grand presentation with an ice ring of cranberries used for the punch bowl. You combine all of the ingredients, along with the many red nose looking cranberries floating in your ice ring, for a decidedly seasonal drink a large group can enjoy.
The Classic Hot Toddy
When there is a nip in the air and you think a cold might be on the horizon, nothing quite says fall like a hot toddy. Originally hailing for the 19th century, a hot toddy in its most classical form is saluted as a good cold weather drink and one that might even have medicinal properties. If you are throwing a more classic event, one perhaps at a historic mansion, a hot toddy suits a fall gathering looking to keep with tradition. It is also extremely easy to make.
The classic hot toddy recipe consists of honey, boiling water, either brandy, rum or whiskey, lemon juice, honey, cloves and maybe even a cinnamon stick for a little spice. There are many different hot toddy recipes that either keep with tradition by adding tea or those that are more inventive. Epicurious has a very classic hot toddy recipe, which requires just a few minutes to make.
Hard Apple Cider Sangria
Those summer poolside cocktail parties spent sipping on a cool glass of sangria might be gone, but you can still bring an element of summer with you to your fall event with an apple sangria. Sangria can be altered for the autumnal season, either by going heavy on the apples and pears or with the substitution of hard apple cider.
Food and Wine offers up an apple cider sangria recipe that works for fall events in locales that don’t seem to get the hint to get cooler with the changing of the calendar. Using apples, navel oranges, apple juice, lemon juice, apple brandy and hard apple cider, the ingredients are combined and chilled for decidedly autumnal sangria. You can still use wine if you prefer such as a Pinot Grigio coupled with fresh apple cider for a different take of the apple cider sangria.
Red Mulled Wine
If you can’t take your party to a Christmas market in Europe, you can bring a taste of those old world markets to your fall gathering by serving mulled wine instead. Red mulled wine is a popular drink throughout Europe when the seasons change from fall to winter. The traditional holiday drink is typically made with red wine, sweetened and spiced up and then heated to add a warmth to any gathering.
Martha Stewart’s mulled wine recipe requires an orange, cardamom pods, whole cloves, allspice berries, black peppercorns, cinnamon sticks, sugar, brandy and a bottle of fruity red wine. More basic recipes call for wine, sliced oranges for garnish, a dash of brandy, honey, sugar, cloves and allspice. Some recipes substitute cider for the brandy if you don’t think your guests are brandy drinkers. Mulled wine is generally easy to prepare as all of the ingredients, with the exception of the oranges are combined in a large saucepan. It its brought to a boil and then simmered for roughly 10 minutes depending on how much you are making. You can add the sliced oranges as a garnish and within a few minutes, you have a fall drink with plenty of old world tradition.
As pomegranates tend to be in season across the country during the fall season, you can infuse your cocktail party or family gathering with the in season fruit. Bobby Flay has an easy pomegranate martini recipe. It requires chilled gin, lemon juice, orange juice, pomegranate syrup and pomegranate seeds as a garnish. All ingredients are combined for a decidedly sophisticated fall cocktail creation.
Hot Apple Cider
No fall gathering would be complete without some form of hot apple cider. Whether you are gathering with the family for Thanksgiving at a vacation rental or throwing a fall event in need of some spice, hot apple cider is easy to serve to the masses and requires very few ingredients.
There are so many different variations of hot apple cider, many of which are mulled apple cider. Most recipes call for apple cider, cinnamon sticks, cloves and orange peels. For an added twist, others add brandy or even ginger to the mix. Most recipes call for the ingredients to be boiled and then served to guests. It’s that simple for a warm, spicy, quintessential fall drink.
What’s your favorite fall cocktail on our list?
Share your pick with us in the comments below.