Autumn is officially here and with it comes crisp air, sweaters, shorter days, and the changing of the leaves. It’s one of our favorite times of the year because not only do we get to break the lazy days of summer and get back to business, but we get to indulge in the best fall alcoholic drinks that really warm your belly and make you feel good.
Here are some of our favorites. Curl up and enjoy!
Apple-Brandy Hot Toddy (see on Food & Wine)
This is not only perfect for when you are under the weather, but it’s great if you need something toasty to cozy up with.
1 ½ cups water
2 tablespoons honey
½ cup fresh lemon juice
2 cups Apple Brandy
Eight 3-inch cinnamon sticks
In a small saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the honey until dissolved. Stir in the lemon juice and apple brandy. Set a cinnamon stick in each of the eight mugs, pour in the hot liquid and serve.
Rose Sangria with Cranberries and Apples (seen on Epicurious)
Cranberries and apples give this sangria an autumn feel. The recipe is a little more time-intensive, but trust us, it’s worth it!
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 large cinnamon stick
4 allspice berries
3 whole cloves
1 star anise pod
2 cups cranberries
2 granny smith apples. diced
1 750 ml bottle Spanish rosé
⅓ cup ruby port
⅓ cup Cointreau
⅓ cup cranberry juice
ice cubes, for serving
In a saucepan, mix the water, sugar, crushed red pepper, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, and star anise. Simmer the syrup over moderately low heat for 15 minutes. Strain into a bowl and add the cranberries and apples. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Strain the fruit, reserving the spiced syrup. In a large pitcher, mix the rosé with the port, Cointreau, cranberry juice, fruit, and ¾ cup of the spiced syrup.
Refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour. Serve over ice.
Bourbon Chai (seen on Saveur)
With a perfect hint of spice, this warm bourbon chai is perfect for a boozy nightcap.
8 bags black tea, paper and string removed
8 green cardamon pods, crushed
8 whole allspice berries, crushed
8 whole peppercorns, crushed
8 whole cloves
3 star anise
2 whole cinnamon sticks
½ whole nutmeg, chopped
1 piece of fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped, seeds and pod reserved
6 cups hot water
6 cups unsweetened almond milk
⅓ cup honey or agave
1 cup spice-forward bourbon
In a 4-quart saucepan, combine tea, spices, ginger, and vanilla bean seeds and pod with 6 cups of hot water. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat and add almond milk and honey or agave, whisking to combine. Return to a simmer, remove from heat, and allow to steep 10-15 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth-lined strainer, pressing down on solids to extract flavors.
Transfer the chai to a heat-proof serving vessel (like an earthenware pitcher) and stir in bourbon. Alternately, ladle chai into 8 individual mugs and portion 1 oz bourbon into each.
Pumpkin Martini (as seen in Rachael Ray Magazine)
Because what’s fall without a little pumpkin, right?
¼ cup vanilla vodka
¼ cup creme de cacao
¼ cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
Whipped cream for garnish
Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice cubes. Add the vanilla vodka, creme de cacao, heavy cream, and pumpkin pie spice and shake well.
Dip the ring of 2 martini glasses into a bowl of whipped cream. Strain the cocktail into the glasses.
Brandy Alexander (as seen on Chowhound)
An adaptation of the Alexander cocktail, this version has brandy instead of gin.
2 oz dark crème de cacao
2 oz heavy cream
1 ½ oz
whole nutmeg, for grating
Place a cocktail in the freezer to chill. Place the crème de cacao, cream, and brandy in a cocktail shaker. Add ice to fill the shaker halfway, cover, and shake until the outside is frosted, about 30 seconds. Strain into the chilled glass and top with freshly grated nutmeg.
Nothing says fall like whiskey. We hope to see you at our next event, Whiskey Fest, on October 24th. Not only is this a free tasting, it is also an opportunity to support The Columbia University Multiple Sclerosis Clinical Research and Treatment Center. You can rsvp here: www.columbiawhiskeyfest/eventbrite.com.