FOOD

I Tried 5 Simple Fall Cocktails To Warm Myself Up From The Inside Out

by Angela Andaloro

Does anyone else feel like this year flew by? I’ve been having a hard time coping with the fact that summer is long over, but alas, the time for soaking up the sun and lounging by the pool (neither of which I actually did this summer, but I digress) are now over, for fall is here (and winter is coming soon enough).

There is something to be said for fall, a whole season dedicated to getting comfy, cozy, and warm. I’m a New Yorker, and despite the hype around East Coast autumns, we don’t see much of fall in the NYC metro area. One day it’s hot, and the next day it’s cold… and stays that way.

My favorite solution to the endless cold spell I’ll be immersed in until April is a tried but true one. If you’ve ever seen Miracle on 34th Street, you might remember Santa briefly swigging from a flask, following it up by saying, “A man’s gotta do something to keep warm.”

Well, same.

Like Santa, I like to fix myself a little something that’ll warm me from the inside out. A good cocktail is a wonderful way to stay warm, after all. The only problem is that I’m not exactly an adventurous drinker. I have a few go-to cocktails that I don’t really stray from, and a lot of the flavors that scream FALL don’t appeal to me.

It’s for this reason that I decided to buck up and find myself a seasonal cocktail to call my own. In doing so, I tried five simple fall cocktails, sticking to three easy ingredients each. It would prove to be a challenge for me, the only person on earth apparently born without a sweet tooth, but one I happily embarked on nonetheless.

1. Hot Toddy

1. Hot Toddy
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I’m going to start with a drink that might be cheating because I’m already obsessed with it — but that doesn’t make it any less important to this list!

The hot toddy is not just a drink but a cure for all the aches, pains, and sore throats that come with the changing weather. The below hot toddy recipe is my own. But I know that many people use different liquors when making them, so feel free to do you and mix it up.

For my preferred version, you’ll need:

  • 1.5 oz. whiskey
  • 1 cup of brewed tea
  • 2 tsps. honey

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First up, brew yourself a cup of your favorite tea. I’m an English breakfast girl myself, but I used plain black tea for this go-around. While you’re boiling your water and letting your tea steep, coat the bottom of your mug with honey.

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Once the tea is done steeping, pour it in the mug. Finish it off with a shot of your choice of liquor (for me, whiskey).

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Stir thoroughly and wait until it’s cooled off just a bit so you don’t burn your mouth.

That’s really all there is to it! A few sips in and you’ll feel like you’ve been enveloped by your favorite warm blanket. Cozy!

2. Caramel Apple Moscow Mule

2. Caramel Apple Moscow Mule
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I took Drizly’s Caramel Apple Moscow Mule recipe and tweaked it for a three-ingredient version.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1.5 oz. caramel vodka
  • 3 oz. apple cider
  • 3 oz. ginger beer

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This one’s simple to assemble. Just fill your copper mug at least halfway with ice. Then pour the ingredients and mix.

I enjoyed this one, although it was a tad too sweet for my taste. If I had one request, it would be more ginger beer. You couldn’t taste the vodka, which depending on your preference could be a good or bad thing. I felt it though, and that was enough for me.

3. Cider Bellini

3. Cider Bellini
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Bellinis are one of my favorite brunch beverages, so I felt pretty good about making this one. I used a recipe from Genius Kitchen. You’ll need:

  • Sparkling wine (or prosecco or champagne)
  • 0.5 oz. apple cider
  • A sprig of fresh rosemary

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Pour the cider into your champagne glass first. Then add the champagne until there’s about a fingertip’s space between the drink and the rim of your glass.

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That fresh rosemary sprig is supposed to be just a garnish, but I thought it added a nice little something to the drink’s flavor.

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I really enjoyed the drink, but I do think it’s the kind of beverage you drink just one glass of since champagne is so bubbly. I also wish I had chilled the sparkling wine for a little longer, because I know it would have gone down smoother if it was just a little colder.

Ultimately, I thought of the drink as something I might enjoy at a seasonal get-together or for toasting a special occasion.

4. Apple Pie Moscow Mule

4. Apple Pie Moscow Mule
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Gotta love when you can get two cocktails out of one set of ingredients! This recipe is based on the Cookie Rookie.

You’ll need:

  • 4 oz. apple cider
  • 4 oz. apple pie or caramel vodka
  • 1 bottle ginger beer

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This is another drink where you can just pour your ingredients over a half mug of ice and mix. I like drinks like that because I’m far from a mixologist, and measuring liquids makes me nervous.

There was definitely more caramel in this, but I actually got a hint of a saltiness, which was enough for me to keep sipping.

5. Caramel Apple Cider Vodka Punch

5. Caramel Apple Cider Vodka Punch
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I was a little intimidated by Spoonabilities‘ full Caramel Apple Cider Vodka Punch recipe, so I took it upon myself to turn it into a simple three-ingredient creation.

You’ll need:

  • 2 oz. apple cider
  • 1.5 oz. vodka
  • 1 oz. caramel syrup

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When my friend suggested that I rim the glass, I looked around the room nervously in the hope that anyone else would try it instead. Caramel syrup looks messy, and I thought I would screw it up beyond repair.

After some gentle coaching, I finally tried it, and I’m totally obsessed with the look.

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As for making the drink, I just combined the ingredients over ice. It took some more stirring to really incorporate the caramel syrup. And as the drink settled, the syrup pooled at the bottom.

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I took a sip and immediately experienced a mouthful of sweetness. If you’re a fan of fall desserts, you might love this more than anything. For me, it was too sweet to get through the entire glass.

Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

Throughout this little experiment, I had to tell myself multiple times that trying new things is good. It’s a mantra I’m used to repeating to the kids in my life, but I know I should follow my own advice.

I’m happy that I tried all these fall beverages and got a feel for the types of seasonal drinks that are out there. That being said, I think I’ll stick to my hot toddies. With whiskey and potential health benefits, it’s everything I look for in a guilty pleasure.