Cocktail & Other Recipes Occasion Fall

11 Essential Cocktails for Your September Parties

They’ll see you through the change of seasons.

Figgy Smalls cocktail / Tim Nusog

As the days get shorter, we dream of sweater weather and cozying up with our favorite fall cocktails. But September isn’t done with its warm days just yet. These 11 recipes, from Margarita riffs to apple-fueled creations, will bridge the change in seasons and see you through all of September.

  • Death in the Afternoon

    Death in the Afternoon cocktail / Tim Nusog

    This potent combination of absinthe and Champagne was created by Ernest Hemingway and shares a name with his 1932 book about Spanish bullfighting. Trust an author renowned as much for his drinking as for his writing to come up with such a sophisticated mixture.

    Get the recipe.

  • Negroni

    Negroni Cocktail / Tim Nusog

    Negroni Week, which usually falls in June, has been switched to September for 2021. So while that’s the official time for enjoying this classic cocktail (particularly at participating bars, which will donate money to charity for each Negroni purchase), there’s really no wrong time to drink the century-old combination of gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth. 

    Get the recipe.

  • Black Mole Margarita

    Black Mole Margarita / Tim Nusog

    Orlando Franklin McCray, the bar director at Nightmoves in Brooklyn, created this cocktail that puts mezcal front and center in a Margarita variation, along with black-cocoa-and-orange syrup and a few dashes of mole bitters, all topped with soda water. 

    Get the recipe.

  • Espress Ya’self

    Espress Ya’Self cocktail / Todd Coleman

    If you’re thrilled about the recent resurgence of the Espresso Martini, try this take created by New York City bar pro Anthony Baker, which replaces the usual vodka, Kahlúa, and espresso with agave spirits, cold-brew coffee, and intense cold-brew coffee liqueur. Vanilla extract and chocolate and firewater bitters add a touch of intrigue. Finish it all with edible glitter for a show-stopping drink.

    Get the recipe.

    Continue to 5 of 11 below.
  • Chrysanthemum

    Chrysanthemum Cocktail / Tim Nusog

    Dry vermouth gets the spotlight it deserves in this century-old classic, joined by the intriguingly herbaceous Benedictine, plus a few dashes of absinthe to sharpen everything in this bright-yet-complex cocktail.

    Get the recipe.

  • Fall from the Tree

    Fall from the Tree cocktail / Tim Nusog

    If back-to-school season has you dreaming of autumn apples, try this recipe bar pro Jim Kearns created at The Happiest Hour in New York City. Your choice of applejack, bourbon or scotch is the backbone for the autumnal flavors of fresh apple juice (either juiced yourself or from a specialty market, not the average grocery store variety!) and homemade cinnamon syrup, while aromatic bitters add depth. 

    Get the recipe.

  • French Harvest

    French Harvest cocktail / Tim Nusog

    This recipe is a fall spin on a French 75. The typical gin, simple syrup and lemon juice are all here, but the Champagne is swapped out in favor of dry sparkling apple cider. The resulting cocktail is just as bubbly and refreshing as the original, but with a flavor that will take you all the way through fall and winter.

    Get the recipe.

  • Sloe Gin Fizz

    Sloe Gin Fizz cocktail / Tim Nusog

    As the most classic way to employ sloe gin, this fruity cooler is perfect for early-fall porch sipping. Simply shake together sloe gin, simple syrup and freshly squeezed lemon juice, then top with club soda and garnish with a lemon wedge and cherry. 

    Get the recipe.

    Continue to 9 of 11 below.
  • Applejack Rabbit

    Applejack Rabbit / Tim Nusog

    While this drink first appeared in print in 1927, this take from bar pro Jim Meehan calls for more lemon juice than the original, bringing additional brightness to the combination of Laird’s bonded apple brandy, orange and lemon juices and Grade B maple syrup. 

    Get the recipe.

  • Trinidad Sour

    Trinidad Sour / Tim Nusog

    The warm baking spices of Angostura bitters just scream autumn, and this recipe calls for a full ounce and a half of them in each drink, rather than the dash or two that’s more common in many cocktails. The bitters are joined by rye whiskey, lemon juice, and orgeat to produce a bold and surprisingly delicious mixture.

    Get the recipe.

  • Figgy Smalls

    Figgy Smalls cocktail / Tim Nusog

    A spin on the classic Sidecar, this drink’s delicious flavor lies in the infused cognac it calls for. Dehydrated black mission figs are macerated in the spirit for a few days until it takes on a unique sweet and figgy flavor. The infused liquid is then shaken with Grand Marnier, sugar and lemon and orange juices and served in a vanilla-sugar-rimmed cocktail glass, garnished with a sage leaf for an elegantly delicious sipper.

    Get the recipe.