18 Fall Cocktails to Welcome Cooler Weather

Raise your glasses and welcome fall with these 18 drinks. Indulge in spiced sangria, whiskey-spiked cocktails, apple cider toddy, party-worthy punches, and more.

Festive Fall Cocktails

Holidays are the best excuse to break out the punch bowl, champagne flutes, or those never-used glasses you’ve kept in the cabinet for special occasions. No matter how you’re celebrating this fall, whether it’s you and a partner, your pod, or extended family, there’s a festive fall cocktail for you.

This list features twists on classic cocktails, hot drinks, punches, and some nonalcoholic options that everyone will be clamoring to sip and savor. And while some say the cold snap of fall demands a sturdy drink like whiskey, you’ll see there’s no such rule here. Sparkling wine, apple cider, and rum all make an appearance (and yes, whiskey, too).

Don’t save these cocktail recipes just for a big dinner party! Warm a pot of apple cider in the slow cooker for brunch gatherings or throw together boozy coffee for guests arriving in from out of town. A pajama party of one in front of the fireplace is an occasion too.

  • Hot Mulled Cider

    Hot Mulled Cider
    Elise Bauer

    Hot Mulled Cider is a delicious after-dinner drink or as a booze-free option to have available for the duration of your party. If you want your entire house smelling like apple pie all day, make a batch in a slow cooker. The low heat will make sure the mulled cider is always hot, and guests can help themselves for refills.

  • Cranberry Apple Sangria

    Apple Sangria with Cranberries
    Nancy Mitchell

    Cranberries are ubiquitous in November, sangria is not. Let’s change that with this Cranberry Apple Sangria, which is punched up with baking spices reminiscent of mulled wine, only chilled. A big batch recipe is an easy win for a crowd to enjoy at your holiday party. 

  • Fall-Spiced Old Fashioned Cocktail

    Holiday Spiced Old Fashioned Drink
    Nancy Mitchell

    Good things come to those who wait. Thankfully you only need to wait 24 hours to infuse your own spiced bourbon for this Fall-Spiced Old Fashioned Cocktail! Star anise, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and a vanilla bean give the bourbon a sweet and spicy kick. Try cozying up around the fireplace for an intimate gathering with these cocktails.

  • Holiday Punch

    Holiday Punch
    Garrett McCord

    Cranberries aren’t just for eating. This Holiday Punch uses cranberry juice for the base with an easy cinnamon syrup you’ll want to use for more than just this punch. This is a 2-for-1 recipe—both alcoholic and non-alcoholic variations are provided! 

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  • Apple Cider Hot Toddy

    hot toddy recipe with spices apple cider and bourbon
    Nancy Mitchell

    You should make this fall cocktail repeatedly as soon as the leaves turn colors. Use any kind of whiskey you like, let the spices simmer the entire 10 minutes. It’ll make your kitchen smell like magic. 

  • Boozy Chai-Spiced Apple Cider Punch

    Glass punch bowl filled with Spiced Brandy and Chai Tea Holiday Punch
    Nancy Mitchell

    If you’re one to overbuy apple cider at the orchard during the fall, this punch will help you finish it off. Paired with deeply spiced chai tea for warmth and flavor, this punch’s scalability makes it an ideal drink to make for a big crowd. Add a few clove-spiked apple rings to the bowl and call it a party!

  • Boulevardier Cocktails

    Boulevardier cocktail ingredients negroni with whiskey
    Nancy Mitchell

    Time to put a sweater on your Negroni! Swapping out the gin for whiskey in this classic cocktail adds a hint of spice for cooler temps. Make it special for the holidays by garnishing it with a clove-studded orange peel.

  • Chamb' and Bubbly (Chambord Kir Royale)

    Kir royale cocktail recipe
    Alison Bickel

    Don’t want to splurge on expensive champagne? Grab a budget-friendly bottle of sparkling wine and top it with Chambord, a berry liqueur, for a sweet twist worthy of a celebration. Make it festive with a frozen berry garnish.

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  • Brandy Alexander Cocktail

    brandy and heavy cream cocktail with grated nutmeg
    Nancy Mitchell

    If you’re craving a festive creamy cocktail without the eggs, try this cocktail—it’s decadent with brandy, crème de cacao, heavy cream, and freshly grated nutmeg. It’s the perfect way to finish a big meal or as a nightcap with guests.

  • Blood Orange French 75 Cocktail

    Blood Orange French 75 Cocktail
    Elise Bauer

    If you’re looking for an alternative to brown liquors during the fall, this bright and bubbly take on the French 75 swaps in blood orange and lime juice for the lemon. It will add a pop of color to your dinner table!

  • Brown Sugar Irish Coffee

    Two Glasses of Irish Coffee topped with whipped cream
    Garrett McCord

    Special drinks aren’t just for the day of! Start the day after the party with this sweet twist on the classic Irish coffee. Whipped cream is not optional.

  • Winter Spiced Orange Mocktail

    Spiced bitter orange mocktail with cinnamon and star anise
    Elana Lepkowski

    Be the host with booze-free drinks that everyone wants to try and is happy to be served. This nonalcoholic aperitif is tart and spicy with orange, cinnamon, anise, and allspice. As a bonus, any leftover syrup doubles as a sweetener for teas and toddies.

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  • Pear-Ginger Shrub

    pear ginger shrub drink
    Elana Lepkowski

    For an invigorating base that can go boozy or not, try this Pear-Ginger Shrub. Invite guests to customize their own drinks with a variety of options: club soda, seltzer, flavored sparkling water, or booze, like rum. Some fun garnishes: pear slices and crystalized ginger.

  • Gold Rush Cocktail

    Two Gold rush cocktails with ice on a wood background.
    Alison Bickel

    Honey and citrus seem like the right choice as soon as the weather cools down. The honey syrup adds flavor and a touch of sweetness. 

  • Sazerac Cocktails

    Close up horizontal view of sazarec drink. Sazarec ingredients are in the background.
    Andy Christensen

    The Peychaud’s bitters in this classic rye whiskey-based cocktail tastes of licorice, saffron, and caramel. Don’t skip the lemon peel! The lemon oil it releases into the cocktail is essential. 

  • Pear Bourbon Punch

    Three glasses of spiced pear bourbon punch on a tray.
    Lori Rice

    This cocktail recipe was developed with the fall season in mind. Use the best-quality pear juice you can find for the best flavor. 

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  • Homemade Ginger Ale

    A tall glass of ginger ale soda with a bowl of sliced limes next to it.
    Eliezer Martinez

    Fresh ginger ushers in fall with its spice and warmth in this Homemade Ginger Ale. Add a splash of Mezcal and a squeeze of lime for the grownups. 

  • Homemade Butterbeer

    Mugs of Butterbeer Topped with Whipped Cream

    Simply Recipes / Elana Lepkowski

    While butterbeer can be made in the hot and frozen versions, this recipe is for the cold version—probably the easiest of the bunch to make at home.  A bubbly cream soda base and a layer of sweetened whipped topping are both permeated with butterscotch syrup. You can make your own butterscotch syrup or order it online, then make the best butterbeer recipe a budding wizard could wish for.