15 Best Fall Cocktails and Recipes for Fall Flavors

Written by Susan Lanier-Graham

September 18, 2021
Home >> Eat & Drink >> Recipes >> 15 Best Fall Cocktails and Recipes for Fall Flavors

Conjure up some autumn vibes with a few of my favorite fall cocktail recipes. These are great fall cocktails that you can make—to sip and share—at home.

I love fall. It's my favorite season and probably the thing I miss most about the East Coast. The smell of smoke in the air from chimneys. The reds and golds of the trees. Remembering the crunch of leaves underfoot as I ran through fields as a child makes me smile. I adore a full moon in the October sky. I also love the flavors and colors of fall. So if you're looking for that fall feel yourself, you can conjure up some autumn vibes with these fall cocktail recipes that you can make at home to sip and share with your friends.

I love fall. It's my favorite season and probably the thing I miss most about the East Coast. The smell of smoke in the air from chimneys. The reds and golds of the trees. Remembering the crunch of leaves underfoot as I ran through fields as a child makes me smile. I adore a full moon in the October sky. I also love the flavors and colors of fall. So conjure up some autumn vibes with these fall cocktail recipes that you can make at home to sip and share with your friends.

Bring a Taste of Italy to Your Fall Cocktails

The Italian Trade Agency has worked hard to introduce an American audience to Italian spirits. During my travels in Italy, I think the flavors of everything—food, wine, and cocktails—were my biggest takeaways. Everything is fresh, vibrant, and created with passion. These cocktails, creating some exceptional spirits, definitely take me away to autumn days in Italy.

The Dark Side of Manhattan

The Dark Side of Manhattan uses bourbon and Il Mallo Nocino liqueur. Nocino Il Mallo is a walnut liqueur made from green walnuts—il mallo means the husk. This is a traditional liqueur created in Modena. Traditionally, the women of Modena would climb ladders to harvest the green walnuts in June. They would then let them macerate in pure alcohol for up to a year. Traditionally at Christmas, they would drain the walnuts, press them, and create an infusion with clove, coriander, cinnamon, and sugar. It then ages for about 9 months.

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Fall Cocktail recipes

Dark Side of Manhattan made with Italian Il Mallo. Photo courtesy The Italian Trade Agency

Ingredients
  • 40 ml Whiskey Bourbon
  • 20 ml Nocino Il Mallo
  • 3 dashes angostura bitters
  • 1 bar spoon rice vinegar
  • 1 maraschino cherry

Note: 10 milliliters (ml) is about 1/3 of a US ounce. I recommend purchasing a shot glass with milliliters such as this one. Then it is easier to pour European measurements.

Preparation
  1. Mix in a mixing glass.
  2. Serve in a cocktail glass.
  3. Decorate with a maraschino cherry.

Brooklyn 2.0

The Brooklyn 2.0 is made with Nocello and a rye whiskey. Nocello is also a walnut liqueur from the same region of Modeno. However, while the Nocino has those earthy spices of clove, coriander, and cinnamon, Nocello is walnut and hazelnut, sweeter, and has vanilla tones. Nocello is similar to Frangelico.

Italian cocktails

The Brooklyn 2.0 with Nocello. Photo courtesy The Italian Trade Agency

Ingredients
  • 1¾ oz Rye whiskey
  • ½ oz Nocello
  • ½ oz Dry vermouth
  • ¼ oz Luxardo Maraschino liqueur
  • 2 Dashes of Orange bitters
  • Expressed orange peel for garnish
Preparation
  1. Stir together with large ice cubes.
  2. Serve in a rocks glass.
  3. Garnish with an expressed orange peel.

Mt. Etna Old Fashioned

The Mt. Etna Old Fashioned is a take on a classic Old Fashioned. This one uses Amaro Dell'Etna. This liqueur is from Mount Etna in Sicily. This dates back to about 1901 and is traditionally an after-dinner digestif. It is created using more than 15 fresh, local herbs and aromatics. Once extracted, they macerate in a water-sugar syrup for two months.

