Food & Drinks

Turn Classic Drinks into Fall + Winter Cocktails

Can you feel that crisp chill in the air? With sweater weather season upon us, activities like apple picking and cozy scenes with crackling fireplaces have us all thinking about switching up our cocktail game to incorporate seasonal ingredients. Apples, of course, are an important one, along with cinnamon, maple syrup, pomegranate, cranberry, and cider. It’s surprisingly easy to put a fall/winter spin on classic drinks, so let us take you through a few seasonally inspired cocktails that will make you feel right at home.

Swap Simple Syrup for Maple Syrup

fall winter cocktail riffs

The traditional whiskey Old Fashioned is arguably already made for sweater weather, given that it’s a perfect balance of sweet, vanilla and oaky flavors. Make it even more autumnal with maple syrup instead of simple syrup, apple cider for tartness, and a few dashes of chocolate bitters to highlight the richness of the drink.

Sweater Weather Old Fashioned


  • 1.5 ounces Bulleit Bourbon
  • 0.25 ounce maple syrup
  • 0.25 ounce apple cider (non-alcoholic)
  • Chocolate bitters
  • Cinnamon stick garnish


  1. Add maple syrup and apple cider to a mixing glass or cocktail shaker.
  2. Add 3 dashes of chocolate bitters.
  3. Stir until combined.
  4. Add bourbon and ice, stir for 30 seconds, and strain into a rocks glass with one large ice cube.
  5. Garnish with a cinnamon stick. Serves 1.

Incorporate Seasonal Ingredients Into Classic Cocktails

fall winter cocktail riffs

The Martini is a classic for a reason — it’s simple, bright, and elegant in both composition and presentation. This fall take on the drink incorporates pomegranate and apple flavors, providing a burst of sour fruit to balance out the sweet.

Autumnal Pom Martini


  • 1 ounce Ketel One Vodka
  • 1 ounce pomegranate juice
  • 0.75 ounce blanc vermouth
  • 0.75 ounce dry vermouth
  • Dried apple garnish
  • Pomegranate seed garnish


  1. Combine vodka, pomegranate juice, blanc vermouth, and dry vermouth in a mixing glass or cocktail shaker with ice.
  2. Stir for 30 seconds until cold.
  3. Strain into a coupe glass and garnish with dried apple and pomegranate seeds. Serves 1.

Garnish With Seasonal Fruits

fall winter cocktail riffs

The French 75 is another tried-and-true drink, made from a base of gin and topped off with Champagne and lemon juice. For this cooler-weather version of the cocktail, substitute a dry sparkling hard cider for Champagne, and add a splash of apple juice to offset the lemon. Throw a few cranberries on top for a festive touch.

French Apple 75


  • 1.5 ounces Tanqueray London Dry Gin
  • 1.5 ounces sparkling cider
  • 0.75 ounce apple juice
  • 0.5 ounce lemon juice
  • 0.5 ounce simple syrup
  • Cranberry garnish


  1. Add gin, sparkling cider, apple juice, lemon juice, and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker with ice.
  2. Shake well and strain into a coupe glass.
  3. Top with cranberries to garnish. Serves 1.

Stock Up on Dark Spirits That Pack a Fall Punch

fall winter cocktail riffs

Dark spirits like whiskey and rum often have warm and spicy tasting notes that make them perfect for when the temperatures drop. And there’s so much to love about rum punch. It’s tropical, sweet and fruity — but it has a nice undercurrent of vanilla and oak from the dark rum component. To add the fall feels, use apple juice or cider instead of pineapple, and swap the lime and orange juices for maple syrup and a splash of pear liqueur.

Maple Rum Punch


  • 1.5 ounces Zacapa No. 23 Rum
  • 2 ounces apple juice or apple cider (non-alcoholic)
  • 0.5 ounce pear liqueur
  • 0.5 ounce maple syrup
  • 0.25 ounce grenadine
  • Apple slice garnish
  • Cherry garnish
  • Cinnamon stick garnish


  1. Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice.
  2. Shake for 30 seconds and strain into a hurricane glass over ice.
  3. Garnish with an apple slice, cinnamon stick, and a cherry. Serves 1.

Break Out the Tequila – This Spirit Can Fit Right in With Fall Flavors

fall winter cocktail riffs

Tequila is a versatile spirit and therefore a champion of all seasons — whether you’re bringing out tequila’s sweet and fruity notes for your summer cocktails or the earthy, peppery notes for the colder months, there’s a lot you can do with this spirit. Ranch water is such a popular tequila drink these days, and this minimal highball drink can be easily transformed for any season with just a few simple ingredients. This autumnal variation adds a little apple to the mix, and a dried fruit and cinnamon stick garnish will bring some spice and sweet to the flavor profile.

Autumn on the Ranch Water


  • 1.5 ounces Casamigos Blanco Tequila
  • 0.5 ounce lime juice
  • 0.5 ounce apple juice
  • 4 ounces sparkling water
  • Cinnamon stick garnish
  • Dried apple wedge or fresh apple wedge garnish


  1. Fill a highball glass with ice.
  2. Add tequila, lime juice, and apple juice. Stir to combine.
  3. Top off with sparkling water.
  4. Garnish with a cinnamon stick and dried apple wedge. Serves 1.

This article is sponsored by The Bar

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