As the Summer fun passes by and the cool, brisk air sets in, what better way to prepare to greet Autumn than with a warming cocktail? Rich and robust, these cocktails will help you forget about the looming winter to come and keep you cozy by the fire with the aromatic tastes of apple, cinnamon, orange, chai, and of course, pumpkin. Here, we have favorites involving sangrias, whiskeys, ciders, and vodkas that will expand your taste buds and let you revel in the ambiance of the Fall season.

Hot Buttered Rum Apple Cider


½ gallon of all natural apple cider
1 stick of unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
1/4 cup of dark brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon of salt
Rum or Apple Brandy, according to preference
Cinnamon sticks (optional)
Simmer the apple cider over medium heat in a large pot. Once it simmers, stir in the butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt. Continue stirring until the butter is melted and the sugar is dissolved until you get a nice sugary brown with a creamy texture to it. Then, serve the buttered cider into mugs and top off each drink with a shot of rum and garnish with a cinnamon stick.


Mulled Sangria Cran-Orange


1 c of cranberry juice
1/2 c of sugar
1/2 t of cinnamon
1/2 t of nutmeg
6 cloves
3 c dry red wine, according to preference
1/4 c of brandy, according to preference
1/4 c orange liqueur, according to preference
1 cup of fresh whole cranberries
A few slices of orange
Combine sugar, cranberry juice, cloves, and cinnamon in a pot on medium heat. Simmer 15 minutes stirring occasionally. Next, stir in the cranberries, brandy, orange liquer, and red wine. Continue to simmer until the mixture has a nice consistency. Once heated, serve in your favorite cup and enjoy.


Fennel & Fig Vodka

2 ¼ cups of vodka, according to preference
1/2 pound of dried Black Mission figs, quartered
1 small fennel bulb, thinly sliced
3 or 4 fresh Black Mission figs, halves
In a container, combine vodka, dried figs and fennel. Seal the container and put in the fridge for at least a week. Shake the container each day for even mixture. Once ready, strain the infused vodka through a strainer into a pitcher. Serve in an ice-filled glass and garnish each drink with half a fresh fig.

Spiced Pumpkin Punch

1 oz of pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon of honey, raw or filtered
1 oz of fresh lemon juice
2 oz of bourbon, according to preference
1/8 teaspoon of grated fresh ginger or ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
3 oz of your favorite ginger beer
1 cinnamon stick (optional)
Sage leaves (optional)
Dash of ground cinnamon (optional)
Place all your ingredients except for the ginger beer in a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously. If you don’t have a cocktail shaker, stir in a large cup to evenly mix. Then strain those ingredients over ice in a rocks glass and pour in the ginger beer. Stir the ginger beer in with the vodka mixture until smooth. Garnish as pleased.


Campfire Sling


2 oz Rye whiskey
¼ oz of pure maple syrup
3 dashes of chocolate bitters
An orange twist drizzled with scorched orange oil
Add all ingredients to an old fashioned glass or a tumbler and add ice. Shake or stir thoroughly. If using a tumbler, pour into a glass. Next, release the oils from the orange zest through a flaming wood pick over the surface of the drink and serve.


Autumn Dark & Stormy


1 ½ oz of dark rum
1 ½ oz of fresh apple cider
¾ oz of orange juice
4 oz of ginger beer
A dash of bitters
1 tablespoon of sugar
½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
⅛ teaspoon of salt
To prep the Brûlée Oranges, start by thinly slicing 1 small orange. Sprinkle one side of the orange slices with 2 teaspoons of sugar. Add the orange slices to a skillet on medium-high heat with the sugar-side down and cook until lightly caramelized. Remove the orange slices from the skillet and set aside.
Next, wet the rim with some apple cider and coat it with the rim coating mixture of cinnamon, sugar, and salt. With some ice cubes in the glass, then add the rum, apple cider and orange juice and stir to combine. Get a bigger glass and pour in some ginger beer. Then add the rim cider mixture and add a dash of bitters. Stir gently to combine. Garnish with a slice of brûlée orange.

Cider Chai

1 oz of concentrated chai or 2 bags of chai tea
1 c fresh apple cider or mix the chai concentrate with 7oz cider
2 oz Gold Rum
Cinnamon sticks and orange slices for garnish (optional)
If you’re using bags of chai tea, first heat apple cider to boiling in a pot, then let it simmer slightly. In the cider, steep the chai tea bags for up to 5 minutes. Stir in rum into the pot until evenly mixed, then pour into a mug and let it cool. Use a cinnamon stick or orange slice for garnish.
If you’re using chai concentrate, heat the cider and concentrate of chai until not quite boiling. Next, stir in rum to heat, then pour into a mug and let cool. Garnish with a stick of cinnamon or an orange slice.


Smoked Manhattan

2 oz Rye Whiskey
1 oz Sweet Vermouth
1/4 oz Grand Marnier
3 dashes Angostura Bitters
1 dash of orange bitters
Pour the ingredients in a tumbler and shake. Place a single large ice cube in the glass and serve it poured over this along with three maraschino cherries for garnish that have been sprayed with a Laphroaig Islay Scotch.

Georgia on My Mind


1/3 cup of mint leaves that have been packed lightly
12 oz bourbon, according to preference
4 oz peach liqueur
4 oz lemon juice
2 oz maple syrup
3 c of peach or apricot ale that’s been chilled
Combine everything but the mint, ice, and ale and stir until dissolved. Let the mixture chill for up to an hour, then include the ale. Garnish the glasses with mint and serve on the rocks.

Pumpkin Spice White Russian

For Rim:
1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice
3 tablespoons of crushed graham crackers
For Drink:
1 oz of apple cider
2 oz vodka, according to preference
2 1/2 oz of pumpkin spice Kahlua
1 oz of creamer
Cinnamon stick, for garnish
Decorate the rim by combining the graham crackers and pumpkin pie spice, and then wet the rim of the glasses in apple cider to make the above mixture stick. Mix the drink by pouring Kahlua and vodka into ice-filled glasses. Use creamer to finish, and a cinnamon stick for garnish, along leftover pumpkin pie spice, and serve.


This blog is guest written by LA Epic Club Crawls.
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