Cocktail & Other Recipes Occasion Fall

11 Essential Cocktails for Your November Parties

Charleston Breakfast Coffee. Image: Tim Nusog

November marks the beginning of the holiday season, so what better time to perfect your cocktail game. This month, look for additions like smoke, fat-washed whiskey, pumpkin and cranberry to ready your drinks for winter. These are the 11 essential cocktails to make this month.

  • Colony Records

    In-season cranberries help enliven this Tiki tipple. Rum, fresh grapefruit juice, homemade cranberry syrup and Angostura bitters are shaken and strained, then topped with a grapefruit twist for a simple but elegant fall cocktail.

  • Living Seance

    Tim Nusog

    Träkál, a pear and crabapple liquor infused with herbs and berries, is the unusual base for this deep and earthy concoction. When mixed with tequila, sweet vermouth, amaro, Maraschino liqueur and black lemon bitters, Träkál makes a delicate cocktail perfect for colder nights.

  • Butter & Smoke

    Really impress your guests with this stunning smoked cocktail. Flavor your glasses with thyme, rosemary or lavender smoke, then fill it with a mixture of pumpkin-butter-infused fat-washed bourbon, Tempus Fugit Gran Classico bitter apéritif and cranberry bitters to make a cocktail that’s cool and complex.

  • Forest Sprite

    Tim Nusog

    Looking to capture fall’s flavors in a glass? The pine notes of gin are accentuated with homemade pine syrup and fresh lemon juice. Top with seltzer and a few dashes of Cocktailpunk Alpino cocktail bitters, and garnish with a lemon twist and a pine sprig.

    Continue to 5 of 11 below.
  • USS Richmond Punch

    Keep the party going with this classic boozy punch. Lemon peels muddled with sugar provide a citrusy base for black tea, Jamaican rum, cognac, ruby port and Grand Marnier. Let sit for a while so the flavors can meld, then top with club soda or Champagne just before you serve it.

  • Pear Brandy Sidecar

    This simple yet delicious cocktail shows off the fruitier side of fall. Pear brandy, Cointreau and fresh lemon juice are shaken and strained into a sugar-rimmed glass to make a drink that will satisfy your guests no matter what time of day you’re entertaining.

  • Cardamom

    Sweet, spicy and earthy, this cocktail is one you’ll want to drink all November and well into winter, too. Pistachio-fat-washed vodka is a nutty match for Brazilian espresso and homemade cardamom syrup. Shake, double-strain and garnish with three cardamom pods for maximum presentation appeal.

  • Wagyu

    This savory twist on an Old Fashioned is equal-parts unexpected and delicious. Homemade wagyu-fat-washed Japanese whisky adds a richness that’s amplified with maple syrup and homemade salted caramel liqueur.

    Continue to 9 of 11 below.
  • Smashing Pumpkin

    Homemade lemon-pumpkin soda may seem like an extravagant thing to make just for the sake of a cocktail, but it’s easy and totally worth it in the end. Just mix the soda with spiced rum and allspice liqueur and top with a bay leaf for an autumnal tipple that’s warm and light all in one.

  • Cranberry Sauced

    Skip Thanksgiving dinner and get straight to the good stuff with this side-dish-inspired drink. Owl’s Brew spiked Darjeeling tea is a bright backbone that lets vodka and cranberry bitters shine. Garnish with a rosemary sprig for an extra hit of holiday flavor.

  • Charleston Breakfast Coffee

    Charleston Breakfast Coffee. Tim Nusog

    This spin on a classic Irish Coffee is slightly richer and more grain-forward than its counterpart, making it ideal for sipping any time of day. Simply mix sorghum whiskey and simple syrup, then top with brewed dark-roast coffee and homemade soft-whipped cream.