Over the past week in Charlotte, we’ve gotten a small taste of that Fall weather. While it came and went quickly, and we’re now met (once again) with the stifling 90 degrees days, we’ve begun to indulge in that fall mindset. Pumpkins, orange leaves, brisk mornings, sweaters…. ’tis the season that nearly all types of people can indulge in just a bit. And, as we know, part of indulging, can come in the form of alcohol. Fall-themed cocktails can come in many forms. You’ll likely see them gracing the menus of local bars and restaurants once that weather makes a more… permanent appearance.

Fall-themed Cocktails: Mixing it Up in Cooler Weather

Spiked Hot Apple Cider

Apple cider is a staple for the Fall and the Winter. It’s warm, making it perfect for cooler temperatures. So, let’s spike it. You can take that hot apple cider and make it that  much better with a little bit of whiskey, bourbon, or spiced rum. To make it, you’ll need to either make a batch, or get a jug, of your favorite apple cider. Take your preferred portion, and put it in a pot over low heat. Add a stick of cinnamon, star of Anis, a few drops of vanilla. Let it warm, pull it off heat, strain, add your spirit of choice, and top with whipped cream, caramel, cinnamon, or whatever you prefer! Now, you have a delicious, seasonal, fun beverage to make available at your next holiday party.

Pumpkin Martini

You and I both know that Fall is just a fancy way of saying pumpkin season. So, what better way to commemorate that than with a pumpkin martini? You can make this martini strong, sugary, thin, or creamy— put your own little twist on this one, and take credit at the next get together. You’ll surely be named the new mixologist for all get togethers with this fun little night cap. To make it, we’ll start with a vanilla vodka. Stoli Vanil is my favorite, but mixer’s choice. Next, you’re going to want to get a pumpkin syrup— you can use the same type you would in a coffee.

Pumpkin spice syrups are actually quite easy to find in the later months. Then, you’ll want to get some baileys if you want a creamier texture. I personally think you can go with or without, just because the vodka has a creamier flavor, but the cream is a nice touch. To combine it all, using a shaker, add your 2 oz. of vanilla vodka, 1/2 oz. pumpkin syrup, 1 oz. bailey’s, and one small scoop of ice. Shake it up. Then, take your martini glass and rim it with cinnamon sugar (you won’t regret it). Pour up your martini, and top with whipped cream. Delicious, creamy, and season-friendly.

Mulled Cherry Spice

Of the other fall-themed cocktails we’ve brought to you, this one is definitely the most alcohol forward. Mulled cherry spice is rich in spices (hence the name) and slightly tart (hence the cherry). To kick this recipe off, you’ll pour yourself a hearty serving of your favorite bourbon. Then, you can top it off with a dash of cherry juice, and a splash of root beer. If you want some added spicy goodness, add a dash of nutmeg, cinnamon, and allspice and stir. Remember to never shake your bourbon— that’s a big no-no.

As we wait patiently for this Fall weather, or begin to enjoy it depending on your neck of the woods, fall festivities become a priority. Bonfires, hay rides, pumpkin patches, and fall-themed cocktails. The only thing to remember here, is that most themed beverages are going to be sugary sweet, and can make you forget just how much alcohol is in there. So, drink smart, keep track of what you’re having, and don’t get behind the wheel after having those holiday beverages. The holidays are a time of joy, togetherness, and family. Don’t spoil that good time with a DUI.