Labor Day Weekend is here. It’s the perfect last hurrah for summer and a time to welcome in the things we love about fall. Like the flavors. There’s nothing quite like the flavor of fall and we’re not talking about pumpkin spice. Nope. Instead, let’s explore some of the more complex flavor combinations fall has to offer. To really impress people, set up a table, or tables, in a half-and-half fashion and serve up summer flavors in the day, but fall ones as the temps drop and you light a fire.
Summer Flavor Cocktails
This summer saw several savory food trends. While citrus and tropical fruits were the stars, as always, spice proved nice by being at the forefront of the hottest dishes and drinks during summer 2017. We’ve rounded up five of our favorite cocktails from the summer that blend the best of the trends for a fantastic last blast of fresh summer flavors.
Blood Orange & Rosemary Fizz
Recipe from Food & Wine | Image from Heather Christo
Pineapple Coconut Martini
Pina Coladas are a little overdone. This drink keeps our favorite summer combo but lightens and brightens it up. Plus, it’s super easy to make.
2 oz. pineapple juice
Recipe & Image from The Framed Table
Pitcher drinks are perfect for parties, and this Labor Day weekend sparkler needs a pitcher drink because once people try it they’re going to tell everyone else to pour a glass, too. This recipe makes 8 servings.
14 oz. vodka
4 oz. light agave nectar
Recipe from Food & Wine | Image from Story of a Kitchen
Nothing says summer like strawberries and the addition of ginger to this punch is another example of how the 2017 summer fruit and spice trend done right. This recipe makes 6 drinks.
Recipe from Bon Appetit | Image from Eat Laugh Purr
In Sicily it’s hard to find a dish without lemon on it. The second favorite ingredient? Oregano. This Sangria, from The Oethical Oenologist, is a refreshing pitcher drink perfect for Labor Day weekend fetes. A feature of drinks from this site is the elimination of unnecessary ice.
1 bottle pinot grigio or unoaked Chardonnay
Recipe from The Oethical Oenologist | Image from Gourmet Meals For Less
Fall Flavor Cocktails
We’re pretty sure that if we go to pinterest there’s a pumpkin spice cocktail on there. But we’re going to avoid it. Pumpkin spice is great, but let’s expand our idea of fall flavors by focusing on others. These 5 cocktails will reignite your love for the season and introduce you to flavor combos you’ve never had, or have forgotten due to the worldwide pumpkin spice craze.
Thyme Will Tell
This simple cocktail uses maple syrup and thyme for a balanced, fall flavor-driven cocktail that is simple to make. Whatever you do, use real maple syrup, not the stuff that comes in a plastic log cabin. Pro-tip: Grade B (also called Grade A Dark & Amber) is the most flavorful and best for cocktail mixing.
2 oz. bourbon
Recipe from The Sea Grill NYC | Image from Town & Country
The pomegranate is the reason we have fall according to Greek mythology, so why not celebrate Labor Day weekend with a spicy pomegranate cocktail?
2 oz. pomegranate juice
Recipe from Serious Eats | Image from Autumn Giles
Hot Buttered Rum
Nutmeg is falls secret ingredient found in everything from pies to lasagna. That means you should incorporate it into cocktails like this one from Absolut. This recipe can be scaled based on how many you’re serving. For one drink use two ounces of rum and 4 parts water.
2 parts aged, dark rum
1 tspn butter
1 part honey
1 pinch nutmeg (a little goes a long way)
4 parts boiling water
1 slice lemon
1 cinnamon stick for garnish
If you’ve been to the Shannon Airport in Ireland or The Buena Vista Cafe in San Francisco, you’ve probably had one of these and, to be fair, you’ll never recreate it quite as perfectly at home. That said, you can still enjoy the drink on chilly fall nights. Best enjoyed as soon as it’s made by sipping the coffee and whiskey through the cream.
6 oz. coffee
1 ½ oz. Irish whiskey
Heavy cream, lightly whipped
Recipe from Food | Image from Punch
Summer’s Last Stand
We’re rounding out these fall flavored cocktails with another Sangria from The Oethical Oenologist. This one is inspired by caramel-apples, the perfect fall treat.
1 bottle late harvest Sauvignon Blanc
1-2 cups honeycrisp apples, cubed
¼-½ cup caramel liqueur
¼-½ cup light rum
¼-½ cup apple cider
⅛-½ cup simple syrup
Apple slices, caramel drizzle, cinnamon sticks for garnish