Feeling Chilly? Warm Up with These Fall Cocktails

The weather in Minnesota is finally starting to cool down which can only mean one thing – it’s getting close to fall.  One week away to be exact.  And while I’m a little sad to see the summer weather go [especially since the season started so late] I definitely love fall weather.  There’s just something about oversized sweaters, boots, chunky scarves and football that make this one of my favorite seasons.  [Yes, you read that right, I had to throw football in there with my love of fall fashion.]  If you love football as much as I do, then there is probably some entertaining in your future.  I mean, football is one of those sports I can totally watch alone but I love watching it with a few close friends to cheer on our team.  However, oddly enough, a lot of our close friends cheer for other teams… this makes it hard to determine whose game watch [I guess that’s what you get for being surrounded by 4 bordering states that don’t have pro football teams – they get to be fans of whatever team they want.]

Anyway, getting back to that entertaining.  We all know that cocktails can totally help a party out.  I mean, I’m not saying that you need to have alcoholic beverages served at your event but it certainly spruces up the party.  Because no good story begins with a salad [have you seen that e-card… it’s one of my favs].  So that’s why I’m here.  To help you with some ideas on cocktails you can serve for your next fall event – whether it’s for a football game, birthday party, summer-ending BBQ or just because, these are sure to make your guests happy, happy, happy.

Let’s kick off the recipes with some apple cider.  We all know that apples are a true fall staple.  I mean, you can’t go apple picking in July can you?  Well, maybe you can, but it’s not quite the same.  Here are a few recipes I’m going to store for later –

This spiked hot caramel apple cider cocktail recipe comes from Cooking in College and sounds absolutely scrumptious!  All you need is some apple cider [usually in full swing this time of year], some Smirnoff caramel flavored vodka [mmmm…], some cinnamon and brown sugar [optional].  Combine cider, vodka and cinnamon in a large pot, heat on medium-low while stirring occasionally until liquid begins to steam.  Line rims of lowball glasses with brown sugar and serve!

This Apple Cider Mimosa comes from Style Within Reach and is super easy to make!  I love a mimosa, especially at brunch, so this would be perfect for a brunch event!  Ingredients include a pinch of brown sugar, bourbon, Prosecco or other sparkling wine and fresh apple cider.  No heat needed for this drink, simply combine brown sugar and bourbon in a champagne glass, add sparkling wine and top with apple cider.  This sounds delicious!

I don’t really have an experience pallet for wine but when I came across this recipe for Apple Cider Sangria on How Sweet It Is my mouth started to water a bit.  While this recipe requires a bit more prepping time than the two apple cider recipes above, I think it would definitely be worth the work and the wait.  Ingredients include pinot grigio, fresh apple cider, club soda, ginger brandy, honeycrisp apples and pears.  The work?  Chopping up your apples and pears into small cubes.  The wait?  Combining all ingredients and refrigerating for 1+ hours.

Fall isn’t just about apples.  What about cranberries, pears and pomegranates?   Endless Simmer shares this quick and delicious cranberry cocktail that’s a little boozy.  Ingredients include Pear vodka, cranberry liquor and apple juice.  Instructions not included, but I imagine it goes like this – combine ingredients in a cocktail share with some ice, shake and serve in your favorite glass.  Garnish as desired [maybe with a little apple ribbon?].  Gettin’ thirsty yet?

This Vanilla Pear Drop from Events Uncorked is perfect for any pear lover.  A short ingredient list of vanilla vodka, pear nectar, vanilla extract and sugar, this cocktail is sure to be a great addition to any event.  Simply dip glass in vanilla extract, cover rim with sugar, mix vodka and pear nectar in a shaker, shake and pour over ice.  Enjoy.

What’s a fall cocktail list without something that’s pumpkin related?  To be quite honest, there’s probably a ton of yummy pumpkin recipes to choose from but I hate the taste of anything pumpkin flavored so this will be the only cocktail recipe in the group.  This recipe from She Knows requires a little bit of work, but if you love pumpkin like most of the population, then you will think it’s worth the wait!  Ingredients include pumpkin puree, apple cider, spiced rum, pumpkin pie spice and a cinnamon stick.  To make, mix pumpkin puree, apple cider, pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon sticks in a large pot and bring to a boil.  Once boiling, reduce heat to low and let simmer for 20 minutes.  Strain mixture through a mesh strainer, add rum and serve warm.

So, how many of these made your mouth water a little?  Or a lot?  I’m excited to host some friends or family this fall to try these out!  Maybe that’ll be my next project to focus on since the wedding  is over.  I’m going to need something to look forward to!




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