5 Festive Fall Beverage Recipes

As the daylight starts to fade earlier, and the mercury begins to dip southward, the outdoor visual changes create new seasonal opportunities for fall beverages. Whether you are ordering drinks from an accomplished mixologist, or you're planning a simple gathering at home, a basic knowledge of festive fall cocktails is in order.

When considering fall beverages, keep in mind color, flavor, and temperature. This is also the season of the beverage garnish. Indeed, the garnish is a prime opportunity to jazz up a fall cocktail and get the conversation flowing. Fall beverages are also all about the spices. Yes, the bold ones that have stayed in the back of your kitchen cabinet since last fall. So, give the lazy Susan a spin, release the captive spices, and have some fun crafting fall beverages.

Hot Buttered Rum

4 Beverages

4 ounces (1 stick) room-temperature unsalted butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/2 ounces Myers dark rum
3/4 cups boiling water
1 orange

Mix the butter, sugar, orange zest, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg with a mixer on medium speed until combined, for about 1 minute.

Next, mix 2 tablespoons spiced butter with 1 1/2 ounces, or about 3 tablespoons, of dark rum in 4 heatproof glasses. Pour 3/4 cup boiling water over each, and stir. Complete each glass with a garnish of half an orange wheel on the rim, and a light squeeze of fresh orange juice to finish it off.

Non-Alcoholic Spiced Cider

Makes One Gallon

1-gallon fresh apple cider
10 cinnamon sticks
7 anise pods
7-star anise
4 teaspoons whole cloves
Orange slices for garnish
cheesecloth (optional)

Simmer the cider and spices together in a large pot for about 20 minutes. Next, you can serve as is with the spices, or filter the mixture through the cheesecloth for easy removal of the spices. Lastly, garnish the beverage with a slice of orange and float star anise on top for great visual appeal.

Frozen Cranberry Margarita

Makes Two Pitchers

1 1⁄4 cups cranberry juice
1/4 cup sugar
2 cups fresh cranberries (can also be frozen)
3⁄4 cup lime juice (fresh if available)
1 1/4 cup tequila
1⁄2 cup orange liqueur, preferably Grand Mariner

First, combine all ingredients together in a bowl. Next, place half of the mixture in a blender with ice and blend until smooth. Repeat with the other half of the mix. Finish off your margaritas by adding a salt or red sugar rim to margarita glasses, and filling with your blended margaritas. Add a few cranberries as a colorful garnish sure to wow.

King Cider

Makes Single Beverage

1.5 ounce Crown Royal
2 ounces heated cider
.50 ounce honey
.25 ounce lemon juice
dash ground cinnamon
One whole cinnamon stick

Combine all items together in a large pot and simmer on low for about 20 minutes to allow the mixture to steep properly. Serve your warm King cider in a coffee mug, or tall glass. Finish your beverage with a sprinkle cinnamon on top and garnish with a whole cinnamon stick.

Timeless Hot Chocolate

Serving size varies based on ingredients

3 1/2 cups sugar
2 1/4 cups cocoa
1 tablespoon table salt
Whole milk for serving
Whipped Cream  (optional)
milk chocolate flakes (optional)

Start off by mixing sugar, cocoa, and salt together in a large bowl and whisking to combine. You can store any leftover mix in an airtight container to preserve flavor. To make one serving, simply heat one cup whole milk, in a microwave-safe mug and microwave on high until hot. Next add 2 tablespoons of your premade cocoa mixture into the milk and stir until completely dissolved.

For larger batches, warm the milk in a saucepan set over medium heat, making sure not to boil the milk. Combine 2 tablespoons of premade cocoa mix for every cup of milk. Finish by topping with a peak of whipped cream, and garnish with milk chocolate flakes to impress.

These great beverage recipes are sure to impress this fall holiday season.

CC Image courtesy of Personal Creations on Flickr.