Cocktail Recipes, Spirits, and Local Bars

11 Essential Cocktails for Your October Parties

11 Essential Cocktails for Your October Parties

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Fall is officially here, and it’s time to celebrate with a cocktail party or two. Apples, pumpkins and brown spirits dominate our cravings this month, but don’t worry, we have a few lighter options for you too. These are the 11 cocktails to make now.

  • A full ounce and a half of Angostura bitters is the unexpected base of this intense cocktail. When mixed with rye whiskey, orgeat and lemon juice, the bitters create a richly herbal drink that will have you coming back for more.

  • Even though it’s served cold, this cognac cocktail will warm you right up. The flavors are as cozy as your favorite old shirt, while homemade apple cider syrup adds an easy dash of sophistication. Just shake the syrup with cognac, allspice dram and a splash of orange juice, strain over an ice cube and garnish with an orange peel.

  • See you later, pumpkin spice lattes. The Pumpkin Toddy is here to take your place this season. The combination of apple brandy, rye whiskey, lemon juice, maple syrup, pumpkin purée and bitters screams autumn, especially when served hot and topped with grated cinnamon.

  • This punch’s name translates to “wrong Negroni,” but we think it’s totally right. Mix Campari, sweet vermouth, prosecco and fruit (we recommend in-season apples and pomegranate this month) in a large punch bowl, and garnish with grated cinnamon.

    Continue to 5 of 11 below.

  • Get your booze buzz and your caffeine buzz all in one with this coffee cocktail. The combination of aged rum, cold-brew coffee, ginger liqueur, banana liqueur and vanilla extract tastes like the perfect breakfast: a slice of banana bread and a cup of coffee. Garnish with a bruléed banana slice.

  • Give your Halloween celebration an extra-spooky twist with this festive punch. Bourbon and Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur are the boozy backbones for pumpkin purée, apple juice, pineapple juice and lemon juice, while a homemade fall spice syrup adds depth. Serve in hollowed-out small pumpkins or glass mugs, topped with toasted marshmallow fluff and cinnamon.

  • A little bitter, a little sour, this secret New Orleans cocktail is perfect for fall evenings anywhere. Averna amaro, Cynar, Cointreau and lime juice are shaken, then strained over fresh ice and topped with soda water for a little fizz. Garnish with an orange wheel and serve with a straw for maximum NOLA fun.

  • Sweet and savory, this cocktail makes the most of in-season apples. Fresh apple juice stars next to vodka and lemon juice, while a homemade umami syrup adds a unique and unexpected savoriness. Garnish with miso powder and shredded coconut.

    Continue to 9 of 11 below.

  • Give your Old Fashioned a Mexican makeover with this twist on the classic. Tequila, sugar, club soda, allspice dram and orange bitters combine to make a drink that’s bitter, spirit-forward and perfect for evening sipping.

  • This is one punch you won’t be able to put down. Sesame-infused vodka adds a nutty richness, and sencha-tea-infused vodka brings an earthy flavor to cane syrup, half-and-half and matcha powder. Dry-shake to aerate and shake with ice to cool, then fine-strain into a teacup and enjoy.

  • Tea time just got better. Earl Grey-infused Tanqueray gin brings the tea’s malty and citrusy notes to the fore, amplified with lemon juice, simple syrup and an egg white for creaminess. Serve in a chilled coupe half-rimmed with sugar.

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