Italian Cocktail recipes

The Mt. Etna Old Fashioned with Amaro Dell'Etna. Photo courtesy The Italian Trade Agency

Ingredients
  • 1½ oz Amaro Dell’Etna
  • 1½ oz Irish Whiskey (such as West Cork Distillers Bourbon Cask)
  • 2 dashes Aromatic Bitters
  • 2 dashes Orange Bitters
Preparation
  1. Stir all ingredients with ice.
  2. Strain over fresh ice in a glass.
  3. Garnish with orange peel.

Dark Negroni

As with most cocktails, the history of the Negroni is steeped in tall tales. Liquor.com recounts the story of Italian Count Camillo Negroni who asked a bartender in Florence to change up his usual Americano cocktail with gin and to add an orange peel. The classic Negroni is equal parts gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth. However, there are hundreds of twists on the classic Negroni, including this one, the Dark Negroni. It uses vermouth, gin, rum, and another Italian liqueur, Amaro Sibona. Another Amaro, this one is from the Piedmont region. It is also an herbal blend with gentian, cinchona, rhubarb, and other aromatic plants and citrus. It can be sipped alone or over ice, added to cocktails, or served over ice cream.

Fall Cocktails

Dark Negroni with Amaro Sibona. Photo courtesy The Italian Trade Agency

Ingredients
  • 20 ml of Amaro Sibona
  • 20 ml CIVICO 10 Sibona Vermouth di Torino Rosso Superiore (or similar Vermouth Rosso)
  • 15 ml Gin
  • 15 ml Dark Rum
  • 20 ml Bitters
Preparation
  1. Pour ingredients into an Old Fashioned glass full of ice.
  2. Stir thoroughly.
  3. Drop a slice of orange into the glass to garnish.

Coffee for Fall Cocktails

The fall cocktail recipes include coffee. I love to smell coffee and it's always better in the fall. When you mix that coffee with your favorite spirits, it's a winning combination. One of these uses cold coffee while the other features hot coffee. What's your favorite way to enjoy coffee? Test out both and be sure to comment on which one you prefer.

Monarc Duffel Bags

Belfast Coffee

This cocktail uses cold brew coffee and Mad March Hare Irish Poitín. I had never heard of this spirit until recently and my husband is fascinated with the colorful history. My dad, who knew his share of moonshiners while growing up in Virginia in the 1940s, says this reminds him of really great moonshine. It's ideal for a fall coffee cocktail.

Note that both coffee recipes use Demerara syrup. This is a golden version of simple syrup, made with two parts sugar to one part water. The key is using demerara or turbinado sugar, which is similar to brown sugar. This adds a taste of caramel.

Coffee Cocktails

Belfast Coffee is a great fall cocktail using cold brew coffee and Mad March Hare Irish Poitín. Photo courtesy Mad March Hare Irish Poitín

Ingredients
  • 3 oz cold brew coffee
  • 2 oz Mad March Hare Irish Poitín
  • 1 oz demerara syrup
  • Hand whipped heavy cream
  • Nutmeg for garnish
Preparation
  1. Prepare the cold brew coffee.
  2. Stir ingredients in a mixing glass over ice.
  3. Strain into a chilled footed glass.
  4. Top with whipped cream.
  5. Garnish with nutmeg.

Egan's Irish Coffee

If you prefer a nice warm coffee cocktail for fall, then Egan's Irish Coffee is for you. This uses steaming brewed coffee, demerara syrup, and Egan's Vintage Grain Single Malt Irish Whiskey. The whiskey has notes of vanilla and cinnamon.

Coffee Cocktails

Egan's Irish Coffee blends Egan's Vintage Grain Single Malt Irish Whiskey and fresh brewed coffee. Photo courtesy Egan's

Ingredients
  • 3½ oz. freshly brewed coffee
  • 1½ oz Egan's Vintage Grain
  • 1 oz rich demerara syrup
  • Hand-whipped heavy cream
  • Nutmeg on top
Preparation
  1. Stir the first three ingredients into a warmed footed glass.
  2. Top with whipped cream.
  3. Garnish with nutmeg.

Fall Whiskey Cocktails

I think that whiskey, at least for me, defines fall. It has that earthy flavor that makes me want to sit in front of the fireplace. But not all whiskey cocktails are created equal. They can vary from deep spice flavors to light and bright. Here are a few fall whiskey cocktails. These cocktail recipes are ideal whether you usually drink whiskey, or are just trying out some of the flavors.

