fall cocktails

The Best Cocktails to Have in the Fall

Grab a Cozy Sweater and Some Delicious Drinks

Thinking about the best fall cocktails is like wrapping yourself in a soft blanket of delightful flavors.

And, here's the thing: whether you're a pro at mixing drinks or just dabbling in the art, fall cocktail recipes open the door to a realm where cinnamon meets apple, where pumpkin dances with spice, and where every sip feels like a warm embrace.

While the list of best fall cocktails is endless, each offers a unique experience, ensuring that your autumn evenings are always exciting.

Let's uncover what cocktails are, how to make them, and some popular fall drinks to elevate your next chilly evening.

What are Cocktails?

A cocktail is a blend of two or more ingredients, with at least one being alcoholic. It can serve as a refreshing beverage or an appetizer, setting the meal's tone. Think of it as the hors d'oeuvres of the drink world.

The Origin of the Name “Cocktail”

As with many age-old things, the origin of the term "cocktail" is shrouded in a bit of mystery. There are a few theories out there:

The Horse's Tale: One theory suggests that the name was derived from placing a rooster’s tail, or “cock tail,” in the drink as a garnish.

The French Connection: Another speculation is that the word comes from the French term “coquetel,” a mixed drink served to French soldiers during the American Revolution.

A Trip Down Cocktail Memory Lane

Now, when we talk history, we've got some iconic cocktails that have stood the test of time:

  • The Old-Fashioned: This classic dates back to the early 19th century. Imagine a blend of sugar, water, bitters, and alcohol, often whiskey—embodying the cocktail spirit.
  • The Bellini: Venture into Italy in the 1940s, and you’d likely come across The Bellini. It's a simple yet elegant concoction of Prosecco and peach purée. Sipping on, it feels like taking a stroll through Venetian streets.
  • The Manhattan: Hailing from, you guessed it, Manhattan, this drink has been around since the late 19th century. It’s the epitome of class in a glass, comprising whiskey, sweet vermouth, and bitters.

How do You Make a Cocktail? Tools and Tips to Shake it Up!

Have you ever wondered about the behind-the-scenes of your favorite drink? Let's dive in!

Cocktail-making Equipment

  • Shaker: The iconic metal container split into two pieces. Its main purpose? Mix and chill ingredients rapidly by shaking them with ice. Essential for cocktails like Margaritas and Mojitos.
  • Jigger: Looks like a double-sided egg timer. It's a measure of ensuring you're staying within your spirits and, heaven forbid, under-pouring your spirits!
  • Muddler: A bartender's pestle. It's used to crush herbs or fruits to release flavors without turning them into mush.
  • Strainer: That slotted spoon-lookalike thing? It's used to separate the solid stuff (like fruit pulp or ice) from your drink.
  • Bar spoon: Longer than your average spoon, this tool is perfect for stirring and layering drinks. Swizzle away!

Step-by-Step: Crafting Your Cocktail

  • Know your recipe: Familiarize yourself with your chosen cocktail's recipe. Understanding techniques and having all the ingredients at hand sets the stage.
  • Gather your ammo: Ice, and lots of it! Plus, keep those cocktail ingredients within arm's reach.
  • Choose your glass: Opt for a glass that complements your cocktail. Pre-chilled is even better.
  • Ready the garnish: Slice, dice, or twist your garnish so it's ready to pop on top at the end.
  • Measure up: Using your jigger, pour the exact amount of each ingredient into your mixing glass or cocktail shaker.
  • Ice, ice, ice: Load your shaker or glass with ample ice.
  • Mixing time: Depending on your cocktail, you might shake, stir, or layer your ingredients.
  • Pour it out: Strain (or pour) the magic you've just mixed into your chosen glass. If the recipe says so, add ice to the glass first.
  • Finishing touch: Crown your creation with the prepared garnish.

Once you've finished making a cocktail, it's time to explore. Every season brings its flavor. And speaking of which, fall is on the horizon. It's not all about pumpkin spice; there are other fantastic flavors to play with. What better than a warm, spiced drink in hand as the leaves turn orange and the air gets crisp?

Best Cocktails to Have in the Fall

1. Apple Cider Sangria

This isn't your average punch from a college party; we're talking about a drink that captures the very essence of the season. The crispness of apple, deep undertones of cinnamon, and a tangy bite from orange harmoniously meld. This sangria, made with the boldness of red wine or the delicate touch of white, will have you recall pumpkin patches and forest hikes.

Whether it's a gathering with friends, a quiet evening watching the sunset, or a festive Halloween party, this drink captures the very essence of Fall. You don’t need to travel to an orchard to experience it; the Apple Cider Sangria brings the orchard to you.

2. Ginger-Cranberry Whiskey Sour

This cocktail takes a comforting old classic and brings a zesty ginger kick with a cranberry twist. It's like autumn went on a date and decided to wear its best attire. The whiskey, of course, is that warm, familiar hug, while the cranberry adds the pizzazz - tangy yet sweet. The cocktail finds its spicy heartbeat in ginger, uniting the drink's varied flavors.

If you’re ever at a fall gathering in the heartland of America and find a tray of delectable roast turkey sliders or mouth-watering pumpkin bites making rounds, this cocktail perfectly packs a punch. The Ginger-Cranberry Whiskey Sour isn't just a drink; it's an experience, a fall staple in a glass.


Fall cocktails are a great way to enjoy the season. They bring together the best flavors of autumn in a glass. Whether you like apple, cranberry, or spicy ginger, there's a drink for you. These drinks are tasty and fun to make and share with friends and family. So, try out some fall drinks as the weather gets cooler. They're sure to make your evenings even better.