Cocktail & Other Recipes Occasion Fall

11 Essential Cocktails for Your November Parties

These put the best of fall’s flavors right into your glass.

Pear Tree Martini
Pear Tree Martini Image: / Tim Nusog

Kick start the holiday season with these cocktails. Though the next few months are sure to be full of things to celebrate, this month in particular is a great time to enjoy the end of fall and gear up for winter. With warming options like Last-Minute Mulled wine, cocktails that make the most of November produce like the Pumpkin Nog, and even spins on classics like the Apple Cranberry Moscow Mule, we have options that will be perfect for all of your celebrations this month.

  • Apple Cranberry Moscow Mule

    Apple Cranberry Moscow Mule / Tim Nusog

    This is a perfect autumnal spin on the classic Moscow Mule. While this version has the usual vodka, lime juice, and ginger ale you’d expect, the flavor is brought solidly into fall territory with the addition of a splash of cran-apple juice. Not only does the juice lend a special sweet-tart flavor, but it also helps to round out the signature Mule bite. Of course, it’s best served in a copper mug, but a rocks glass will do in a pinch. Just make sure you don’t forget the fresh apple and cranberry garnish.

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  • Last-Minute Mulled Wine

    Last-Minute Mulled Wine

    H. Joseph Ehrmann

    You can throw together an impromptu party that seems like it took time and effort to prepare with this simple recipe. All you need is a bottle of red wine, some citrus peels and spices, and a splash of bourbon or brandy, and you’re set for this large-format party pleaser. This mulled wine’s flavors capture the holidays in a mug.

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  • Thanksgiving Margarita

    Thanksgiving Margarita / Tim Nusog

    Just because we’re well past summer’s sunny skies doesn’t mean you have to give up your tequila in favor of brown spirits. Star bartender Naren Young brings your favorite agave spirit into the season with the sweet, nutty, and spicy flavors of this cocktail, where reposado tequila, amaretto, and allspice dram combine with pumpkin puree, lime, and ground ginger to echo the flavors of pumpkin pie. The perfect way to cap this bold cocktail? With a roasted pumpkin slice, of course.

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  • Modern English

    Modern English cocktail / Tim Nusog

    This recipe calls for mixing London Dry gin (the cocktail’s creator prefers Bulldog, but you can use any you prefer) with muddled fresh pear, lemon juice, and maple syrup to produce flavors that are both bright and decidedly autumnal. A cinnamon-stick garnish adds a final touch of fall flair.

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    Continue to 5 of 11 below.
  • Forbidden Sour

    Forbidden Sour / Tim Nusog

    The typical sour format is spirit plus citrus plus sweetener. This rendition, from bar pro and beverage consultant Eben Freeman, adds a splash of pomegranate liqueur to the mix, which lends a unique sweet-tart flavor and beautiful color, perfect for impressing guests at your holiday-time gatherings.

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  • Chit-Cha Toddy

    Chit-Cha Toddy / Tim Nusog

    The traditional Chinese tea ceremony serves as inspiration for this cocktail from Shawn Chen, the beverage director at RedFarm and the principal bartender at Decoy, both in New York City. Osmanthus oolong tea from Taiwan has a faintly nutty, subtly sweet taste that plays well with rye whiskey, Benedictine, and lemon juice. Add a little honey for sweetness and ginger syrup for zing, and then serve it all in a hollowed-out pumpkin that mimics a traditional Chinese gaiwan, a small cup with a lid.

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  • Bourbon Cider Slushie

    Bourbon Cider Slushie / Tim Nusog

    If you’re not quite ready to part ways with your blender for the season, we don’t blame you: Frozen cocktails are fun, festive, and delicious at any time of year. This recipe brings the slushie from the beach into fall with apple cider and homemade cinnamon-vanilla syrup, both of which add an autumnal flair to bourbon and ice. For a perfect presentation, serve the icy mix in a Moscow Mule mug garnished with an apple slice and cinnamon stick.

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  • Pumpkin Nog

    Pumpkin Nog cocktail / Tim Nusog

    Start eggnog season a bit early with this November-friendly version. Legendary bartender Tony Abou-Ganim created this recipe, which brings eggnog into the fall with the addition of pumpkin. Although the recipe calls for light rum, a range of spirits will do, so experiment with adding brandy, bourbon or even an aged tequila until you find the one that best suits your particular palate. 

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    Continue to 9 of 11 below.
  • Figurati

    Figurati. Kara Stokes

    If you’re looking for something sparkling and fun but not too boozy, this will fit the bill. This concoction uses effervescent lambrusco as a sparkling base that’s bolstered with Cappelletti aperitivo, a red-orange Italian liqueur similar in ways to Campari. Finish it all off with a couple dashes of Peychaud’s bitters and you have an aperitif you’ll want to make all year long.

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  • Pumpkin Spiced Latte

    Pumpkin Spiced Latte / Tim Nusog

    This boozy large-format take on the favorite fall drink sees your choice of spirit, coffee, pumpkin puree, milk, sugar, heavy cream and spices heated in a slow cooker, then served with whipped cream and a dusting of cinnamon or nutmeg.

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  • Pear Tree Martini

    Pear Tree Martini / Tim Nusog

    Spice up your Thanksgiving celebrations and prep for the impending holiday season with this seasonal cocktail. A juicy and vivid celebration of fall, this drink uses spiced-pear vodka as a base for St-Germain, lime juice, and Angostura bitters, producing a mix of fruity, floral, fresh, and warmly spiced notes.

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