When planning a fall wedding, it can be the perfect opportunity to work some warm and spicy beverages into the menu. Here are five light and fun fall cocktails that will have you wanting to jump into a pile of leaves. With flavors of apple, fig, and even chai tea, these drinks are guaranteed to lend an autumnal vibe to your wedding reception. Our tip: make sure you have plenty of ice, and when in doubt, order more liquor than you think you’ll need!
1. Fresh Apple Cider Cocktail
An apple cider cocktail is a popular pick for autumn weddings. It’s simple enough to be a crowd-pleaser, yet complex enough to keep things interesting. For this one, take equal parts gin and apple cider. Add lime juice and simple syrup to taste. You can add cinnamon when you’re done, and garnish with thin slices of apple. This drink goes down easy, pairs well with a lot of finger foods, especially desserts, and is pretty to look at, too. It adds a fun fall flavor to your celebration, and you’ll love how the cinnamon and apple mingle on your palate.
2. Cider Sangria
What says party more than a massive batch of brightly colored sangria? This is a great drink made with your favorite local hard cider, lemon juice, brandy, club soda, pears and apples, and pinot grigio (this doesn’t have to be a particularly expensive variety, since you’ll barely taste it). For extra flavor, try honey-infused brandy. It’s a crisp, tangy, sweet sip that has fun written all over it. Have a few of these, and you’ll be well primed for the dancing portion of the evening. Plus, it’s fairly affordable, so make a few large batches to keep the party going long after dinner.
The negroni is a popular Italian cocktail that’s having a moment right now. Anthony Bourdain says about the negroni that “The first sip is confusing and not particularly pleasant. But man, it grows on you.” So, what’s in a negroni? It’s a trio of liquors: gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth. Garnish with an orange peel, smearing it around the edge of your glass to get a little bit of extra flavor when you take a sip.
4. Vanilla Chai Tea with a Kick
This drink is fantastic if you’re tired of the typical fall fare you can find on any happy hour menu in town. We present to you: vodka chai tea. That’s right—there’s vodka in it. This is a gorgeous-looking liquid that brings to mind the milky chai lattes you’ve been having in the morning. To prepare, make a few batches of potent chai tea and combine it with a combination of vanilla vodka, sugar, amaretto, and half and half. The chai tea sweetens up and waters down the vodka, and the flavors blend together, making it the perfect warm beverage selection. Garnish with cinnamon sticks for an extra seasonal kick.
5. Bourbon Fig Fizz
For the bourbon drinkers out there, we’ve included this rich, vibrant cocktail. You’ll need to plan ahead a bit for this one. First, infuse the bourbon with fresh figs. You’ll want to let these sit for a week or so, stirring them on occasion until the fig taste is present, but not overwhelming. Then, to make the drinks, have your bartender slice a fig into the glass, and add in some maple syrup, fresh lemon juice, and bitters. Add the bourbon, ginger beer, and plenty of ice. A bourbon fig fizz is delicious, flavorful, and creates an enjoyable, festive atmosphere at any event.