Guest Blog | MustHaveMenus
Summer’s coming to a close, and customers are starting to crave cozy fall flavors. Don’t delay — update your bar menu today to include some festive fall cocktails today!
Crafting a cool-weather cocktail list doesn’t have to be complicated. Plenty of the most popular seasonal flavors — apple cider, pumpkin spice, and even candy corn — translate easily into mixed drinks that your customers are bound to fall in love with!
Need a little mixology inspiration? Keep reading for 8 excellent cocktail ideas and recipes that capture the spirit of the season:
Apple Cider Sangria
Sangria is a summery punch that’s traditionally made with wine, spirits, and various fruits. Happily, it can easily transition to a fall menu offering with a few simple edits. For example, this recipe incorporates apple cider and ginger brandy into the mix. It maintains the character of sangria, but with a subtle nod to the fall season.
Bourbon Milk Punch
Bourbon milk punch is a beverage that’s just as comfortable on a cocktail menu as it is on a dessert menu. Featuring whole milk or cream (or both), bourbon, nutmeg, vanilla extract, and cinnamon, it almost tastes like melted ice cream — but with a distinct bourbon kick. What’s not to love? This creamy, dreamy cocktail is an ideal addition to your restaurant’s menu all the way through the winter.
Candy Corn Martini
Not everyone’s crazy about candy corn. But those who do love it really love it. Give ‘em what they want with a candy corn martini!
This recipe is jam-packed with satisfying sweetness: it’s made with whipped cream flavored vodka, pineapple juice, and grenadine. But the flavor is only half the fun: the different weights of the liquid ingredients create a “stacked” visual effect so the beverage has three distinct layers that look like the colors of candy corn. This Instagram-friendly cocktail is bound to grab plenty of attention!
Pro tip: Spread the word! A tabletop insert advertising fall cocktail specials like candy corn martinis can draw attention to your seasonal offerings and could increase overall orders.
Caramel Apple Old Fashioned
The Old Fashioned is a classic cocktail traditionally made with bourbon, bitters, and a touch of sugar. In this recipe, it has a fall fling with caramel apples — with delicious results! Apple cider and rich, creamy caramel upgrade the Old Fashioned to cozy autumnal perfection. Finished with fetching slices of green apple, it’s got a fine fall look to match. Don’t miss adding this one to your fall roster!
The traditional mimosa couldn’t be easier to make: simply mix orange juice with champagne or sparkling wine and voila, you’ve got yourself a brunch classic. Making cranberry mimosas is just as simple: simply swap cranberry juice for orange juice.
The cranberry mimosa may not be complicated, but it boasts a fascinating flavor profile — bright and buoyant, but not too sweet. Plus, it’s visually stunning! This easy-to-make beverage is the perfect addition to your brunch lineup, or as an aperitif, all fall and winter long.
Honey Pear Sparkling Cocktail
What better way to kick off a meal than with a sparkling wine cocktail? Here's a recipe that was made for fall: Honey Roasted Pear Sparkling Cocktails, featuring pears roasted in honey and then pureed into a syrup that adds a rich, sweet, mellow flavor to the buoyant bubbles of sparkling wine. Served in coconut sugar-rimmed glass, this is the perfect celebratory cocktail to put customers in a happy mood for the rest of their meal. As a bonus, this recipe is also easy to make into mocktails!
As the weather gets cooler, customers crave comfort and warmth. The hot toddy delivers on both accounts, so be sure to include one on your menu! You can’t go wrong with a classic hot toddy, a simple concoction made with hot water, whiskey, honey, lemon, and spices. Or, you can try any number of variations on it, from a salted caramel hot toddy to a green, matcha-infused hot toddy.
Pumpkin Spice White Russian
It’s a simple fact: the White Russian, a rich concoction made with vodka, Kahlúa, and cream, is extremely delicious. But it’s even better with a little pumpkin spice. With this fall-themed variety, you get all of the finer points of a traditional White Russian, but with an autumnal accent thanks to pumpkin puree and a warming spice mixture. The resulting beverage makes for a beautiful after-dinner drink with a visually pleasing presentation.
Bring on the Fall Flavors!
Fall is the perfect time to update your bar menu to reflect the flavors of the season. Take a cue from these creative cool-weather cocktail ideas to craft an autumnal menu that’s bound to keep customers coming back! | Mark Plumlee
Mark Plumlee is the Sr. Content Manager for MustHaveMenus, the internet’s leading design, template and marketing service for restaurants.
This guest blog was submitted by MustHaveMenus. For more information on guest blog opportunities, contact Marla McColly, Business Development Director, Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association.