The air is crisp and the leaves are falling. Autumn brides and grooms have several advantages over couples who wed in the warmer months. They have access to a delightful range of vibrant wedding colors that exceed the usual pale pastel options. They enjoy discounted rates from many wedding vendors because they aren’t in a prime wedding season. But most of all, they get to sip delicious fall-season cocktails.
Apple Pie in a Glass
Nothing beats an autumn classic like apple pie. The sweet taste of apples pairs with warm whisky and vodka to create an experience that’s an awful lot like biting into a hot apple pie. A splash of maple syrup brings out the dessert-like tendencies of the cocktail while the whisky grounds it and keeps it from becoming too sweet. To create this cocktail, mix one part vanilla vodka with one part whisky and two parts unfiltered apple cider. Add maple syrup to taste, depending on whether you want the drink to function as dessert. Rim the glass with cinnamon sugar and add a dash of nutmeg over the top. Garnish with a stick of whole cinnamon.
Rosemary Thyme Gin
Autumn may signal the end of green leaves on the trees, but herb gardens are still going strong. Take the clean, herbal taste of gin one step further with fresh thyme and rosemary leaves. If you have an herb garden, this is one signature cocktail you can make truly your own. If you don’t have access to pots overflowing with spices, don’t worry–you can still enjoy the taste of fresh herbs from the supermarket.
Collect one bunch of fresh rosemary and one bunch of fresh thyme. If you can find lime thyme specifically, it is the best complement for the cocktail. Wash the herbs and pat them dry on a towel. Chop the herbs a few times to release their flavor. Then put them into a shaker with gin and shake vigorously. Strain and serve straight in a martini glass for a strong drink, or add tonic water and simple syrup for a bubbly cocktail. Garnish with small sprigs of herbs and a wedge of lime. Blood oranges also make an excellent garnish, as well as adding a splash of fall color.
Fruity Maple Bourbon
The rich tones of bourbon get a little lift with effervescent fruit notes in this sparkling cocktail. Combine four parts bourbon with one part maple syrup and one part fresh squeezed lemon juice. Finish the drink by adding sparkling apple cider to taste. Depending on how strong you want the drink, it can take the form of anything from a sipping cocktail in a martini glass to a party punch in a collins glass. Garnish with a thin slice of red apple.
Sweet Pumpkin Sparkler
This sweet autumn drink is the perfect finish to a meal. Fizzy and vibrant, the well-rounded taste is perfect for savoring sip after sip. Combine equal amounts of pumpkin purée, caramel flavored vodka, ginger ale, and vanilla cream soda. Shake it with ice and strain the liquid into a tall glass. Serve the cocktail over crushed ice with a vanilla bean garnish or a spear of blanched pumpkin.
Experiment with Variations
Remember, no cocktail recipe as absolute. Experiment with your favorite variations in order to create new and unique drink ideas. Try substituting apple juice and ginger ale for alcohol in order to create “virgin” versions for guests who prefer not to be inebriated. Try serving hot drinks iced and vice versa. Come up with new garnish items that match your wedding colors. Brainstorm names for each drink that include your personal history. Your signature cocktails are the perfect opportunity to showcase what makes your wedding unique, so have fun with them!
Lisa is a special needs teacher and a hugger. She always makes time for everyone and lightens up everybody’s lives with her presence. When she is not chasing her students around the yard, she finds time to write about what she truly loves, and you guessed it, its people and relationships.