The weather outside may not be frightful quite yet, but the chill in the air and crisp nights make autumn cuisine an extremely appealing prospect. Once you've laid out the menu for an autumn's evening, you might be on the prowl for the best autumn cocktail recipes to complete and compliment your meal.
What better way is there to warm your spirits than an expertly crafted cocktail?
Here's a collection of 12 delicious cocktails inspired by the flavors of fall, from spiked apple cider to intoxicating pumpkin to even adults-only Halloween-candy infused creations.
These autumn cocktails are guaranteed to keep you cozy at night, and inspire your fall entertaining. Bottoms up!
Photo via Big World Small Kitchen
Apple cider cocktail:
If you love the idea of apple cider in a cocktail but don't care for hard cider, this is the beverage for you. This cocktail is fizzy, owing to champagne, but has a thoroughly apple undercurrent with both apple cider and apple brandy. Recipe here.
Photo via The Kennebunk Inn
Candy corn cocktail:
This tricolor treat features an unexpected ingredient: carrots! It's a fantastic way to celebrate National Vodka Day, which happens to be today. These are sure to get you in a festive mood for Halloween. Recipe here.
Note: If it's a candy corn flavor rather than coloring that you crave, simply make a candy corn infused vodka!
Cherry brandy and elderflower cocktail:
Did you know October 20 is National Brandied Fruit Day? You'll be partaking with panache if you've got a glass in your hand filled with brandy that's been infused with cherries and mixed with lovely floral elderflower liqueur. Recipe here.
Cranberry old fashioned cocktail:
Not to be confused with cranberry juice cocktail, this is a cocktail made with cranberries. It successfully marries a puckering mixture of cranberries and bitters with a light mix of orange zest and sugar -- and of course, a kick from the bourbon. Recipe here.
Fun size candy bar cocktail:
Despite the name, this cocktail adds up to big-time fun. Simply melt a fun-size candy bar over the stovetop with 2 ounces of whole milk or cream. Once melted, remove from heat. Let cool to warm. Mix with 1.5 ounces of vodka. Garnish with another fun-size half. Indulge in this simple, sweet and intoxicating little number when you're feeling a bit naughty.
Fig whiskey cocktail:
Use fig preserves in unexpected but delicious way by combining them with rye, lime and spices. It may be served cold, but it warms the spirits. Recipe here.
Hot mulled wine:
Why not see how this ancient recipe tasted in the Middle Ages? Here's a medieval recipe that's as thick with honey and spices as it is rich with wine. Recipe here.
Hot butternut rum:
This variation on a hot tea toddy is earthy owing to the butternut squash butter called for in the recipe, but once you've added some spices and earl grey tea, it becomes a "zesty, warming drink, perfect for a cool night." Recipe here.
Pumpkin Irish coffee:
Around this time of year, most coffee shops offer a variation on a pumpkin- flavored latte. Why not let your favorite morning treat inspire an after-dinner indulgence? This creamy coffee, infused with pumpkin cream liqueur, is bound to have you feeling warm and deliciously fuzzy. Recipe here.
Rosemary maple bourbon sour:
It's so simple. Bourbon, lemon juice, dark maple syrup and a sprig or two of rosemary, depending on taste. Shake vigorously in a cocktail shaker, then strain into glasses. It's a recipe for success. Recipe here.
Photo via Doughmesstic
This s'mores cocktail is a fantastic way to enjoy a treat with a little trick -- this version is served flaming. Recipe here.
Sriracha honey hot toddy:
This toddy is hot in more ways than one. It's served piping hot, but it also has a kick from a healthy dash of Sriracha. That, in addition to whiskey, makes for a sweet treat with a little heat. Recipe here.