Fall, y’all. It’s that time of year for pumpkin spice everything. Which means that more importantly, it’s also time for another round-up of seasonal cocktail recipes. So today I’m coming to you with a few of my favorite autumn cocktails from myself and bartenders around America. You don’t have to have a full bar, or even a muddler or bar spoon for these. Just run down to your local 7-Eleven for some limes, since a lot of the ingredients for cocktails on Whiskey Tango Globetrot are things you probably already have.
A few weeks ago I wrote about a few of my favorite fall bourbon cocktails, so I included them, as well as some new autumn cocktail recipes both from yours truly, and other bartenders. Got a fave fall cocktail? Include it in the comments below. Let’s get to shakin’.
Autumn Cocktail Recipes
Mexican Firing Squad
How much fun does this sound? It’s kind of nice having a tequila cocktail not called a margarita, and this fun one came recommended to me from my new online drankin’ friend, Jenny Adams, of whom I have a crush on her writing and photos (and who has the best website name in history, Buddha Drinks Fanta). It would actually take more time to make a cup of coffee than it would to make this drink. That’s how easy it is. The cocktail comes from old cocktail historian Charles H. Baker, having been discovered in 1937 in Mexico City at a bar called La Cucaracha (translated “The Cockroach”). Add all the ingredients to a cocktail shaker, shake it like a polaroid picture (or maraca), and strain into a rocks glass over ice. And that’s it!
Sage Bee’s Knees
- 1.5 oz. gin
- .5 oz. lemon juice
- .5 oz. honey syrup (equal parts honey and water)
- 3 fresh sage leaves divided
Y’all, my friend Aida Mollenkamp of Salt and Wind has mad chef skills, but she also knows her way around a bar. And since the Bee’s Knees is one of my favorite simple gin cocktails, this was a no-brainer when I saw Aida post a photo of it on Instagram. It’s just what the doctor ordered, especially on one of those warm fall days like we’re lucky to have a lot of in Southern California. For the cocktail, the honey syrup is your typical simple syrup recipe, except subbing the honey for sugar. Add gin, lemon juice, syrup, and two sage leaves in a cocktail shaker and stir to dissolve honey syrup. Fill shaker with ice and shake. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and then smack remaining sage leaf between your hands over the glass and drop it into the drink.
Cue music. Why Apple Bottom, you may be asking yourself? Well, because you’re muddling apples at the bottom of your cocktail shaker, but most importantly, because I like a good play off a rap song, especially when it involves T-Pain. For this fall bourbon cocktail, simply slice and chop up part of a Gala apple and muddle in a cocktail shaker to get some of the juice from it. Then add the bourbon, maple syrup, lemon juice, and ice to the cocktail shaker and shake. Strain into a glass filled with ice and garnish with more apple slices if you desire.
Let’s hope you don’t get sauced on this bourbon cocktail since it does have the addition of hard cider (hard cider does in fact have alcohol in it after all). This fall bourbon cocktail really builds off the last one, but with the addition of topping it with hard cider, which I recommend only a little of. You’ll add the bourbon, syrup, and lemon juice to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake. Strain it into a glass filled with ice and top with hard cider and sprinkle with cinnamon. I particularly loved the addition of cinnamon and even put a cinnamon stick in my drink for good measure.
- 2 oz. blended Scotch whiskey
- 1 bar spoon of apple butter
- 1 tsp. of maple syrup
- .75 oz. lemon juice
- Ginger beer
- Garnish: Slice of apple or cinnamon stick
Delicious and dangerous. That sums up this cocktail that’s my most recent concoction. It’s refreshing but still is uniquely fall with ingredients like maple syrup and apple butter. The apple butter I use, however, is less spread and more of a jam. So I used it much in the same way that I’ve used jam in cocktails before, except I used half the amount so I could add a little bit of maple syrup. To make this fall apple cocktail, add all of the ingredients (except the ginger beer) to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake. Strain into a rocks glass filled with ice and then top with ginger beer, of which Bundaberg is my go-to. Garnish with a slice of apple or cinnamon stick.
Anyone who follows me or has read any of my other cocktail posts know that I love the Blind Barber (with locations in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Los Angeles). If features great classic and house-made cocktails, has a great ambiance, and captures the sentiment of the original speakeasy in a way that other places don’t (barbershop first, cocktail bar second). So it’s only appropriate to feature one of the Blind Barber’s new cocktails from their recently released fall/winter menu. This autumn cocktail comes from my Blind Barber bartender friend, Dan, so let your mind go crazy with the acronym (Autumn Drink, Autumn Dan, or my favorite, Action Dan). This is about as easy and delicious of a cocktail that you’ll find from a Los Angeles cocktail bar, really just three ingredients before topping off with tonic and Prosecco. To make this fall cocktail, muddle the sage in a cocktail shaker before adding gin, Lillet Rose, and agave with ice. Shake and strain over ice in a collins glass. Add a splash of tonic water and then a float of Prosecco. Garnish with a lemon peel.
- 2 oz. Scotch
- .75 oz. Lemon Juice
- .75 oz. Pear Clove Syrup (may be substituted for Pear Purée)
- .5 oz. Maraschino Liqueur
- .5 oz. Ginger Beer
- .5 oz Egg White
This autumn cocktail comes from one of my neighborhood restaurants, Fig & Olive (also with a few locations around the U.S.). I mean I couldn’t talk fall cocktails and not have pear reppin’. Bonus points that it has a few of my favorite cocktail ingredients, Scotch, ginger beer, and egg white. Add everything except the ginger beer to a cocktail shaker and dry shake for 10 seconds. Add ginger beer and ice and shake. Strain into a martini glass, and if feeling especially fancy, garnish with cracked pepper and a mint leaf.
- 1 oz. dark rum
- .5 oz. honey
- .5 oz. lemon
- 1 dash Angostura bitters
- Sparkling pear cider
- Garnish with a sage leaf
Why not throw a little European-inspired autumn cocktail into the mix. This fall cocktail recipe comes from San Francisco’s Bon Marché Brasserie & Bar, which as the name presumes, is French-inspired. This cocktail is French both in nature and name, inspired by Luis Buñuel’s 1972 surreal fantasy, The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie. Bon Marché’s recipe calls for sesame-infused honey, while I just include regular honey in the ingredient list above. Add the first four ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake. Strain into a coupe or martini glass and top with pear cider (sparkling, of course, since this is France we’re talking about after all). Garnish with a sage leaf. And voilà!
What are your favorite autumn cocktail recipes?