With notes of vanilla, maple and even caramel, whiskey is the perfect spirit for fall. With such a warm flavor profile, the spirit is also great for making a medley of fall-friendly cocktails. Whiskey's robust taste ensures that you don't have to purchase a ton of ingredients or endure a great deal of prep work to create a great cocktail.
From several fall twists on the classic Whiskey Sour to cocktails that utilize fall ingredients like fig jam and maple syrup, the whiskey sips ahead are both simple to make and delightfully satisfying. Read on for our favorite whiskey drinks to whip up this fall.
The Recipe: BLT Cocktail
The Hero Ingredient: You won't find tonic in too many whiskey cocktails, but it works wonders in the BLT. It helps cut the whiskey and the addition of lemon adds just the right amount of acidity.
Pro Tip: Once you fall in love with this drink at home, follow Phoebe Lapine of Feed Me Phoebe's tip for ordering the BLT Cocktail at a bar. "If you’re ordering it at a bar, just ask for a bourbon and tonic with a splash of lemon juice," she explains.
Why We Love It: It's easy to be in the mood for a great cocktail and also lack the ingredients needed to create said drink. With only three, fairly common ingredients, the BLT Cocktail is a sip that's super easy to make at home.
Spiced Apple Cider Whisky Sour
The Recipe: Spiced Apple Cider Whisky Sour
The Hero Ingredient: One of the easiest ways to add serious "wow" to your cocktail is with your own flavored simple syrup. And this Spiced Apple Cider Whisky Sour does just that with the addition of a rich, homemade cinnamon simple syrup.
Pro Tip: Whether for use in this cocktail or not, Boulder Locavore's Toni Dash highly suggests you pick up a bottle of freshly pressed apple cider for the cooler months. "If you have not had freshly pressed apple cider in the fall you must seek it out at all costs! It has a wonderful fresh, sweet taste that is irresistible," she says.
Why We Love It: Apple cider-based cocktails are fairly common in the fall and winter, but this particular cocktail ups the ante with unique ingredients like cinnamon simple syrup and orange bitters.
Maple Whiskey Sour
The Recipe: Maple Whiskey Sour
The Hero Ingredient: Your standard Whiskey Sour cocktail isn't much of a fall sip, but the addition of maple syrup in this drink will have you ready to get cozy in your favorite fall sweater in no time.
Pro Tip: Gimme Some Oven's Ali Ebrigh reveals that this cocktail can be made sans egg whites, but stresses that they are a delicious addition. "If you’re not into eating raw eggs, no biggie, you can totally leave them out," she explains. "But I love the extra creaminess they add to the cocktail, and the super-frothy foam on top is extra fun for serving and garnishes."
Why We Love It: Frothy, tart and delicious, this Maple Whiskey Sour is a clever take on a classic cocktail.
Adult Hot Chocolate
The Recipe: Adult Hot Chocolate
The Hero Ingredient: The addition of Frangelico to this boozy hot chocolate adds just a touch of rich hazelnut flavor.
Pro Tip: To take the "adult" out of this Adult Hot Chocolate, you can simply remove Frangelico, bourbon and Irish cream for a mocktail-friendly version. "With or without the alcohol, it is a delightful refreshment when there’s a chill in the air," says The Modern Proper's Holly Erickson.
Why We Love It: You can of course use a packet of pre-made hot chocolate to make a similar cocktail, but it wouldn't be nearly as decadent or delicious as this version, which calls for whole milk, dark chocolate and vanilla bean.
The Recipe: Irish Coffee
The Hero Ingredient: This Irish Coffee comes with the option of topping your drink with freshly-ground nutmeg or chocolate. Truthfully, these delicious options are hardly optional.
Pro Tip: Although it might increase your prep time, homemade whipped cream is the icing on the cake with this cocktail, according to Ali Ebrigh of Gimme Some Oven. "Of course, it’s all the tastier when topped with some homemade whipped cream (or coconut whipped cream if you’re making this dairy-free)."
Why We Love It: Served warm and made using Irish whisky, this Irish Coffee is enough to warm you up on the coldest of nights.
Winter Spiced Old Fashioned
The Recipe: Winter Spiced Old Fashioned
The Hero Ingredient: Muddled cherry and orange give this Old Fashioned a welcome pop of fruity flavor.
Pro Tip: You can quite literally spice things up with this cocktail by creating your own spice-infused simple syrup. "I kicked this version up a bit to make it a little more suitable for the winter months by adding some spices to the simple syrup for a lovely spiced simple syrup," says Jenny Park of Spoon Fork Bacon.
Why We Love It: The recipe for the Winter Spiced Old Fashioned yields four servings, making this a great pick for entertaining in a flash.
Spiced Cranberry Pear Bourbon Cocktail
The Recipe: Spiced Cranberry Pear Bourbon Cocktail
The Hero Ingredient: Spiced pear liqueur isn't commonly used in cocktails, but it works well in the Spiced Cranberry Pear Bourbon Cocktail, easily mellowing out the whiskey.
Pro Tip: When creating the cranberry simple syrup, Salt And Wind shares that you should "cook until cranberries are tender but haven't burst, about 10 to 12 minutes."
Why We Love It: Thanks to the combination of cranberry and spiced pear flavors, this sip is a taste of fall in a glass.
Orange-Infused Whiskey Ginger
The Recipe: Orange-Infused Whiskey Ginger
The Hero Ingredient: An easy-to-make, homemade ginger juice gives this cocktail just the right amount of kick to warm up eager sippers.
Pro Tip: With such a great variety of ingredients, this drink really allows you to get creative with your garnishes. "For garnish, I went with fresh mint, lemon wedges, and a few cranberries for a festive touch, but it’s entirely up to you," says the team at Minimalist Baker. "I could also see pomegranate or candied ginger being delicious additions."
Why We Love It: Ginger is always a great addition when you want to add a little spice to your cocktail without overpowering it, and this cocktail successfully does just that.
Cinnamon Cider Whiskey Sour
The Recipe: Cinnamon Cider Whiskey Sour
The Hero Ingredient: Cinnamon is a staple in a number of fall recipes and this cocktail is no different, given that the apple cider is heated with cinnamon sticks for optimal flavor.
Pro Tip: Although the recipe calls for maple syrup, How Sweet Eats' Jessica Merchant explains that it can be excluded if the cider is already sweet and flavorful enough. "I finish this off with a splash of maple syrup. I find that it’s perfect for the season but you may not even need it! The cinnamon cider might be enough," she says.
Why We Love It: Boozy apple cider and Whiskey Sours are two drinks that are favorites for many, and the way in which this cocktail combines the two is both easy and delicious.
Fig Bourbon Cider Smash
The Recipe: Fig Bourbon Cider Smash
The Hero Ingredient: Figs can prove somewhat tricky to work with when used in cocktails, but using fig preserves in this cocktail is an excellent way to add the flavor without all the mess.
Pro Tip: The Fig Bourbon Cider Smash just so happens to have a secret ingredient that really sets this drink apart. "I love adding a splash of balsamic vinegar for a nice tang. I know it sounds so weird, but a little goes a long way," Tieghan Gerard of Half Baked Harvest reveals.
Why We Love It: Sparkling cocktails tend to be sipped most during spring and summer, but the Fig Bourbon Cider Smash is a great way to get your sparkling fix in a seasonal, fall cocktail.