Best Fall Cocktail Recipes in the USA

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All over the United States, as summer slips into her fall sweaters and wraps up against the coming chill, bartenders create tasty libations to warm us from the inside. Join us on a tour of the country's best fall cocktail recipes.

Best Fall Cocktail Recipes in the USA by Region

Northeastern Fall Cocktail Recipes

Autumn's Ambrosia from Crimson & Rye in New York, New York

“Autumn is fall and ambrosia translates to Nectar… the elixir of life, the drink of the gods and immortality!” says bartender Mason Salicetti of New York City’s Crimson & Rye. His enthusiasm is catching.

Best Fall Cocktail Recipes ~ Autumn's Ambrosia from NYC's Crimson & Rye

Autumn's Ambrosia cocktail (Photo credit: Crimson & Rye)

Autumn's Ambrosia Recipe

1½ oz. Blue Nectar Reposado Extra Blend
¾ oz. Lemon juice
½ oz. Black Peppercorn-Honey syrup
¼ oz. Fresh apple juice
¼ oz. Sherry
Top with apple cider
2 Dashes of whiskey barrel-aged bitters
Garnish with a cinnamon stick + 3 black peppercorns

Add all the ingredients into the shaker except for the Apple Cider and Bitters. Fill the shaker with as much ice as you can and shake vigorously. Strain into a tall glass filled with ice (leave enough room for cider), top with Apple Cider and the 2 dashes of Whiskey Barrel-Aged Bitters and finally top it with a cinnamon stick and three black peppercorns.

Cider Sangria from One Lincoln at the Gettysburg Hotel in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

Adams County, Pennsylvania – which surrounds historic Gettysburg – is one of the largest apple growing regions in the U.S. There, hard cider is the drink of choice. At One Lincoln, the bar inside the iconic Gettysburg Hotel, they use a local hard cider as a base for their Cider Sangria.

Best Fall Cocktail Recipes ~ Cider Sangria from One Lincoln at the Gettysburg Hotel

Cider Sangria from One Lincoln at the Gettysburg Hotel (Photo credit: Destination Gettysburg)

Cider Sangria Recipe

¼ Diced Adams County red Delicious apple
2 oz. Local hard cider, like Big Hill Cider or Jack’s Hard Cider
1 oz. 10-Span California pinot noir
½ oz. Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey
2 oz. Cranberry juice

This will make a single cider sangria cocktail, but you may want to multiply the recipe and make a pitcher full.

Rye Bar Smoked Coffee from Rye Bar at the Rosewood in Washington DC

Washington DC’s Rye Bar in the Rosewood hotel, offers a smoky coffee cocktail to warm you up as you sit in leather chairs looking over the C&O Canal in Georgetown.

Best Fall Cocktail Recipes - Rye Bar Smoked Coffee

Washington, DC's Rye Bar in the Rosewood hotel offers a Smoked Coffee for fall (Photo credit: Rosewood Washington DC)

Smoked Coffee Recipe

3/4 oz. Mezcal
1 1/4 oz. Redemption rye
1 Shot of espresso
1/2 oz. Pedro Ximenez sherry
1 Cube of brown sugar

Mix together, then top with hot water and a fresh cream float. Finish with shavings of dark, spicy chili chocolate.

Southern Fall Cocktail Recipes

Fall in the 305 from LILT Lounge at Kimpton’s EPIC Hotel in Miami, Florida

“Fall is one of my favorite seasons,” says Spencer Taliaferro, Lead Bartender at LILT Lounge at Kimpton’s EPIC Hotel in Downtown Miami, Florida. “Being from the suburbs of New Jersey and living in South Florida, I miss the fall: the changing leaves, the spices, pumpkins, the aromas and the overall feel of fall. I wanted to pay tribute to the season that I love by creating Fall in the 305, a fall-inspired cocktail, and still maintaining the spirit of Miami and South Florida.”

Fall cocktails - Fall in the 305 from LILT Lounge in Kimpton's EPIC Hotel in Miami, Florida

Fall in the 305 from LILT Lounge in Kimpton's EPIC Hotel in Miami, Florida (Photo credit: Kimpton)

Fall in the 305 Recipe

2 oz. Mount Gay rum (Taliaferro’s blend)
1 oz. Banyuls dessert wine and apple cider vinegar shrub syrup
1 oz. Carpano Antica
2 Dashes apple spice bitters
Spiced apple chip

Add all ingredients into mixing beaker, add ice and stir well. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass garnished with spiced apple chip garnish.