Spiced Sour Using Egan's Vintage Grain

This is another recipe, without the coffee this time, using Egan's Vintage Grain Single Malt Irish Whiskey. I think this one is ideal for fall with its blood orange and the cinnamon/clove simple syrup.

Whiskey Cocktails

Spiced Sour using Egan's Vintage Grain. Photo courtesy Egan's Irish Whiskey

Ingredients for the Cocktail
  • 1½ oz Egan's Vintage Grain
  • ½ oz fresh lemon juice
  • ½ oz fresh blood orange juice
  • ½ oz Cinnamon/Clove Rich Simple Syrup (see below)
  • White of one egg
Preparation for the Cocktail
  1. Combine all ingredients in a shaker.
  2. Dry shake until pressure changes.
  3. Add ice and hard shake until fluffy.
  4. Double strain into a large coupe.
  5. Garnish with chocolate bitters in a pretty design and/or a dried blood orange round balanced on the rim.
Ingredients for the Cinnamon/Clove Rich Simple Syrup
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 4-6 whole cloves
  • ½ oz water
Preparation for the Cinnamon/Clove Rich Simple Syrup
  1. Add cinnamon and cloves to the water.
  2. Leave sitting until water comes to room temperature.
  3. Remove cinnamon sticks and cloves and use water in the recipe.

Proper Cider

There is little that feels more fall than apple cider, cinnamon, and whiskey. This one uses Proper No. Twelve Irish Whiskey. Launched in late 2018, Proper Twelve blends Ireland's finest golden grain and single malt whiskey that is triple-distilled and aged in oak. You'll find the hints of vanilla and honey perfect for the season. Plus, for every bottle sold, $5 goes to first responder organizations.

Fall Cocktails

Proper Cider. Photo courtesy Proper No, Twelve Irish Whiskey

Ingredients
  • 2 parts Proper No. Twelve Irish Whiskey
  • 3 parts warm apple cider
  • Cinnamon stick (optional)
Preparation for the Cinnamon/Clove Rich Simple Syrup
  1. Combine warm apple cider and Proper No. Twelve.
  2. Serve in an Irish Whiskey glass.
  3. Garnish with a cinnamon stick.

Mulled Wine Old Fashioned with Rampur Asava

So this is an unusual whiskey, hailing from India. Rampur Asava is a single malt whiskey that matures in American Bourbon barrels but then finishes in Indian Cabernet Sauvignon barrels. This gives the whiskey a nose of plums and spice with a honeyed sweetness on the palate. This mulled wine old fashioned pairs beautifully with chocolate and gingerbread, making it an ideal fall cocktail.

Whiskey Cocktails

Mulled Wine Old Fashioned made with Rampur Asava. Photo courtesy Rampur

Ingredients for the Cocktail
  • ½ oz mulled wine syrup (see recipe below)
  • 2 oz Rampur Asava
  • 2 dashes of sarsaparilla bitters
  • Orange peel
Preparation for the Cocktail
  1. Combine bitters, orange peel, and mulled wine syrup in a large rocks glass.
  2. Use a muddling stick to press the ingredients together and release the oils of the orange peel.
  3. Add the Rampur Asava and stir gently to incorporate.
  4. Add ice, preferably a single large cube, and stir 30 to 50 rounds, depending on the quality of your ice to achieve proper dilution. Enjoy!
Ingredients for the Mulled Wine Syrup
  • 1 cup of less tannic, more fruit-forward red wine
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 star anise
  • 3 allspice
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 3 cloves
Directions for the Mulled Wine Syrup
  1. Bring the wine to a simmer.
  2. Add the sugar and the spices.
  3. Simmer until the sugar dissolves.
  4. Set aside to cool.
  5. Once cool, strain the spices out and store the syrup in the refrigerator.

Tequila, Rum, and Vodka Fall Cocktails

While most people think of margaritas when they hear tequila and daiquiris or piña coladas when they hear rum, these are actually perfect cocktails for fall. These recipes use those spirits to create some great-tasting fall cocktails.

