The Delicious Fall Drink Recipes You Can Make Yourself

The Delicious Fall Drink Recipes You Can Make Yourself

By Rachael Medina
Staff Writer September 26, 2020

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.

The Fall Drinks You’ve Been Waiting All Year For

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.

Warm Fall Drinks That’ll Warm Your Soul

Warm up on a cold, breezy autumn day with a mug of homemade hot apple cider.

Warm Apple Cider

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. 

Serves 6

Ingredients

6 medium apples, quartered

1 orange, peeled and quartered

8 cups water

½ tablespoon whole cloves

¼ cup brown sugar

2 cinnamon sticks

 

Optional

1 whole nutmeg

½ teaspoon whole allspice

 

Directions

  • Add apples, oranges, and seasonings to a large pot. 
  • Cover with water, leaving a few inches of space at the top of the pot to avoid boiling over.
  • Warm over high heat until cider reaches a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and continue cooking for two hours.
  • Use a spoon or potato masher to squish apple and orange quarters. 
  • Continue simmering for another hour, uncovered.
  • Using cheesecloth or a fine strainer, separate the solids from the liquid.
  • Add brown sugar to the liquid and stir.
  • Serve warm with a fresh cinnamon stick.

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Cozy up with a cup of hot cocoa and a good book to celebrate the fall season.

Hot Cocoa

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.

Serves 6

Ingredients

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

 

Directions

  • In a small saucepan, heat milk, cocoa powder, and sugar over medium heat until combined and warm.
  • Add chocolate pieces, and whisk until smooth.
  • Once the chocolate is fully incorporated, add the vanilla extract.
  • Serve immediately with mini marshmallows or whipped cream.

 

Start any day off right by sipping the most iconic fall drink from the comfort of your home.

Pumpkin Spice Latte

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.

Serves 6

Ingredients

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

Whipped cream

 

Directions

  • Combine milk, pumpkin puree, and brown sugar in a medium saucepan and warm over medium heat until combined and hot.
  • Remove from heat and mix in vanilla extract, pumpkin pie spice, and coffee.
  • Divide into 6 mugs, top with whipped cream and pumpkin spice (if desired), and serve immediately.

 

Cold Fall Drinks Featuring Golden State Produce

For a simple yet refreshing fall tipple, look no further than a rosemary cran and tonic.

Rosemary Cran & Tonic

If you’re looking for picture-perfect fall-themed drinks, these rosemary cran and tonics are the ideal addition to your menu. 

Serves 6

Ingredients

Ice

6 ounces cranberry juice concentrate

4 cups tonic water

Cranberries, for garnish

6 sprigs rosemary, for garnish

 

Directions

  • Fill glasses with ice, and add 1 ounce of cranberry juice concentrate to each one.
  • Top with tonic water.
  • Garnish with cranberries and sprig of rosemary.

 

Toast to the season with a unique, delicious twist on the traditional sangria.

Fall Mocktail Sangria

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.

Serves 6

Ingredients

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

 

Directions

  • Add pomegranate seeds and sliced apples, pear, orange, and lemon to a large pitcher.
  • Pour in apple cider, lemon juice, and cinnamon sticks.
  • Refrigerate for at least one hour.
  • Fill glasses two-thirds of the way up with sangria, top with sparkling water, and garnish with fresh cinnamon sticks or lemon slices.

 

Savor the flavors of fall by making an easy shrub with California-grown apples.

Apple Shrub

While a shrub might not be your go-to recipe, it’s the perfect way to preserve the flavors of fall. 

Serves 6 

Ingredients

¾ cup apple cider vinegar

⅓ cup apples, chopped

½ cup sugar

Ice

24 ounces sparkling water

Diced apples, for garnish

 

Directions

  • Place apple cider vinegar and chopped apples in a blender, cover, and refrigerate overnight.
  • The next day, blend mixture until smooth, strain through cheesecloth or a fine-mesh strainer, and pour into a clean blender. 
  • Blend with sugar until sugar dissolves.
  • Fill glasses with ice, pour in 1 ½ ounces of apple rosemary shrub, top with sparkling water, and stir to combine.
  • Garnish with apples and serve immediately.

 

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.

Staff Writer
Rachael Medina

Staff Writer Rachael Medina

Rachael Medina is the staff writer and content manager for California.com. She was born and raised just outside the Mojave Desert in Southern California and moved to the redwood forests of Humboldt C…

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