With the school year back in high gear and evening temperatures dropping just below chilly, it might be time to rethink Friday date night or an evening out with the ladies. When jackets and sweatshirts replace strappy Friday night sandals, plan a night in the hottest new spot in town—your very own kitchen.
Contrary to what many believe, you don't need a fully stocked (read: $$$) bar to mix stellar cocktails. Though the frozen margarita ship might have set sail for the season, look to the autumn-inspired ingredients that you already have in your pantry or refrigerator to mix cocktails so delicious you might never leave your house again.
If you have abundance of fresh cider left over from a recent trip to the apple orchard, don't let it go to waste. Turn a gallon of apple cider into a batch of Hudson Valley Appletinis, designed by the expert mixologists at upscale NYC caterer Canard, Inc.
Start by making apple cinnamon syrup: bring 1 gallon of apple cider to a boil and steep 3 cinnamon sticks in the cider for 20 minutes. Let cool to room temperature. Combine three parts cider syrup with two parts sparkling apple cider and one part vodka. Garnish with an apple slice, if desired.
Pumpkin is everywhere in October, from the farm to the grocery store—and even Amazon.com if there is a shortage at your local market.
You can bake it and eat it, but did you know that you can drink it, too? For a pumpkin pie martini that will taste better than any dessert, mix 1-ounce of milk with 2 tablespoons of pumpkin purée, 1 1/2-ounces of vanilla flavored vodka and 1 1/2-ounces of crème de cacao. Rim martini glass with honey and graham cracker crumbs, shake over ice to combine, and strain into martini a glass.
If warm, earthy spices are your fall favorite, embrace them with the kind of creamy, comforting beverage that wouldn't taste right any other time of year. "As it gets colder, the body needs more to keep itself warm," said Star Hodgson, beverage director of LRG Properties, including Le Phare in New Orleans. "This is a great time to play with things like pumpkin." Mix 1.5-ounces of vanilla flavored vodka with equal amounts of Irish cream liqueur and pumpkin flavored liqueur and pour into a cocktail shaker over ice. Cover, and shake until the outside of the shaker has frosted. Strain mixture into a chilled martini glass, and garnish with a sprinkle of ground cinnamon to serve.
If a chai latte is your beverage of choice for a cozy movie night at home with your man, whip up a pair of St. Croix Comforters with Cruzan 9 rum. Combine one part Cruzan 9 with a serving of Maxwell House International Café Chai Latte beverage mix for a cozy beverage you'll want to sip until spring. To prepare, pour rum in a pre-heated coffee mug add Chai Latte and fill with steaming hot water. Garnish with an orange twist.
Cocktail ideas for Halloween
Halloween cocktails and drinks from Van Gogh Vodka
Planning a costume party this Halloween for grown ups? Van Gogh Vodka has some ideas for vodka cocktails, shots, and martinis that are sure to be great treats for adult guests.
More fall cocktail recipes