Since having a kid, we have a semi-secret new Halloween tradition, which I will tell you about just because I like you. On Halloween, we take our kid to one of the Bay Area’s destination trick or treat streets (think thousands of kids and adults all in costumes, ranging from adorable to insanely imaginative). We first stop off for a Halloween party at our friend’s who lives on the street. When we’re ready to go out, we pour our seasonal drink into a mug, and then head downstairs, adorable kid in one hand, seasonal cocktail in another. It’s one of those moments where parenting seems perfect. (In fact, pushing our sleeping baby in his PJs through the streets of San Francisco, all worn out from trick-or-treating, is one of my favorite memories from last year.)
My wish for you this Halloween is that the drinkers among you get a chance to make yourself a delightfully seasonal drink, as you settle in to enjoy one of the best holidays. Regardless, today celebrates the official switch into seasonal cocktails, and we thought we’d celebrate with a roundup. Most of our favorite autumnal flavors (apple, vanilla bean, pear, cinnamon… mmm, cinnamon) make great pairings in fall cocktails. Use these for your fall or winter wedding, or better yet, just use them for a night at home. These fall drinks, rounded up by Deputy Editor Lucy, mostly don’t require a liquor store run for strange and one-time use ingredients, instead sticking to classic, tried and true ingredients you’ll continue using throughout the fall. And winter, too!
Starting with an old classic, the French 75 is the drink to make when you want to stay in and drink fizzy things all night long. Plus, it’s pretty effortlessly classy, even without shiny fringe skewers (that I totally want to make right now).
This is an interesting variation on an Old Fashioned. The recipe calls for vanilla-infused whiskey, if you’re looking for a boozy do-it-yourself project. The world really needs more boozy do-it-yourself projects (and they should never involve glue guns).
The Jim Dandy, via Chasing Delicious (formerly The Boys Club)
If you like a good Dark ‘n’ Stormy, then this cocktail will be right up your alley. While it’s a bit more complex, it’s a great option for a pitcher cocktail that’s easily classed up by a simple pear garnish or a nice twist.
What would a fall cocktail roundup be without mulled wine? Incomplete, that’s what. There’s something cozy and soothing about simmering a big pot of mulled wine on the stove, letting the smell of all the spices fill the house. Plus, this is a cocktail that’s super easy to scale up for parties and large groups. AND WEDDINGS.
Because the end of summer should never mean the end of mimosas. Bubbly drinks are in style year-round!
For the bourbon drinkers in the house, who want something spicy and a little sweet to warm them up.
Winter Sun Cocktail, via Two Tarts
It’s hard to find a lot of fall and winter cocktails that make good use of clear liquors like vodka or gin, so this is what I’m going to make Maddie next time she’s over.
It’s hot buttered rum, for bourbon lovers! If you’ve never tried a hot buttered rum or a hot buttered bourbon, I know it sounds a little weird at first, but trust me, these are delicious, and really great for a crowd coming over on a chilly day.
Hot chocolate plus alcohol makes this cocktail pretty essential for cool cozy nights outdoors. Plus, this is a fantastic pitcher cocktail. Wedding bonfire anyone?
The Lion’s Tail is a bourbon lover’s cocktail, and one that batches out perfectly—you can mix everything the night before and then serve it on the rocks when needed. Drink carefully, this cocktail is a “one and done” kind of stiff drink.
If you go all heart-eyes-emoji at everything pumpkin spice, this is the cocktail for you. Personally, I tend towards John Oliver’s opinion, but doesn’t mean you guys can’t enjoy it without me.