Staff Writer Rachael Medina
Rachael Medina is the senior content writer and operations manager for California.com. She was born and raised just outside the Mojave Desert in Southern California and moved to the redwood forests o…See full bio
When the air is crisp, the temperatures drop, and the leaves begin to change colors, you know that autumn has begun in the Golden State. The days of frolicking on the beach and chasing the late sunsets may be over, but the most wonderful time of year is upon us. So cozy up with a warm blanket, start reading a good book, and begin the search for your new favorite fall drink recipes.
Since California is packed with farms growing a vast variety of fruits and vegetables, every season comes with new culinary treasures. Fall produce brings us succulent apples, herbaceous basil and rosemary, sweet pomegranates, and everyone’s favorite stone fruits, leaving limitless options for your autumn drinks of choice.
From pumpkin spice lattes to hot apple cider, there are some non-alcoholic fall drinks that capture our attention year after year, but with so many fruits in season, there’s definitely room for a few more fall recipes. Whether you’re dreaming of crafting the perfect fall party drinks or a warm beverage to make your Mondays a bit more festive, these ideas are a great place to start.
After going apple picking, there’s nothing quite as satisfying as making fresh apple cider at home. If the taste and the fall spirit weren’t enough to convince you that it’s worth your time, the scent that fills your house undoubtedly will.
6 medium apples, quartered
1 orange, peeled and quartered
8 cups water
½ tablespoon whole cloves
¼ cup brown sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
1 whole nutmeg
½ teaspoon whole allspice
Since California is home to dozens of incredible chocolate makers, it comes as no surprise that hot cocoa is one of our favorite fall drink ideas. Whether you want to pick up the mix of your favorite cocoa in the Bay Area or make your own at home, it’s always a nice treat.
6 cups milk
¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ cup sugar
¾ cup semisweet chocolate bar, chopped
Mini marshmallows or whipped cream, to top
Pumpkin spice lattes are easily among the best fall drinks. Complete with several of our favorite fall flavors, delicious coffee, and topped with whipped cream, this is one of the most perfect beverages around.
4 cups milk
6 tablespoons pumpkin puree
4 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons vanilla extract
1 ½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 ½ cups hot coffee or 6 shots of espresso
If you’re looking for picture-perfect fall-themed drinks, these rosemary cran and tonics are the ideal addition to your menu.
6 ounces cranberry juice concentrate
4 cups tonic water
Cranberries, for garnish
6 sprigs rosemary, for garnish
If fall produces your favorite fruits, this refreshing sangria is for you. Combining crisp apples, refreshing lemon, and juicy pomegranate seeds, all the best autumn flavors come together for a drink like no other.
Seeds from 1 pomegranate
2 apples, sliced
1 pear, sliced
1 orange, sliced
1 lemon, sliced
3 cups apple cider (cooled from recipe above)
1 lemon, juiced
3 cinnamon sticks
1 ½ cups sparkling water
While a shrub might not be your go-to recipe, it’s the perfect way to preserve the flavors of fall.
¾ cup apple cider vinegar
⅓ cup apples, chopped
½ cup sugar
24 ounces sparkling water
Diced apples, for garnish
Now that you’ve mastered these easy fall drinks, you’re ready to celebrate the season properly. Whether you’re headed out to see the state’s best displays of fall foliage or hosting a picnic in your backyard, these recipes are sure to add a touch of pizazz to all your autumn activities. Let us know which drink is your favorite in the comments below.
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