This transitional time of year is a perfect time to try something a little new. And you guys know by now that I love (LOOOOVVVVEE) a new cocktail recipe. So I wanted to share some of my favorite fall cocktail recipes, to inspire each of us to expand our mixology boundaries a bit.
The delicious drink recipes below are definitely some of my favorite fall bourbon cocktails (and that’s expected this time of year).
But I think you might be surprised how many of them stray from that whiskey norm and celebrate some of the best fall drinks featuring gin (in particular).
And they really bring in flavors that feel super appropriate to autumn, or even just a VIBE that screams “headed into cooler weather!”
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Grapefruit Cardamom Gin Cocktail
This delightful cocktail is also great for spring, but to me its perfect balance of refreshing tartness and the warmth from the cardamom makes it the perfect “summer sliding into fall” drink.
“New York” Whiskey Sour (with Optional Egg White Foam)
A whiskey sour is one of my true loves, but always has a bit of a summer feel to me. The New York sour on the other hand, gives me major fall vibes, and has become one of my favorite early fall cocktails. AND IT’S SO PRETTY!
You basically add a red wine float on top of the traditional sour (poured of the back of a spoon, to diffuse it). It creates a beautiful layer and the dry red wine balances the sweet-tart cocktail profile.
A Different Take on Poinsettia Punch (Berry, Lemon, Spice, & Gin)
You hear “berry and lemon”, and you think springtime. But you add the lovely warm spices from a super easy cinnamon-vanilla simple syrup brings, and it’s a perfect fall and early winter treat that manages to be both refreshing and cozy at the same time.
A Perfect Amaretto Sour Cocktail (with Bourbon)
Take something I already love (whiskey sour) and add delicious almond liqueur to it?? Yes please! I already add almond extract to a high percentage of my baked goods because I love the blend of sweet and bitter it brings.
Pair the sweet booziness of the amaretto with a mid-proof bourbon (I like a 90-100 to stand up to the sweetness), back off the simple syrup, and add a hit of lemon, and you’ve got a winner.
And yes, I personally believe the egg white is necessary 🙂 This is another great way to make the whiskey sour a perfect fall cocktail.
“Trouble In Paradise”: A Spiced Peach Bourbon Cocktail
This is the perfect summer-to-fall transition cocktail…sweet, juicy peach flavor so reminiscent of midsummer, paired with the warming notes of cinnamon and bourbon that denote more of a fall cocktail, and then lifted with a hint of brightness from the fresh lemon juice.
And who doesn’t have a bottle of peach schnapps sitting around begging to be used up?
“Preservation Punch” Whiskey Cocktail
People should use jam in cocktails more often! This is a lovely whiskey drink where sweet berry preserves are offset with acidic lemon juice and balsamic vinegar.
The jam gives body and texture but not much sweetness, resulting in a balanced drink that makes me think of the transition between seasons.
Spiced Pear Bourbon Cocktail
This drink is autumn in a glass. With subtle notes of juicy pear and warm cinnamon, a boozy hit of bourbon, and just a hint of lemon to bring everything together, it manages to be both refreshing and cozy at the same time.
The spiced pear simple syrup is also super easy to make, and can be used for other cocktails, or to really add a je nais se quoi to a scone glaze. Trust me, this needs to be on your fall cocktail list.
Cinnamon Cranberry Whiskey Sour
Forget watery and weak cocktails that use cranberry juice. This tart, spiced take on a whiskey sour is easy to make and a delicious addition to your holidays!
It relies on a homemade cinnamon cranberry simple syrup that only takes a few minutes (and no skill) to make, and is the perfect cozy cocktail for your fall and winter.
Bourbon Milk Punch Cocktail
This is one of my all-time faves!! And it’s one of the cocktails that really started me on my cocktail-making experimentation journey.
The sweetened condensed milk gives this a velvety texture and provides sweetness without deadening it like heavy cream would. Add a bit of baking spice and a real punch from GOOD bourbon, and you’ve got your new favorite fall cocktail.
“Bakewell Tart-ini: A Cherry-Almond Gin Cocktail
As a huge Great British Bake-Off fan, creating a cocktail that tastes like Bakewell tart was a huge win for me. The cherry-almond main flavor combo is brightened by lemon juice and softened a bit by some optional Licor 43.
Rye Port Manhattan Cocktail
The thing is…I don’t really like Manhattans. The sweet vermouth tends to put me off (not every time, but often enough I’m not as willing to take a chance). But the Manhattan is such a classic that it felt like a huge gap for me.
So I went looking for a Manhattan without vermouth, something that maintains that iconic flavor but that I actually *like*. Enter delicious port wine…
This classic cocktail gives off a slightly-serious fall drink ethos that is perfect when the leaves are changing and things are getting a bit chilly.
“43 Flip”: Creamy Whiskey Cocktail with Licor 43
This is a traditional flip cocktail recipe, with the addition of the less-known Licor 43, a vanilla- and spice-flavored Spanish liqueur. I think people are really starting to discover the wonders of Licor 43, and I think that makes this one of the best fall cocktail recipes.
It’s kind of like a lighter eggnog without the heavy cream, creating a creamy bourbon cocktail that’s indulgent but not heavy.
The Caribou: A Port & Rye Whiskey Cocktail
This cozy cocktail takes only a few ingredients, and no special tools or techniques. It’s a French-Canadian drink made with red wine or port, rye whiskey, and just a splash of maple syrup. It’s the perfect fall or winter sipper—minimum effort with maximum reward!
Orange Amaretto White Russian Cocktail
This might be a bit more of a “late fall starting to tip over into winter” cocktail, but honestly I’d drink it year-round. This orange amaretto white russian has SO much going on!
And yet it’s super balanced, quite boozy, and the richness of the coffee, sweet bitterness of the almond liqueur, and brightness of the fresh orange really elevate it.
A French Gin Gimlet Cocktail
I personally believe that gin gimlets—like gin & tonics—are appropriate year-round. But most people think of them as a summer staple due to how refreshing they are. So when choosing which of my gimlet recipes to feature here, I went with the one that’s been both mellowed and booze-ified.
I will always remember my first time having these (the recipe post recounts it), but all you need to know is that swapping in St. Germain elderflower liqueur for the simple syrup makes these strong, tart, sweet, and perfect for early fall.
Peanut Butter & Jelly Whiskey Cocktail
Peanut butter jelly time! While the PB&J shot has become popular, I wanted to make a more sippable peanut butter and jelly cocktail. This one uses Chambord black raspberry liqueur and Skrewball peanut butter whiskey to recreate that beautiful flavor combo.
A Classic “Brown Derby” Cocktail
This was one of my intros to proper cocktails, back when I frequented a super cool speakeasy in Atlanta. It’s a tart, sweet, slightly bitter, boozy treat that perfectly pairs good bourbon with freshly-squeezed grapefruit juice and honey. It’s a great mellow choice for either spring or fall.
Warm Spiked Apple Cider with Port & Cranberries
This is a really great low-ABV fall cocktail recipe option, as the only alcohol is coming from the port (which isn’t all that high-proof to begin with). Though I’ll admit that I’m intrigued by the idea of adding some bourbon for more of a boozy punch.
So there you have it…some of my best fall cocktail recipes, whether you’re looking classic or avant garde, bitter or sweet, and simple or a bit more complex. These fall drink recipes give you tons of options for any type of solo sipping night or big group par-tay!
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