Black Flame Cocktail is an Ideal Fall Rum Cocktail

I know what you’re thinking — you’re too cool for school and not afraid of a little old cocktail. But be ye warned — just like black magic and three ancient hags, this cocktail is not to be trifled with. Though it does not include the fat of a hangman, this combination of ingredients could be called hair-raising. So be sure you don’t have too many, or thou wouldst hate thyself in the morning. This Black Flame Cocktail is Excerpted from The Unofficial Hocus Pocus Cookbook by Bridget Thoreson. Copyright © 2021 Ulysses Press. Reprinted with permission from Ulysses Press. New York, NY. All rights reserved.

Halloween Cocktails

Black Flame Cocktail is a great fall rum cocktail. Photo courtesy of Bridget Thoreson

Ingredients
  • 1/8 cup sugar
  • food coloring
  • lime wedge
  • 2 oz Captain Morgan Black Rum
  • ½ oz dry vermouth
  • blackberry, for garnish
  • ¼ oz Bacardi 151
Preparation
  1. Chill a cocktail glass.
  2. Pour the sugar into a small resealable storage bag.
  3. Add a few drops of food coloring to turn the sugar into the desired color. Shake the bag to distribute the coloring throughout the sugar.
  4. Dump the bag contents onto a plate.
  5. Use a lime wedge to rim the cocktail glass.
  6. Dip the rim of the glass into the colored sugar so it is evenly coated with the sugar.
  7. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the black rum and vermouth and shake well.
  8. Strain the cocktail into the rimmed glass.
  9. Garnish with a blackberry.
  10. Optional: Drizzle the Bacardi 151 onto the top of the cocktail and lith on fire. Let it burn out before you drink!

Fall Tequila Cocktail: Tanteo Tequila Mexican Spiced Apples

Tanteo Tequila is owned by a cooperative of agave farmers. The Tanteo Jalapeño Tequila has that great smoky tequila flavor blended with just a touch of heat from the jalapeño. It's ideal for an everyday spicy margarita, but I think it works really well for fall tequila cocktails.

Fall Cocktails

Create this Mexican Spiced Apples cocktail for fall using Tanteo Jalapeño Tequila. Photo courtesy Tanteo Tequila

Ingredients
  • 1½ oz Tanteo Jalapeño Tequila
  • 2 oz fresh apple juice
  • ½ oz agave nectar
  • ¼ oz fresh lime juice
Preparation
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a shaker.
  2. Shake well and pour into an ice-filled rocks glass.
  3. Garnish with an apple slice and cinnamon.

Cold Comfort: A Simple Vodka Fall Cocktail

For those who prefer vodka, don't worry. You can create amazing fall cocktails with vodka. We've talked about Crystal Head Vodka in other articles. It is owned by actor Dan Aykroyd and renowned artist John Alexander designed the iconic skull bottle. The vodka uses pristine water from Newfoundland, Canada. It is filtered through layers of Herkimer diamonds. There are three expressions of Crystal Head Vodka: Original with Canadian corn, Aurora with English wheat, and Onyx with Blue Weber Agave. This recipe uses the original blended with dark rum to create the ideal fall cocktail.

Fall Cocktails

Cold Comfort is made with rum and Crystal Head Vodka. Photo courtesy Crystal Head Vodka

Ingredients
  • 1½ oz Crystal Head Vodka
  • 1 oz Dark Rum
  • 4 oz apple cider
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Grated cinnamon and thinly sliced apple for garnish
Preparation
  1. In a cocktail shaker, add Crystal Head Vodka, dark rum, and apple cider with ice.
  2. Shake vigorously for 10 to 15 seconds.
  3. Strain into a rocks glass with ice.
  4. Garnish with a cinnamon stick, finely grated cinnamon, and thinly sliced apple.

Bubbles for Fall Cocktails

I adore bubbles. There is something satisfying with the process of making a sparkling wine that makes me appreciate it more than other wines and spirits. While I think you should most often drink bubbles chilled and without other ingredients—check out a few of my favorite bubbles here—I absolutely love a good sparkling wine cocktail. If you want to pick up a great cocktail while you're out and about, I recommend the Berries & Bubbles at Ocean Prime, but I've included it here if you want to try it at home. Along with that, I've included a couple more delicious and easy fall cocktail recipes you can make at home using sparkling wine. Here are a few of my favorites.

