DIY, Drinks, Fall Season, Holiday

Cocktails to Make the Transition Into Fall

Fall is in the air, the days are getting shorter and Oktoberfest and Pumpkin spice lattes out in full force. But on those days when summer’s warmth lingers, acting like it’s the middle of October just don’t feel quite right to me. There is a time of year when, even before the first leaf falls, you can feel the seasons click. The air is crisp, the summer is gone.
 I’ve always been an advocate of a gradual transition to seasonal eating and drinking. After all, the seasons don’t change overnight. You don’t go from eating watermelon one day to butternut squash soup the next. With that in mind, here are four ideas for cocktails that have flavors that evoke autumn, but are still refreshing enough to sip on a warm Indian summer day.
Cooler-weather drinking season is upon us. Although every season is a great cocktail season, fall may be our favorite with its punches, whiskey concoctions and apple brandies. If I need to tell you to drink Manhattans, Old Fashioneds and Hot Toddies in the fall, then you haven’t been paying attention. Here are 3 tasty cocktails to get you in the transition phase.


Boulevardier Cocktail



  • 1.5 oz bourbon
  • 1 oz Carpano Antica (or other sweet vermouth)
  • 1 oz Campari
  • lemon twist for garnish

Add the bourbon, sweet vermouth, and Campari to your mixing glass. Fill your mixing glass with ice and stir for a full minute. Strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with a freshly peeled twist of lemon.

Levantando su copa y disfrutar!


Dirty Chai Toddy


This starts out as a fragrant and mildly indulgent chai — it’s made with half-n-half — and then right before serving you sling in some espresso and bourbon, and suddenly it’s a drink with purpose and conviction.

Serves 2

  • For the Chai:
  • 8 ounces half and half
  • 4 ounces water
  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
  • 2 black cardamom pods, crushed with a mortar and pestle
  • 5-6 pink peppercorns, crushed with a mortar and pestle
  • 1 1/2 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and flattened with the flat side of a large knife
  • 2 tablespoons Turbinado sugar
  • 2 sachets of organic whole leaf black tea
  • For the Dirty Toddy:
  • 2 ounces espresso (I used Stumptown Roasters Hairbender)
  • 2 ounces Knob Creek, or other good quality bourbon                                                         
  • Combine half and half, water, spices and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Add black tea sachets and steep for 5 minutes. Remove tea sachets, strain out spices and split chai between two pre-warmed teacups. Add one ounce of espresso and one ounce of bourbon to each teacup. Sit back and enjoy.

Autumn Spiced Apple Brandy Cocktail



  • 1 1/2 oz apple brandy
  • 1/4 oz Averna
  • 1/2 oz lemon juice
  • 1 oz unfiltered apple juice
  • 1/2 oz demerara spiced cordial
  • 2 dashes of old fashioned bitters
  • apple chip for garnish

Demerara Spiced Cordial:

  • 1/2 cup demerara sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 oz demerara rum
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 6 allspice berries
  • 1 cinnamon stick (broken into pieces)
  • 1 star anise pod
  • 6 white peppercorns
  • 1/2 nutmeg (cracked)

Apple Chips:

  • 1 gala apple
  • cinnamon
  • sugar
  • simple syrup
  • sprig of mint