If you're like me, this is you every year starting the first day of September:
BRING ON ALL THE FALL THINGS.
From crisp air to soft scarves, pumpkin spice and Halloween, it's all good in my book. But despite overeager food and beverage companies releasing Halloween candy and pumpkin EVERYTHING in August, the fact remains that it is still technically summer.
So what's a cocktail-loving foodie to do during this in-between stage, as we tiptoe out of summer and prepare for the dive into autumn?
Transition into the new season with some apple goodness! Apple-flavored cocktails hang onto that last ray of light, summer fruity flavors while bringing in new chilly weather staples like cinnamon and other spices as well as richer desserty ingredients like caramel and cream.
You'll want to plan this one a couple days in advance, so you have enough time to infuse your vodka with apple, pear and cinnamon. If you're short on time (I don't blame you!), you can always just serve regular (or pear- or apple-flavored) vodka with a whole cinnamon stick and plop some juicy apple and pear slices right in as floating garnishes.
This drink is the perfect summer-fall hybrid, with rich apple cider, brown sugar and Carpano Antica (Italian vermouth) setting the fall aesthetics, while lemon and seltzer keep it bright and fresh.
Apple fans will love this triple threat, which boasts strong apple brandy, unfiltered sweet cider and tart hard cider. Lemon and spices bring it all home with a harmonious kick.
Ever had a Boulevardier? It's a lot like a Negroni with Campari and sweet vermouth, though it branches out with some whiskey instead of gin. But when you top the bittersweet medley off with hot cider (ice it if you'd rather), you get a delightfully comforting, entirely new taste.
This creamy cocktail tastes just like those caramel-covered apple lollipops! If you can't find caramel Irish cream, regular stuff is fine -- just add a spoonful of caramel sauce or syrup to your shaker for the same effect.
With quick cardamom-infused bourbon (only 1 ½ hours rather than the usual several days for infused booze), honey syrup, apple brandy and lemon juice, this fizzy drink is light, fresh and autumnal to boot.
With gin, apple cider, fresh thyme, spicy cinnamon and a bit of lemon and honey, this iced drink is as smooth and exciting as it gets!
Featured Image: Timothy Krause/Flickr