Berries & Bubbles

This is probably one of my favorite sparkling wine cocktails. When you combine berries and one of my favorite liqueurs (Crème de Cassis) with bubbles, how could it not be great? Plus, it looks beautiful and is fun with the dry ice.

Ocean Prime Berries and Bubbles Cocktail

Ocean Prime Berries and Bubbles Cocktail. Photo courtesy Ocean Prime Phoenix

Ingredients
  • 1¼ oz Belvedere Citrus Vodka
  • ¾ oz Crème de Cassis
  • 1½ oz sour mix
  • 1 oz Domaine Chandon brut
  • Fresh berries
  • Dry ice
Preparation
  1. Combine Belvedere Citrus Vodka, Crème de Cassis, and sour in a mixing glass.
  2. Add ice; shake vigorously and strain into a chilled martini glass containing a spoonful of berries and a piece of dry ice.
  3. Finish cocktail with a float of Domaine Chandon brut.

Pomegranate Cocktail with Risata Moscato D'Asti

This is a pretty pink cocktail that is pretty almost any time of the year. I think pomegranate is great for fall, because that's when we can enjoy these delicious fruits. This uses Risata Moscato D'Asti. Although I love bubbles, I prefer dry bubbles for sipping. But this is a delicious and refreshing sparkling wine that is ideal for fall cocktails.

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sparkling wine cocktail recipe

Pomegranate Cocktail with fresh pomegranate is made with Risata. Photo courtesy

Ingredients
  • 1 oz vodka
  • 6 oz Risata Moscato D'Asti
  • Fresh pomegranate
  • Ice
Preparation
  1. Muddle fresh pomegranate at the bottom of a glass.
  2. Add ice.
  3. Pour your favorite vodka over the ice.
  4. Top with Risata Moscato d'Asti and stir gently.

Caramel Apple Mimosa

This recipe is a definite take on the classic mimosa. I love a mimosa for brunch and this one really calls on those fall flavors of caramel, apple, and cinnamon. This recipe comes from Total Wine, and is a super easy fall mimosa cocktail recipe.

Ingredients
Preparation
  1. Pour caramel into a small dish. Pour cinnamon sugar into another small dish. Dip champagne flutes into the caramel to rim glass, and then dip in cinnamon sugar until coated.
  2. Pour apple cider and Caramel Vodka into each flute and top with sparkling wine.
  3. Garnish with an apple slice before serving.

Related Articles for Fall Cocktails

I love fall. It's my favorite season and probably the thing I miss most about the East Coast. The smell of smoke in the air from chimneys. The reds and golds of the trees. Remembering the crunch of leaves underfoot as I ran through fields as a child makes me smile. I adore a full moon in the October sky. I also love the flavors and colors of fall. So conjure up some autumn vibes with these fall cocktail recipes that you can make at home to sip and share with your friends.

Fall Cocktails: Recipes for my Favorite Fall Flavors

Written by Susan Lanier-Graham

Founder and publisher Susan Lanier-Graham has traveled the world for the past twenty years, filling a passport or two along the way. She has wandered through the jungles of Thailand, explored the mysteries of the Great Pyramids, and shared the night with a leopard in Zambia. She sailed in the Mediterranean, sipped her way through Burgundy canals and Champagne caves. She followed Rembrandt’s footsteps through Amsterdam. Susan found her center on the red rocks of Sedona and soaked up an exquisite sunset over the Indian Ocean in Bali. Susan is always looking for wow moments around the world or across the street to share with adventure lovers everywhere. She has authored more than 75 books and hundreds of magazine articles. Susan is an award-winning travel writer and member of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) and International Food, Wine and Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA). She is a Certified California Wine Appellation Specialist (CWAS). Susan's work still regularly appears in print and online. Susan is an award-winning travel writer, a member of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) and is a Certified California Wine Appellation Specialist (CWAS). Susan has worked as an ambassador for Travelocity and is currently a travel ambassador for Rocky Mountaineer. Her work regularly appears in print and online in a variety of publications. These include various AAA publications, Postcards for Travel Leaders, Alamo.com, Hotels.com, Fairmont.com, So Scottsdale, Uptown, Green Living AZ, Life Refined, Modern Luxury, Marriott.com, WHERE Arizona, WHERE Traveler Phoenix + Scottsdale, and more.

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