Best Fall Cocktails: Top 5 Autumn Drinks Most Recommended By Experts

It’s getting time to trade in that Piña Colada for a Hot Toddy. With autumn right around the corner, fall cocktails will soon be back on the menu. These delectable drinks will hit the spot while you’re out on a date or hosting Friendsgiving at your place. StudyFinds set out to find the best fall cocktail drinks that not only tingle your tastebuds, but will make you feel all warm and cozy during those brisk autumn nights.

In a surprise to no one, autumn is America’s favorite season. People love trekking into nature to view the fall foliage, while others take in the chill in the air. Another popular fall tradition is celebrating Friendgiving with your closes confidantes. More people actually prefer being with their friends than taking part in Thanksgiving activities with their family. A whopping seven out of 10 people prefer Friendsgiving over the family-oriented Thanksgiving.

Wit every season comes a different vibe for what choice beverage fills your cup. As the leaves begin their enchanting transformation into hues of red and gold, it’s time to welcome the cozy embrace of fall cocktails. These liquid masterpieces are a symphony of seasonal flavors, where cinnamon-kissed apple ciders, warm pumpkin-spiced lattes, and the robust smokiness of bourbon blend harmoniously to create liquid nostalgia. With each sip, autumn’s essence dances on your palate, inviting you to savor the comforts of the season in every glass.

Craving a fall favorite yet? StudyFinds has delved into some of the best fall cocktail options out there. From cold to hot and from spicy to sweet, expert mixologists feign over these seasonal swirls every year. Did we miss your go-to? Let us know in the comments below!

The List: Best Fall Cocktails, According to Experts

1. Sangria

Sangria tops the favorite fall cocktails list. It’s not hard to understand why with so many delicious sangria recipes to choose from, including this Thanksgiving Sangria from Half Baked Harvest. “My go-to Thanksgiving Sangria – to kick off a night with family and friends. This is one of my favorite festive pitcher style drinks to serve up this November. White wine mixed with cider, brandy, pumpkin butter, citrus, spices, and a splash of ginger beer. It’s a touch sweet, refreshing, so easy to make, and perfect for both Friendsgiving and Thanksgiving gatherings!”

A batch of sangria
A batch of sangria (Photo by Frank Zhang on Unsplash)

If you’re an apple cider fan, just switch out the wine to make yourself Hard Cider Sangria. “Instead of wine, this juicy sangria is made with hard cider spiked with lemon juice and apple brandy,” says Food & Wine.

Inspired By Charm adds a number of fall flavors to make a mouthwatering Autumn Harvest Fall Sangria. “This Autumn Harvest Fall Sangria recipe is made with red wine and seasonal fruit and spices and is a delicious cocktail for celebrating the glory of autumn!”

2. Martini

James Bond prefers his martinis “shaken, not stirred,” but would he try any of these fall-themed cocktails, like the Spiced Chai Latte Martini? If he wants a party in his mouth he would. “A chai latte martini is another warm chai-spiced fall cocktail idea,” writes Yummy Mummy Kitchen. “I would swap the whole milk for coconut milk to make it dairy-free.”

Apple cider martini
Apple cider martini (Photo by Rimma Bondarenko on Shutterstock)

For the pumpkin lovers out there, fill up on the Pumpkin Pie Martini. “If you’re a fan of sweet treats, you’ll love this martini that tastes just like a pumpkin pie!” says The Pioneer Woman. “In fact, some people might even consider it equal parts cocktail and fall dessert.”

When you’re out picking apples this fall, save some to add to the Caramel Apple Martini. “This spiced caramel apple martini is a simple blend of caramel vodka and apple cider with apple slices for garnish,” says Insanely Good Recipes. “What sets it apart, though, is the luscious mixture along the rim. There’s white and gold sugar and caramel sauce. Together, it’s like drinking a delicious caramel apple with a nice punch.”

3. Old Fashioned

The Old Fashioned has been a favorite vintage fall cocktail for decades. “Oaky and sweet, with a hint of citrus on the finish, the classic whiskey Old Fashioned is truly a bourbon lover’s drink,” writes Delish. “You only need a few ingredients to make this classic cocktail—sugar, bitters, and a large ice cube—so you’ve really got to make them count.”

Pumpkin Old Fashioned
Pumpkin Old Fashioned (Photo by Rimma Bondarenko on Shutterstock)

Even though the classic Old Fashioned is first-rate, give it that fall feel in a Maple Old Fashioned. “As the weather cools down, spirit-forward drinks like the Old Fashioned gain appeal,” states Liquor.com. “This riff on the classic from distiller and drinks pro Allen Katz is even cozier: He swaps in dark rum for the typical bourbon and adds maple syrup for additional fall flavor.”

“And don’t fret, pumpkin fans, there is recipe just for you with the Pumpkin Old Fashioned. Yes, you can have your pumpkin and drink it, too,” explains Inspired By Charm. “This classic cocktail has been tweaked with pumpkin puree, maple syrup, and black walnut bitters. All of that is mixed with bourbon, so the taste is amazing!”

4. White Russian

The tasty White Russian is always a nice treat to end the night with good friends. Two parts vodka, one part coffee liqueur, and one part cream, the White Russian can certainly hit the spot. “Tastes like a chocolate boozy milkshake and only three easy ingredients you likely already have on hand,” writes Delish.

White Russian Cocktail
White Russian Cocktail (Photo by Hilal Bülbül on Pixels)

If you want to kick the White Russian up a notch, give it a little pumpkin spice, notes Insanely Good Recipes. “Give the classic White Russian an autumn twist. All you need is pumpkin spice. This idea is pure genius! I’m already such a huge fan of the White Russian – a rich and creamy blend of vodka, coffee liqueur, and fresh cream. The addition of pumpkin spice creamer gives it a whole new layer of flavor. The whipped cream topping and graham cracker rim add a nice touch, as well.”

And try another version of the popular drink: the Cinnamon-Spiced Eggnog White Russian. “This fun autumn cocktail has everything you love about White Russians with extra flavor from eggnog and a homemade cinnamon syrup,” states Country Living.

5. Hot Toddy

And the fall cocktail list wouldn’t be complete without the Hot Toddy. “Lighter and less sweet than your typical mulled cider, this warm cocktail is just the thing to sip on after a heavy fall dinner,” notes The Pioneer Woman. “Plus, it comes together in just five minutes!”

Hot Toddy
Hot Toddy (Photo by Anita Jankovic on Unsplash)

If you want to really spice it up, give the Pumpkin Toddy a try. “Created by bartender Jane Danger, this recipe, which originally appeared in Jim Meehan’s book ‘The PDT Cocktail Book: The Complete Bartender’s Guide from the Celebrated Speakeasy,’ is an autumn-flavored take on the classic winter warmer, combining apple brandy, rye whiskey, lemon juice, maple syrup, pumpkin puree and Angostura bitters,” writes Liquor.com.

To get that true autumn feel, make it an Apple Cider Hot Toddy. “Is there a better way to warm up on a cold, fall day?” says Good Housekeeping. “Warm apple cider mixes perfectly with whiskey and cinnamon in this classic Hot Toddy recipe.”

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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations.

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About the Author

Matt Higgins

Matt Higgins worked in national and local news for 15 years. He started out as an overnight production assistant at Fox News Radio in 2007 and ended in 2021 as the Digital Managing Editor at CBS Philadelphia. Following his news career, he spent one year in the automotive industry as a Digital Platforms Content Specialist contractor with Subaru of America and is currently a freelance writer and editor for StudyFinds. Matt believes in facts, science and Philadelphia sports teams crushing his soul.

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