For someone who loves summer, fall is always an adjustment period for me. The change of season means cold weather is coming, and outdoor activities move inside to get away from the cold. Despite my opposition for the change of season, the one thing that I do welcome is the move to harvest flavors in food, and especially in drinks. Oktoberfests and pumpkin beers start taking over the summer taps, and cocktails begin showcasing the warm, fall flavors, just in time for that first chill in the air.
These flavors are easy to bring to life at home, and to share with friends at cocktail parties. Cider, pumpkin ales and fall sangria are all anyone wants to drink right now, and it’s easy to create bar-worthy drinks that will impress your friends and make for a great night in.
A simple recipe that can easily be made for parties is Caramel Pumpkin Cider, which has been described as being “fall in your mouth.” Sure to be a crowd pleaser, the drink combines equal parts hard cider and pumpkin beer, with caramel vodka for a delicious spin on the “Sleepy Hollow.” The inclusion of the cider makes the drink a bit lighter than a pumpkin beer, and the vodka gives a smooth aftertaste of caramel that complements the two main ingredients. Topped with a layer of diced honey crisp apples, the drink evokes everything about fall and Halloween in a cup.
Since it is apple picking season, Fall Sangria is also a great cocktail to serve, especially if you’re hosting a large group. The best thing about fall sangria is that the only fruit that needs to be cut up are apples, making prep time even shorter. There are many different variations of sangria for this time of year, which allows for creativity and personal taste to play a role in the recipe. This one is straightforward and can be made in no time, but is also great if it’s able to chill for a few hours before being served. Combining white wine and ginger ale for the base, this sangria gets livened up with cloves, honey, apples and peach schnapps.
Both of these drinks evoke the best flavors of fall, and will warm you up on those chilly autumn evenings that are definitely here to stay.
Caramel Pumpkin Cider
1 part hard cider
1 part pumpkin beer
1 shot of caramel vodka
Top with diced apples
4 quarts white wine
1 part ginger ale
10 counts peach schnapps
1 tablespoon honey
½ teaspoon of cloves
4 apples, cut into quarter sized pieces(can also include pears)
Can be served immediately, or refrigerated for 2 hours before serving.
All measurements can be adjusted for taste.