Just because the leaves are about to turn orange doesn't mean your coffee order should follow suit. Pumpkin spice may be tasty, but it's not the only flavor option for your warm drinks this season. From creamy tahini and chocolate to spicy honey and ginger, these seven mug-friendly drinks taste just as awesome (if not more so!) than the infamous PSL.
Kiss the watery cocoa of your childhood good-bye. Rich tahini, coconut milk, and cocoa powder blend into this nutty drink you’ll want every night. Sweeten with a spoonful or two of honey (bring out the sweetener even more with a pinch of sea salt) and serve with your desired cocoa fixin’s.
Classic mulled cider puts on some lipstick for this tart drink. Mix cranberry juice (not the sugar-heavy cranberry cocktail) and fresh apple cider—the farmers market isn’t just for summer, guys—with orange slices, cinnamon sticks, allspice, and whole cloves. Though the juices are naturally super sweet, add a sprinkle or two of brown sugar if you’d like. Boil the mixture, then serve, possibly spiked with a three-second pour of bourbon.
Before settling for a $5 chai at the cafe around the corner, try making your own—it’s easier than you think. Grab a few chai tea bags to steep in hot almond milk. Add some fall spices, vanilla extract, and a touch of maple syrup. The secret to achieving that frothy, barista-quality latte yourself? Give it a quick blitz in the blender.
This is no ordinary hot cocoa. Melt chopped dark chocolate with nondairy milk, then sprinkle in cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla. Take this drink to the next level by shaking in spicy cayenne and a pinch of sea salt. One sip and you’ll wonder why you ever thought opening a package of powdered cocoa was a good idea.
This spicy and sweet drink is a caffeine-free alternative to tea and coffee, with all the joy of gulping down a warm latte. You may be more familiar with miso paste (made from fermented soybeans) in your soup at a Japanese restaurant, but this funky spread is just as good on toast, in dressings and, you guessed it, lattes. Miso paste is available in most grocery stores, but you can omit it for a teaspoon of tahini if you’re not a fan of the flavor.
Not only is this tart drink an immunity booster, it’s the perfect solution for those days when you reach for a tea bag, only to realize you drank the last cup yesterday. Instead of heading to the store to stock up on chamomile, slice up a lemon or two and a big knob of ginger, then cram into a large jar. Pour honey until it fills the open spaces of the jar. Seal tightly and store in the fridge. To make a cup: Scoop honey mixture into a mug, then pour boiling water over; let stand for a few minutes, then inhale.
If you’re one of those “extra pumps of syrup” kind of coffee-drinkers, try your luck with this latte. A better-for-you syrup of coconut sugar, milk, and extract will do the trick. Pour into a piping hot espresso and top with steamed milk and toasted coconut shavings.