Updated October 16, 2021. Published September 22, 2018.
Today is officially the first day of fall and what better way to ring in a new season than with festive seasonal cocktails!
There’s something here for everyone, from easy, three ingredient drinks to classic cocktails reimagined. Find drinks made with apples, pears, ginger and honey and spirits ranging from rye whiskey to Chilean pisco.
Looking for a hot drink? Try my Turmeric Chai Hot Buttered Rum.
Want an easy to batch recipe for Thanksgiving or friendsgiving celebrations? My Cranberry Campari Spritz is the perfect bittersweet aperitivo. Try Cranberry Mimosas for an even easier festive cocktail that’s just as good with breakfast as it is with hors d’oeuvers!
This complex blend of fruit and herb flavors highlights the unique flavor of green Chartreuse. If you’re looking for a fall cocktail that’s a bit more grown up than cider spiked with cinnamon whiskey, the First Frost is for you.
This smooth, herbal cocktail is made with a blend of white rum, Chartreuse, dry vermouth, lime juice, and (easy!) homemade apple cinnamon syrup.
Bitter Apple Negroni
The classic Negroni is a great choice any time of year, but this autumn-inspired riff brings the flavors of fall into bittersweet harmony. Each ingredient of the classic drink is swapped for a similar, but slightly softer, fall-forward flavor profile.
The result is a less bitter, but still very flavorful stirred cocktail. To make the Bitter Apple Negroni, you’ll need Laird’s Applejack (or another apple brandy), the bitter liqueur Suze, Cocchi Americano, and homemade apple cinnamon syrup.
Pear Ginger Pisco Sour
The Pisco Sour is another classic cocktail that’s wonderful year round, but this one amps up the fall flavors with fresh Bartlett pear and an easy ginger honey syrup. Pisco is an unaged grape brandy made in the countries of Peru and Chile with a clean, crisp, mildly fruity flavor.
This blend of juicy, ripe pear, fresh lime, and spicy ginger make this fall cocktail fun to sip on all season long. The Pear Ginger Pisco Sour is made with Catan Pisco, muddled Bartlett pear, lime juice, and ginger honey syrup.
This classic cocktail was made for falling leaves and sweater weather. The Toronto can be thought of as a rye and Fernet Old Fashioned. It’s a simple blend of whiskey, simple syrup, bitters, and a splash of the potent, bitter liqueur Fernet Branca.
Fernet adds complexity, depth, and flavors of herbs and spice without overpowering the whiskey. If you enjoy classic spirit-forward cocktails like the Manhattan, the Toronto is for you.
Calvados Jack Rose
The Jack Rose is a classic, three ingredient cocktail featuring applejack or other apple brandies, citrus, and grenadine. This next level riff uses the French apple brandy Calvados for its smooth, refined flavor.
Freshly squeezed lime juice and a quick homemade grenadine are all that’s needed to make this perfectly balanced, seasonal sipper.
Classic Rye Manhattan
Few cocktails are as iconic as the classic Manhattan. Made with just three simple ingredients, the Manhattan is an easy to make fall cocktail for any skill level.
Cozy up by a fire with this timeless mix of whiskey, vermouth, and bitters. Make it your own with dashes of autumnal bitters like black walnut or coffee!
Blood Orange Turmeric Collins
This cold weather variation on the classic Collins is made with gin, fresh blood orange juice, lemon juice, and turmeric liqueur (or turmeric simple syrup).
The blood orange-forward Italian gin Malfy con Arancia amps up the citrus flavor but this can be made with other gins as well.
The Gold Rush is an easy modern classic made with bourbon, honey, and lemon. The sweet, caramel flavor of honey syrup highlights the bourbon’s notes vanilla, nuts and cocoa.
Freshly squeezed lemon juice brightens, balances, and makes the Gold Rush a surprisingly refreshing fall cocktail.
Bitter Apple Negroni (And more fall cocktails!)
- 1½ oz Laird's Applejack
- 1 oz Cocchi Americano
- ½ oz Suze
- ½ oz apple cinnamon syrup (recipe below)
- Add all ingredients to a mixing glass and fill it 3/4 with ice.
- Stir until very cold, about 30 times. Strain the liquid into a rocks glass filled with ice (or over one large cube).
- Garnish with an expressed lemon twist and an apple fan, if desired.
Apple Cinnamon SyrupIngredients:
- 1 green apple
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water