Fall Cocktails: crowd pleasers for the season

With some fall parties on my calendar, I am on the hunt for the perfect cocktail. Fall has great flavors and I wanted to find some drinks that capture the essence of the season.

I landed on a couple of recipes that are delicious, fun and feel like fall. The first two recipes begin with infused vodka.

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I made two infusions for two different drinks: ginger and apple. I placed two small knobs of ginger into a ball jar of vodka (about a half bottle) and chunks of Honeycrisp apples into another (the other half of the bottle) and I let them sit. The ginger sat for about 6-7 hours before I removed the ginger. The apple sat for a couple of days and then I removed the sliced apples. 

Vodka doesn't have much a flavor – which I like – so it really takes on the tones of the infusions in a subtle way. 

With the ginger-infused vodka, I made an Apple Cider Moscow Mule that I have been drooling over since I saw it posted on Instagram. I think it's the perfect cocktail for a fun, festive atmosphere. It's not too sweet, tastes like fall and it goes down smooth. This would be a perfect pre-dinner drink.

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Apple Cider Moscow Mule
based on a recipe by Andrea Howe

  • ginger-infused vodka
  • apple cider
  • juice of half a lime
  • ginger beer

Mix equal parts infused-ginger vodka and apple cider along with the lime juice. Pour over ice then top with ginger beer. Garnish with an apple slice and some cinnamon.

With the apple-infused vodka, I made an apple martini with two parts vodka and one part Calvados (recipe from Boulder Locavore). This is a delicious cocktail that still has the strength of a martini with the sweet hint of apple. It would be good served with a light meal or Hors d'oeuvres with friends. I am hosting a sushi party in a few weeks, and this feels like the perfect drink with subtle flavors that won't overpower. 

The Calvados apple brandy is also a nice finish to a warm, hearty meal. Plan a soup night or serve coconut curry over rice and finish the meal with an ounce of Calvados instead of dessert – it is a festive, chic end to an evening with friends. 

My book club is also gathering this fall. Usually, we catch up on life, laugh a lot, drink red wine and sometimes we get around to talking about the book. I thought it would be fun to bring a drink so I am putting together a Fall Spiced Shooter. Our group is spunky, and I think this drink will be a lively addition to our fall get together.

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Fall Spiced Shooter
Recipe from mynewestaddiction.com

  • Goldschlager
  • Irish Cream
  • Dark Rum

Mix equal parts of each into a shaker with ice and strain into small glasses. Serve as a shooter or sip over ice.