Few months are as ideal for drinking as October, the magical time of year when the leaves change and the air gets delightfully chilly. Not to mention you can partake in a version of trick-or-treating for adults—candy cocktails! Whether you’re planning a spooky soiree or just looking to spend time outdoors enjoying the fall foliage and crisp air with a hot cocktail, we’ve selected the perfect list of drinks to enjoy in October. From rich and chocolatey to spicy and fruity, there’s an ideal drink to suit every taste this fall.
Take fall’s quintessential fall beverage, apple cider, to the next level with the crisp and subtly spicy Cider Delighter. A triple threat of apple-y ingredients—apple cider, baked apple bitters and a fresh red apple slice garnish—brings fruity perfection to this Vikingfjord vodka–based tippler.
Warm up a brisk October night with this hot tequila and apple cider cocktail. While heating it up, you can add ingredients such as orange peel or cloves for spice. The brew is topped with heavy cream and also fresh ground nutmeg and a cinnamon stick, which add more kick (not to mention a lovely aroma) to this drink well-suited for autumn.
What fun is October without a little eerie lore? Named for an Irish dessert bread typically served on Halloween and used in a fortune-telling game, this drink is a play on said bread’s ingredients. With a base of Irish whiskey, this creamy, sweet and spicy cocktail includes toasted raisin syrup (as a stand-in for raisins) and St. Elizabeth allspice dram.
It wouldn’t be an October cocktail list without a pumpkin cocktail or two. This one truly has everything nice about fall in one glass. Start with a base of fresh pumpkin purée and oatmeal-infused Karlsson's Gold vodka (you can easily make the infusion), then add spice courtesy of St. Elizabeth allspice dram, ginger beer and nutmeg. The best bits? Sherry and molasses, as well as added depth of flavor from a dash of black walnut bitters.
There’s no way anything reminiscent of candy corn—a Halloween “treat” considered by many as both being unenjoyable in taste and flavor—could be tasty, right? Well, this super cute drink could restore candy corn’s reputation. The cocktail is built in layers to mimic the look of the sugary kernel: The first layer is coffee-flavored liqueur, followed by white chocolate liqueur and then orange-flavored and -colored vodka. You can even try your hand at making your own candy-corn-infused vodka.
It’s time to make good use of that pumpkin you picked at the pumpkin patch. Don’t waste it on pie—that pumpkin could meet a much nobler death as a dessert cocktail. This variation on a classic Eggnog by famed bartender Tony Abou-Ganim is relatively simple, using 10 Cane rum and adding pumpkin purée, vanilla extract, cinnamon and nutmeg to an Eggnog’s ingredients.
Three words: Girl. Scout. Cookies. And this is a boozy version of possibly the tastiest Girl Scout cookie, the Thin Mint. This mad-genius-level cocktail mixes London dry gin, crème de menthe, crème de cacao, vanilla bean ice cream, fresh mint leaves and, of course, Thin Mints, transporting you to your childhood—or, let’s be honest, the last Girl Scout cookie season. Get the recipe for The Thin Mint.
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