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The last rays of summer are slowly fading, and the autumn season has finally arrived! Whether you're missing the warm sunny weather, or already picking out your fall wardrobe, these autumn-themed cocktails are sure to put anyone in the mood for a warm and cozy season.
1. Mulled Apple Cider
Mulled cider is a fantastic way to warm up chilly autumn nights, where the wind blows through the trees just right and you can sense the magic in the air. The crisp apple taste combined with the spice of cinnamon, allspice, and cloves will absolutely bewitch your senses, and the splash of rum will have you feeling snug and toasty on even the most blustery days. Added bonus: this recipe is prepared warmed on your stovetop, and will have your entire home smelling like Halloween is just around the corner. Use fresh apple cider from local farms if you can to create a truly unique experience for any autumn gathering—no apple bobbing required.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 45 minutes on stovetop
- Spirit: Rum
- Recipe: Warmed Mulled Apple Cider
2. Spiced Mexican Hot Chocolate
Hot cocoa is a chilly-season staple, but this adult take on the classic will have you feeling warm and cozy all autumn long. Much like the mulled cider, this delicious dessert beverage is warmed on your stovetop, and will leave your kitchen smelling like an authentic chocolate confectionary. The added cinnamon and vanilla add an irresistible burst of flavor, and a hearty pour of bourbon provides just the right amount of seasonal cheer.
This recipe calls for a few dairy products; however, vegan alternatives such as oak milk or cashew creamer work just as well. Add a few classic or vegan marshmallows to give it that little extra 'something,' and you'll be ready to cozy up by the fire with your new favorite treat in no time.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 15-20 minutes
- Spirit: Bourbon
- Recipe: Spiced Mexican Hot Chocolate
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3. Pumpkin Pie Martini
Welcome to your favorite Thanksgiving dessert in a glass. This delicious concoction will definitely impress guests at any gathering this season, whether it's a holiday feast or just a movie night with friends. The cinnamon-sugar rim not only adds to the aesthetic but also brings the combination of flavors together resembling an actual slice of that homemade, fresh pumpkin pie. You can also rim your glass with a bit of finely crushed graham cracker dust instead of, or in addition to, the cinnamon-sugar rim as well. This one was a little more complicated to make, but the payoff will be well worth it.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes for the rim
- Create Time: 1 minute
- Spirits: Bailey's, vanilla vodka, kalua, pumpkin liquor (optional)
- Recipe: Pumpkin Pie Martini
4. Apple Pie Moonshine
If you're looking for a little extra 'spirit' to your Halloween party, or just enjoy a steady-handed pour for your beverages, this is definitely the recipe for you.
Caution: this apple pie treat is strong! The combination of juice, cider, and cinnamon is packed with delicious flavor, and with more than a fair amount of liquor, it is sure to 'wow' at any costume party. Sugar does feature heavily in this citrusy concoction and has a very sweet and sharp flavor that actually pairs beautifully with the stronger liquors. However, if you're looking to add a little more flavor to the mix, I've found substituting vanilla-flavored vodka here to be a fantastic bonus to this dessert-with-a-kick.
As with all these recipes, be sure to monitor the alcohol pours near any open flames, and be sure to pace yourself—this one can sneak up on you! Additional note: this brew is typically best served after fermenting for three to four weeks in the fridge for the best flavor, but can also be prepared the day of in a pinch. Serve in Mason jars with a real cinnamon stick for a truly authentic experience.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
- Fermentation: A few hours to 4 weeks
- Spirits: Grain alcohol (like Everclear) and vodka (vanilla, if preferred)
- Recipe: Apple Pie Moonshine
5. Kahlua Pumpkin Spiced Coffee
What collection of autumn-themed recipes would be complete without a little spice? If you ever had the urge to take your pumpkin spiced latte obsession to new heights, this kahlua-based version will have you energized and ready to carve a perfect jack-o-lantern in no time.
Be sure to use a good-quality coffee for your base so you don't miss out on flavor, and many decaf varieties can work just as well. Additionally, you can always swap out the dairy products recommended with lactose-free alternatives. This recipe is one of the quickest on this list; once the coffee is ready it only takes a minute or so to combine all the ingredients and serve right away. This drink may just be that little extra 'something' to help keep you energized and festive all spooky season long.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes (or however long your coffee takes)
- Cook Time: 1 minute
- Spirits: Kahlua or comparable coffee liquor, and vodka
- Recipe: Kahlua Pumpkin Spiced Coffee