8 Unique Fall Cocktails To Serve in the Colder MOnths

As the self-assigned primary holiday chef, I spend most of Thanksgiving prepping, chopping, sautéing, steaming, stuffing, searing, crisping, browning and blending, all in the name of love, and deliciousness.

By the time dinner is on the table, I’ve sampled everything…. except the desserts, because, for some reason, I am a self-declared savory chef.

Apple pie? Pecan pie? No thanks, I’ll have some cheesy truffled scalloped potatoes instead, kthxbye. 

Until now. 

Courtesy of forced home time, isolation, endless blursday, and the need to compress elaborate traditions into manageable chunks while simultaneously managing some sense of exploration, I started sampling obscure hyper-regional spirits and random global fruits, and suddenly discovered liquid dessert.

Featuring fruit-driven liqueurs, holiday spices and classic pressed fruit juices, these Fall cocktails are sure to spark some comfort and joy!

Fireside Warmer

A traipse through Northern Italy (Aisle 8-A at the local liquor store) landed Nocino, a spiced walnut liquor, on my shelf. Sipped on its own, it’s a perfect winter digestif – spices like cinnamon and cloves blended with alcohol-soaked green walnuts create a rich, green and woodsy cordial, best with a side of fireplace and woodsmoke.

Blended with bourbon, pear juice and a splash of balsamic, it suddenly becomes the Fireside Warmer of your dreams!

Pour all liquids into a shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously til frothy. Strain into a 5oz cocktail glass

Leaf Pile

There’s nothing more magical than sun kissed cheeks and a laugh in a leaf pile, the scent of woodsmoke in the air!

  • 1oz vanilla vodka
  • 1 oz Cherry Heering
  • ½ tsp ginger syrup
  • Singed rosemary for garnish

Fill a shaker with ice; add all liquids, shake vigorously til your fingers are numb. Pour into a rocks glass, and garnish with a sprig of singed rosemary.

Fall Cocktail recipes

Apple Pie Adjacent

This is the perfect cocktail for someone who loves the idea of apple pie….. But doesn’t really like pie. (I don’t know who that is; also, this is just delicious.)

  • 2 oz vodka
  • 1 oz 43 liqueur
  • 1 oz apple cider
  • Lemon wedge apple slice for garnish

Fill a shaker with ice. Add all liquids, and then squeeze in lemon juice. Shake shake shake it until your uncle stops spouting conspiracy theories and your cousin figures out that she really just needs to break up with that loser. Pour a nice tall one. Drink it quickly – then our another, like it’s your first. It’s going to be a long day. 

These Leaves Aren’t going To Rake Themselves

When I was a kid, my parents had some ridiculous idea that people would judge the yard if there was a single errant leaf.

Given that we lived in a deciduous forest, and my mom sure as hell wasn’t going to rake those leaves, it fell upon me to make a good impression on the neighbors. 

I dare say, this would have been a better effort, had I simply sauntered up to their door and made an offering. 

  • 2 oz cider
  • 1 oz amaretto (I strongly suggest Lazzaroni Amaretto)
  • 2 oz vodka
  • Healthy squeeze of lime

Combine in a shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously. Pour into a beautiful chalice, gilded glass, or other offering-appropriate vessel, complete with the ice. Go say hi.

What a Pear

This one is short and sweet, but delicious to savor over long conversations and crackling fires

  • 1 oz amaretto
  • 1 oz pear juice
  • 1 tsp aged balsamic vinegar
  • Fresh sage leaf

Smash a fresh sage leaf to release the oils; rub along interior of a cordial glass. Take a shaker with ice. Shake all the liquids; strain into said cordial glass. 

Want more? Check out all of our Pear Cocktails.

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