Leone Sour from L’Oca d’Oro in Austin, Texas

Of course Austin is going to do things a little differently. L'Oca d'Oro, a contemporary Italian restaurant, offers the unique Leone Sour cocktail. It's named after Sergio Leone, a famous Spaghetti Western director.

Best Fall Cocktail Recipes - Leone Sour from L'Oca d'Oro in Austin, TX

The Leone Sour cocktail from L'Oca d'Oro in Austin, Texas (Photo credit: L'Oca d'Oro)

Leone Sour Recipe

1 & 1/2 oz. Medley Bros Bourbon
1/2 oz. Amaro Campanella (a housemade infused spirit with cocoa and cinnamon notes)
3/4 oz. lemon juice
1/2 oz honey syrup
Shake. Strain over rocks. Top w/ Soda. Garnish with lemon and pickled blueberry.

Midwestern Fall Cocktail Recipes

Gingerbread Spice Margarita from Dell Cove Spice Co. in Chicago, Illinois

The Dell Cove Spice Company in Chicago provides an autumn cocktail recipe that mixes the flavors of a summer classic cocktail, but with a twist: the spice of gingerbread with the sweetness of Midwestern apples. Parents can enjoy a Gingerbread Spice Margarita after apple picking with the kids.

Best Fall Cocktail Recipes - Gingerbread Spice Margarita

Gingerbread Spice Margarita (Photo credit: Dell Cove Spice Co./OneMartini.com)

Gingerbread Spice Margarita Recipe

4 oz. Reposado tequila (or any good, aged tequila)
4 oz. Organic apple cider
2 Fresh limes, juiced
1 to 2 tsp. of agave nectar or simple syrup
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 Tbl. Dell Cove Spice Co.'s gingerbread-flavored cocktail rim sugar plus a bit more to garnish
Ice
Whole star anise for garnish

Rim your chilled glasses with the gingerbread-flavored cocktail sugar. Fill glasses with ice and set aside. Combine tequila, apple cider, lime juice, agave nectar, cinnamon and one tablespoon of the gingerbread sugar to a cocktail shaker full of ice. Cover shaker and shake vigorously until shaker is chilled. Strain into glasses. Add a star of anise for garnish and serve.

Maple Trea from Zingerman's Roadhouse in Ann Arbor, Michigan

Michigan isn’t known for its maple syrup, but it should be! Locals have been tapping their maples for years, and this drink is a fabulous way to utilize the nectar of these trees with leaves ablaze. Bartender Amos Arinda created the Maple Trea using the best, full-flavored ingredients available. Maple syrup from Snow’s Sugarbush in nearby Mason, Michigan is the highlighted flavor. The base liquor is scotch, which provides a smokiness reminiscent of burning leaves. The iced tea at Zingerman’s Roadhouse has a hint of bergamot that provides a floral astringency.

Fall Cocktails - Maple Trea from Zingerman's Roadhouse, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Maple Trea cocktail from Zingerman's Roadhouse, Ann Arbor, Michigan (Photo Credit: visitannarbor.org)

Maple Trea Recipe

1 & 1/2 oz. Scotch
3/4 oz. Freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 oz. Snow’s maple syrup
3/4 oz. Freshly brewed iced tea (use Earl Grey or add a drop of bergamot oil if possible!)
1 dash Angostura bitters
Shake and strain over ice, garnish with a lemon tongue.

Western Fall Cocktail Recipes

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cocktail from Over Easy in Colorado Springs, CO

Greg Janacek of Colorado Springs eatery, Over Easy, offers his solution to the fall doldrums with a latte-inspired cocktail. You'll wish the Pumpkin Spice Latte were served at your local coffee house.

