Seasons change— even in the beverage world. But one drink you can always count on seeing when autumn finally rolls around is the pumpkin spice latte. In fact, after a particularly challenging year coffee shop giants like Starbucks and Dunkin made the decision to launch their signature pumpkin spice drinks earlier than ever; that’s why we wouldn’t blame you if you’re already tired of it (though you’re friends might!) Luckily, there are plenty of other flavorful beverages to try this season. Instead of a PSL, consider sipping on one of these fall drinks. You might just find your next favorite!
1. Hot Chocolate
We can’t make a list of alternative fall drinks without including this sweater weather staple. A hot chocolate always hits the spot after a cold evening of romping in the pumpkin patch. Hot chocolate can be made with a variety of milk alternatives, flavors, and toppings. Enjoy it as a classic or make it your own by adding a unique twist.
We recommend this adult version of the drink, which calls for a combination of evaporated milk, rum, chocolate syrup, caramel sauce, brown sugar, brewed coffee, and coffee liqueur. If you’re looking for something a little more kid-friendly, then try a Hazelnut Hot Chocolate which involves ingredients like Nutella, toasted hazelnuts, and bittersweet chocolate.
Don’t forget the whipped cream and marshmallows!
2. Apple Cider
Apple cider doesn’t only taste good when baked into donuts. The perfect companion for a trip to the local apple orchard, this warm sparkling drink offers a delightful balance of sweet and tart with complex notes of spice.
Apple cider is essentially raw apple juice made by chopping, mashing, and pressing apples to extract their liquid— it’s the closest thing to eating an apple right off the tree!
If you have a juicer or slow cooker, you can easily make your own. Customize it with spices, juices, and syrups, like this recipe which includes pineapple, orange, and lemon juices, as well as brown sugar, cloves, cinnamon sticks, and fresh orange slices. Or this Honey Apple Cider, which uses apples and oranges, cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, cloves and, finally, honey! Just remember to serve warm.
3. Chai Tea
Chai spice is typically made from a combination of cinnamon, ground ginger, cardamom, nutmeg, cloves, and black pepper, though there are some variations that include other ingredients. Regardless of the exact composition chosen, chai is a highly under-rated fall drink, often served in the form of tea.
For a more traditional take on the drink, we recommend this warm Spiced Chai drink, which calls for cardamom, peppercorn, cloves, star anise, fresh gingerroot, nutmeg honey, cinnamon sticks, black tea, whole milk, and vanilla extract.
Of course, if you’re feeling a little more adventurous, you can try your hand at whipping up a Coconut Chai Tea Latte with all of the chai spice staples, plus black tea, whole or 2-percent milk, unsweetened coconut milk, and light brown muscovado sugar. Garnish with cinnamon sticks.
4. Fall Coffee
You don’t need pumpkin spice in your morning cup of Joe for it to qualify as a fall drink.
There are plenty of seasonal alternatives, like this recipe for a Hot Ginger Coffee— perfect for staying warm on your chilly morning commute. Just brew together ground coffee, orange zest, chopped crystallized ginger, cinnamon, and water in your machine, then garnish with whipped cream, cinnamon sticks, and orange zest.
Maybe you’re looking for a toasty nightcap? A creamy Irish Coffee might be a better alternative. Just brew your favorite coffee, then add some Irish cream liqueur, whipped cream, and chocolate shavings. Quick, tasty, and caffeinated!
5. Fall Spritzers
Who said fall drinks had to be hot? If you’re looking for something that delivers on fall flavors while mirroring the cool chill in the air, then check out a seasonal spritzer.
A Blackberry & Sage Spritzer tastes just like the harvest. Throw together honey, sparkling water, fresh sage and blackberries. Of course, if you’re looking for something more unique, then a Caramel Apple Float is a great option for the whole family. Just combine chilled apple cider with ginger ale, then top with vanilla ice cream, caramel syrup, and chopped apples for garnish— then enjoy!
Have a great idea for the next fall drink? The Beverage Architects at Flavorman can help you bring it to life with a commercial formula. To get started, fill out this web form or give us a call at (502) 273-5214.