With the first cool breeze of fall, we start to crave spicy, comforting drinks instead of our usual glass of white. We thought of our favorite seasonal flavors (cinnamon, maple, apple… to name a few), added a few pours of booze, a squeeze of orange and lemon, and presto: cocktails fit for a chilly evening. Pull out your coziest sweaters and stock your bar cart with bourbon, ginger beer, and cider—let’s do this!
Maple Hot Toddy
A chilly fall evening with a hot toddy in one hand and the edge of a blanket in the other? Sign us up. We swap the traditional honey as the drink’s sweetener in favor of the more seasonal maple syrup. No bourbon? Any ol’ whiskey will do.Water 2 ounces bourbon 1/2 ounce lemon juice 1 teaspoon maple syrup Lemon wedge1. Bring 1/2 cup water to a boil. 2. Mix bourbon, lemon juice, and syrup together in a heat-safe cup, jar, or mug. 3. Pour hot water over bourbon mixture. Garnish with lemon.
Remember chugging all the apple cider in sight the moment it appeared in front of you as a kid? You’re about to experience the grown-up version of that craving (but maybe don’t gulp this one down). No hard cider to top the drink? Any sparkling wine will do, as will club soda or sparkling apple cider.2 ounces vodka 2 ounces apple cider 1/2 ounce lemon juice Hard cider Frozen cranberries or pomegranate seeds Cinnamon stick1. Fill a glass with ice. 2. Pour vodka, cider, and lemon juice over ice. 3. Fill the rest of the glass with hard cider. 4. Garnish with frozen cranberries and cinnamon stick.
Tart, bubbly, and a bit spicy at the end, this Cranberry-Ginger Gimlet is like a Cosmo gone all fall-like on us. Use gin instead of vodka in a pinch, and don’t even think about using that sticky-sweet cranberry-cocktail crap instead of real juice.2 ounces orange vodka 1 teaspoon Cointreau (use the cheap tiny bottles from the liquor store counter) 1/2 ounce lime juice (just squeeze 1/2 of a lime) 1/2 ounce unsweetened cranberry juice Ginger beer Lime wedge1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. 2. Pour in all ingredients except ginger beer. Shake well. 3. Pour into a martini or coupe glass (though really any will do) and top with ginger beer. Garnish with lime.