Football, bonfires, and cozy evenings spent at home — is there anything better than sipping a beverage outside when the weather gets cooler? Now with the best fall alcoholic beverages, you can bring the party to Halloween, Friendsgiving, and all of the football watch parties in between.
If thinking of cider brings back memories of sickly sweet drinks from your college days, it’s time to give this seasonal beverage another try. Hard cider is having a moment, and between the amount of apples grown in the U.S.A. and the creativity from local cidery owners, this is a trend that’s here to stick around. Thankfully, ciders aren’t always low ABV and they aren’t always sweet. Find varieties such as dry, sparkling, iced (a sweeter dessert-style), and even dry rosé made from red fleshed apples and other pink infusions like rose petals, currants, or hibiscus.
Eden Speciality Ciders is just one of the premier cideries that dabbles in it all. Their concoctions come in cans and elegant bottles — the latter of which would be perfect for your Thanksgiving table. Even Stella Artois released a European-style cider to pay homage to this great fall beverage. The flavor profile is on the sweeter side, but it’s just as crisp and bubbly as its famous beer cousin, and is carried at most retailers across the country.
The optimum temperature for serving red wine is between 60-68 degrees, so it’s no surprise that fall is the best time of year to bring a can along on your next adventure. With Graham + Fisk’s Red Wine-In-A-Can, you can bring this delicious California-grown wine just about anywhere — no cooler required on mild days.
For formal glass bottles, lighter reds and hearty rosés pair best with fall dishes. There’s no need to go super heavy here. Gamay, Cabernet Franc, and Pinot Noir will compliment all of the squash soups and meat and potato dishes that come your way.
Something about seeing the leaves change colors and uncovering our flannel from seasons past makes us nostalgic for old-school favorites. Plus, getting the bar cart back in fall order sets it up for a season of gathering with family and friends. Here are just a few of the cocktails you’ll want to try your hand at this fall.
Simple isn’t always better when it comes to cocktails, but it’s tough to argue otherwise in the case of the Manhattan. This cocktail encapsulates simple elegance in about half the time it takes to make an Old Fashioned, it doesn’t require an orange peel, and will take any formal gathering to the next level. A quality vermouth is the key here, and will prevent that scrunch-your-nose syrupy sweetness. Bonus: a bottle of the good stuff will keep for 1-3 months in the fridge and is even good on the rocks as an after-dinner dessert wine.
So add a bottle of your favorite bourbon to the bar cart, find a decent vermouth, and splurge on a jar of quality cherries that will last the whole season (if you can resist adding three per drink). They’re worth it, trust us.
Dark ‘N’ Stormy Mule
The beauty of mules (besides the good looking copper cup) is that they aren’t really seasonal. Moscow Mules are a staple on happy hour menus all year long, and for good reason due to their refreshing gingery lime taste.
If you’re still in the mood for mules after summer, but looking to adapt the flavor with the colder weather, a Dark ‘N’ Stormy is your answer. Just swap the vodka for dark rum, and the rest of the recipe remains the same between these two delicious drinks — ginger beer, lime juice, and a wedge of lime on top.
Make your house smell extra homey on a cold day with a combination of wine, fruit, and spices. It’s even better smelling than a pot roast and more warming than an apple crisp, which makes mulled wine the ultimate welcome for guests that walk through the door when the weather turns. Plus, it’s incredibly easy to throw together for a crowd, requires ingredients you probably already have, and gets everyone excited for the holiday season. But remember — warm wine isn’t for everyone, so place some canned wine in the fridge and give guests the go-ahead to grab a cold one.And if you’re hosting a Halloween party, we’ve got you covered on that too! See what made our list for the Best Alcohol for Halloween in 2021, and get completely stocked for every occasion this season.
Erin Hooker is a writer with experience creating wine, food, and interior design content. She began contributing to Graham + Fisk’s blog in 2021.