How to Stock Your Bar for Autumnal Cocktails, Mocktails, & Coffees
Cozy or refreshing cocktails, mocktails, and coffee — Delicious at any time of year and perfect for autumn occasions. Halloween and holiday parties and family gatherings are plentiful, for one. Plus, seasonal ingredients like rosemary, pumpkin, and cranberry bring different flavors to unique or traditional drink recipes. The best fall cocktails, punches, coffee drinks, and more surely come by way of a well-stocked bar cart!
Drinking With the Seasons
The ultimate flavor-makers for your autumn beverages should be both fresh and shelf-stable: Like a mix of fresh juices and herbs with bar cart staples like syrups, spices, and sparkling water. (We love a good sparkling drink, especially when whipping up mocktails!) And when it comes stocking your bar with liquor for the season, go for dark spirits like rum and bourbon, which tend to go great with other autumn flavors. For one, a simple stir of spiced rum and apple cider is easy and tasty when chilled or heated.
To start, we recommend stocking your bar with seasonal staples like:
- Pomegranate and cranberry juice
- Homemade pumpkin spice syrup (read on for a recipe!)
- Maple syrup and honey
- Woody herbs like rosemary, sage, and thyme
- Spices like apple or pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon sticks
- Sparkling water or club soda
- Ginger beer or ale
Though not super seasonal, ginger beer tastes good with other fall flavors like apple, pomegranate, and cranberry.
If you’re looking to make autumn-inspired drinks, there’s a good chance seasonal produce like these fruits and herbs is on your list. And while perhaps not traditional or simple, nothing’s stopping you from whipping up a squash-based cocktail (hi, pumpkin spice!):
- Apples like honeycrisp and granny smith
- Squash like butternut, spaghetti squash, kabocha, and acorn squash
- Herbs like rosemary, sage, and thyme
Fall Cocktails & Mocktails
Spiced apple cider, cranberry sangria, and pumpkin lattes bring forward flavors of the autumn months with each seasonal sip. These are just a couple examples of fall cocktails and mocktails to savor. And in general, it just takes a couple quality ingredients to carefully craft a specialty autumn beverage: A little something sparkling and some fresh citrus juice is a great base for mocktails and cocktails. For example, stir together some sparkling water, apple cider, and lemon or grapefruit juice for an apple cider spritzer.
Apple cinnamon-anything are great fall flavors like a sparkling apple or pumpkin spice punch. Same goes for tart and vinaceous cranberry margaritas or pomegranate moscow mules (both of which can be made into nonalcoholic mocktails)! For something super unique, branch out and get creative with recipes like this honey roasted pear sparkling mocktail. Or, muddle together some citrus and fresh rosemary for the start of this lemon and rosemary spritzer.
Pumpkin Spice Syrup Recipe
Perfect for a cup o’ joe or pumpkin spice latte, pumpkin spice syrup needs just a few ingredients. Then, keep the syrup on hand and throw it into drinks and even baked recipes: We’re thinking coffee, apple cider, punch, you name it.
- ¼ cup pumpkin puree (homemade or store bought)
- ½ cup pure maple syrup
- ⅓ cup water
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ - 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- Pinch salt
- Combine all ingredients to a medium saucepan over medium low heat.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.