Fall cocktails - Pumpkin Spice Latte Cocktail from Over Easy in Colorado Springs, CO

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cocktail from Over Easy in Colorado Springs, CO (Photo credit: Marvin Suria)

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cocktail Recipe

2 oz. Pumpkin pie vodka
2 oz. Coffee liqueur
Dash of ground ginger
Dash of cinnamon
Dash of nutmeg
Graham crackers and a cinnamon stick for garnish
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake well. Strain into a martini glass rimmed with crushed graham crackers and serve with cinnamon stick to garnish.

PNW Old Fashioned from Eden Hill in Seattle, Washington

In Seattle, fall intensifies the damp chill in the air. Eden Hill’s Chef/Owner Maximillian Petty offers the flavors of fall, with a hint of smoke to evoke the warming fires of the season.

Best Fall Cocktail Recipes - PNW Old Fashioned

Eden Hill's bartender showing how to torch the plank for the PNW Old Fashioned (Photo credit: Kevin Zansler of Kevin Zansler Photography)

PNW Old Fashioned Recipe

2 oz. Apple brandy
1/2 oz. Cinnamon Demerara syrup (Mix equal parts brown sugar and hot water. Steep cinnamon sticks for 2 days)
2 Dashes Angostura bitters
Torch a cedar plank and set a rocks glass upside down on it (to capture smoke).
Combine all ingredients in glass over ice. Stir. Serve in smoked rocks glass over fresh ice and garnish with dehydrated apple

Wherever you are, a change of season often means a change of menu. As the leaves start to change color, you can change your spirits to match. So I suppose the question is…

Which of these fall cocktail recipes are you going to try first?

About Paige Conner Totaro, The Startup Travel Mama

Paige Conner Totaro likes to help make dreams come true, whether helping people start businesses or helping people plan the trip of a lifetime. She made her own dream come true by taking a trip around the world with her husband and twin daughters in 2012 and is always planning the next adventure in travel or business (or both). Paige was a founder of Misra Records and Unquote Travel, a founding board member of the arts organization, Transformer, in Washington, DC; and a longtime board member and director of Washington Area Lawyers for the Arts. Paige is a fan of Scandinavian design, Ethiopian food, Arab hospitality, Japanese vintage stores, Brazilian music and Thai beaches, but also American craft beer, garage rock and roller derby. Can you see why her travel company is called All Over the Map? Connect with Paige on Instagram at @alloverthemap.

Comments

  1. I am all about this compilation of Fall Cocktails! I’m getting my bar ready so this post is most timely! 🙂

  2. Autumn Apple is first on my list! This post is like a cocktail dessert bar. Love it!

  3. Michelle Kay says:

    That smoked coffee and the cider one really caught my eye!! Definitely time to plan to use these and invite my girlfriends over for some sips!

  4. The smoked coffee sounds amazing but they all look pretty good. Thank you for sharing this post!

  5. Catherine Sargent says:

    These all look like really yummy fall drinks. I would love to try the cider sangria and the maple trea.

  6. I bet some of these would be delicious as virgin drinks as well.

  7. Pam Wattenbarger says:

    These are really creative cocktails from around the country. The pumpkin spice latte cocktail is intriguing!

  8. Well these all look delicious! Can’t wait to try all of them!

  9. Goodness all of these fall cocktails look amazing! I would not turn any of them away, but that Smoked Coffee beverage would probably be first on my must try list.

  10. Oh this rocks! I really need to try some new drinks this fall. I don’t think we made any new fall cocktails last year.

  11. Ann Bacciaglia says:

    All of these drinks look so delicious. I will have to try them all starting with the Cider Sangria.

  12. Oh wow! How I wish I could try all these cocktails this fall! They all look awesome!

  13. These cocktails look like so much fun! I love the season themed ones!

  14. That lemon sour looks perfect for me. Who knew about all these variations on cocktails?!

  15. This is one of the reasons why I love fall. I love the sights and smells of the spices. I am going to have to show these to my friends so we can get started on them.

  16. I don’t drink but would love to try these in a virgin version. They flavor combinations sound wonderful. Just the thought of fall weather, sweaters, spices, and nice warm drinks makes me all warm and fuzzy inside!

  17. Fall. Cocktails. Say no more! These all look and sound wonderful! I would love to attempt to make a few of these for a dinner party I have coming up.

  18. This is such a fun post! It gave me some really good ideas for some fall cocktails. The cider sangria sounds delish!

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