Mixology Inspiration: Cocktails for Fall

Looking for a signature drink that’s in season and extra delicious? Check out these fall-inspired cocktail recipes:

1. Mulled Cranberry Orange Sangria

Screen Shot 2015-08-26 at 5.18.07 PM

Recipe via Lemon Tree Dwelling | by Cathy Trochelman


  • 1 cup cranberry juice
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. nutmeg
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 3 cups dry red wine (I used a Shiraz-Cabernet blend)
  • ¼ cup brandy
  • ¼ cup orange liqueur (I used Triple Sec)
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • orange slices


2. Pumpkin + Apple Cider


via Brenna Miller | recipe by Brenna Miller


  • Ice
  • 1½  ounce pumpkin purée
  • 1½ ounce vanilla vodka
  • 2 ounces apple cider
  • 1½ ounces spicy ginger ale, such as Bruce Cost

To Make:

1. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine the pumpkin purée, vodka, and apple cider. Shake for 10-15 seconds.

2. Strain into a glass filled with ice and top with ginger ale.

3.  Spiced Pear + Bourbon Cocktail

Screen Shot 2015-08-26 at 5.25.49 PM

via Freut Cake | recipe by Leah Bergman

For the Cocktail:

  • 4 oz William Wolf Pecan Bourbon
  • 4 oz Spiced Pear Syrup (if you like your cocktails less sweet, reduce to 2 oz)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • ¼ tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • plenty of ice

For the Spiced Pear Syrup:

  • 1 Bosc pear, washed and chopped
  • 1½  cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick


  • Make the syrup: In a small sauce pan combine chopped pear, water, sugar and cinnamon stick. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat then reduce to a simmer and cook 30 minutes. Break down the pear with the back of a wooden spoon as the mixture reduces.
  • Remove from heat and strain through a fine mesh sieve reserving the syrup. Discard the solids and chill syrup until ready to use.
  • Make the cocktail: In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine bourbon, lemon juice, spiced pear syrup and pumpkin pie spice. Shake very well to allow ice to slightly melt into the drink.
  • Strain into cocktail glasses rimmed with pumpkin pie spice and sugar if desired. Garnish with cinnamon stick and enjoy!

To make the pie spice spice and sugar rim mixture, combine 2 Tbs granulated sugar and 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice. Rim glasses with lemon and dip in the sugar-spice mixture.


4. Apple Pie Moonshine

Screen Shot 2015-08-26 at 5.41.55 PM

photo via Sweet C Designs

  • 1 gallon apple cider
  • 1 gallon apple juice
  • 3 cups white sugar
  • 8 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 liter bottle of 190 proof grain alcohol (everclear)


  • Add apple cider, apple juice and sugar to large pot, bring to a boil. Make sure sugar completely dissolves.
  • Remove from heat and let cool.
  • Add in grain alcohol, stir.
  • Place cinnamon sticks in sterile mason jars.
  • Pour mixture into jars and add lid.
  • Let sit for a week or two- this only gets better the longer it sits.


5. Spiced Pumpkin Punch


via Domesticate Me


1 ounce pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon honey
1 ounce fresh lemon juice
2 ounces bourbon
3 ounces ginger beer
1/8 teaspoon grated fresh ginger (yes, you can use ground ginger if you must)
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Garnish: (optional)

1 cinnamon stick
Sage leaves
Dash of ground cinnamon

Preparing your Spiced Pumpkin Punch:

-Place all of the ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously. (If you don’t have a cocktail shaker, don’t panic. Just use a teaspoon to really mix things up.)


6. Apple Cider Hot Toddy


via Cookie and Kate | recipe by Cookie and Kate


This cider-sweetened cocktail is light and warming, perfect for the holidays. The quality of ingredients goes a long way here, so be sure to use real, unfiltered apple cider (it should be murky). Locally produced cider tends to be fresher and contain fewer (if any) additives. Spiced cider is good, too.


  • 1 green tea or black tea bag (I like Tazo China Green Tips)
  • 1½ ounces rye whiskey or bourbon (I like Bulleit)
  • 1 ounce real apple cider
  • ½ small lemon
  • garnishes: thin, round slices of lemon, a cinnamon stick, and star anise


  1. Heat water to the boiling point and pour over the tea bag in a mug. Leave about an inch of room in your mug for the whiskey and cider. Let the tea steep for a few minutes, then discard the bag so the tea doesn’t get bitter.
  2. Pour in the whiskey or bourbon and a hefty splash of apple cider (adjust these amounts to suit your tastes). Squeeze in the juice of half a lemon and garnish with lemon slices, a cinnamon stick and a star anise. Sip up.


  • Amounts given above yield one cocktail.
  • Are you, too, experiencing an unseasonably warm holiday? For a similar, chilled drink, try whiskey with club soda, a splash of apple cider and a big squeeze of lemon.


7. Kahlua Pumpkin Scotchie


via Garnish With Lemon


  • 1½ parts Kahlúa Pumpkin Spice
  • 1½  parts Butterscotch Schnapps
  • ½  part heavy cream


  • Put all ingredients in a shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously to mix. Pour in martini glass and serve.


8. Vanilla Vodka Chai Tea



  • 6 oz. strong Chai Tea (I used 1 tea bag for 6 oz. water)
  • 2 oz. vanilla vodka
  • ¾ oz. amaretto liqueur
  • ½ oz. simple sugar
  • ½ oz. half n half


  • Bring 3 cups of water to a boil and steep 4 tea bags for 2 to 4 minutes (following the tea directions on the box). Allow to cool and refrigerate until time of use (3 cups tea will yield 4 drinks).
  • In a cocktail shaker or tall glass, combine ingredients and shake or stir generously (shaking will froth up the half n half and help release the infused flavor in the spirits). Fill glass with ice and pour drink over ice. Garnish with a cinnamon stick or two.

9. Spiced Apple Cider Margarita


via Domesticate Me


  • 5 ounces spiced apple cider (If you can’t find spiced cider, you can always spice your own.)
  • ½ teaspoon lemon juice
  • .5 ounces Grand Marnier (or Cointreau)
  • 1.5 ounces mescal or gold tequila

For garnish: (optional)

  • 2 tablespoons raw sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Apple slices

Preparing your Spiced Cider Margarita:

  • In a small bowl, combine the raw sugar and cinnamon. Pour a splash of Grand Marnier into a separate bowl. Dip the rim of the glass in the Grand Marnier to moisten it, and then immediately dip the glass in cinnamon sugar. (You’ll have enough cinnamon sugar for about 4-5 cocktail glasses.)
  • Pour all the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake until well combined.
  • Pour over ice into your rimmed glass. (If you don’t have a cocktail shaker, you can obviously just mix everything together in the glass. Duh.) Garnish with a cinnamon stick, a slice of apple, and a dash of ground cinnamon if you’re feeling fancy.


10. Figgy Maple Bourbon Fizz


Fig-infused bourbon

  • fresh figs, halved
  • bourbon
  • mason jar, or other clean glass vessel with cover

1. Fill your mason jar, or other container, halfway with fresh figs. Top off with bourbon, cover, and let sit for 5-7 days, giving it a gentle swirl once a day or so. Once infused, strain the bourbon through a sieve (reserve the figs for another use like a boozy jam) and pour bourbon into another clean jar for storage.

Figgy Maple Bourbon Fizz

  • 1 fresh fig, halved
  • 2 tsp pure maple syrup, the darker the better
  • squeeze fresh lemon juice
  • few dashes vanilla coconut maple bitters, or angostura bitters
  • 3 oz fig-infused bourbon
  • ginger beer


  • Divide the fig between 2 old fashioned glasses. To each glass add 1 tsp maple syrup, small squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a couple dashes of bitters. Muddle ingredients in each glass until well incorporated. Fill glasses with ice, pour 1 1/2 oz of the fig infused bourbon over each and then top with ginger beer. Give a quick stir and enjoy!
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