You might have loaded up your cocktail cabinet with mint, Pimms and strawberries for the summer – but now that those dark, cosy nights are back again, it’s time to start thinking about tipples for autumn and winter.
Cocktails for this season aren’t just about warming ingredients like bourbon and ginger, though. Here are some of our tips for autumn/winter cocktail inspiration.
Best sites for cocktail recipes
For some American-style influences, The Kitchn’s 10 favourite cocktails for Fall is an excellent resource. Here you’ll find a variety of cocktail recipes to keep you going up to Christmas, with a mix of seasonal ingredients like cranberry, orange, spiced apple and pomegranate. In fact, if you’re looking for cocktail recipes for a Halloween or Thanksgiving party, there are plenty of pumpkin-themed suggestions in this post.
Martha Stewart also has a variety of autumn and winter cocktail recipes up on her very busy home and food website. These cocktails are sorted by spirit – so whether it’s gin, whisky, vodka or rum that you prefer, you’re just a click away from your new favourite seasonal cocktail. There are also some great Christmas-themed cocktails on this post, as well as celebratory sparkling cocktails and non-alcoholic cocktails for non-drinkers.
For more festive drinks ideas, don’t miss these Christmas cocktail recipes from Nigella either. There are some great tips here for the discerning cocktail drinker, including the fabulously sophisticated Italian Sparkler (sweet muscat mixed with the juice of fresh limes). But there are some delicious family crowd-pleasers as well: Summer in Winter – a wonderfully heady mix of fizzy white wine, elderflower liqueur, bitter lemon and fresh mint – would be a particularly eye-opening drink to toast with on Christmas morning.
If you’re still new to the cocktail making game, this post on the 10 best cocktails for autumn has recipes suitable for tentative mixologists, from the classic Manhattan to the Mulled Spiced Cheribundi (though you could substitute the root beer here for ginger beer or similar). The Hot Apple Pie cocktail listed in this post is also particularly appetising, and is ideal for an indulgent early-evening drink or a fun nightcap.
Alternatively, if you’re an experienced home bartender hoping to stretch your repertoire, Pinterest has plenty of boards dedicated to autumn cocktails. You’re sure to find some inspiration here – and perhaps find the chance to post your own creations to share with other cocktail-lovers.
Where to buy cocktail ingredients
If you’re only just starting to compile your cocktail collection, this post on essential cocktail ingredients may help you build up your library of spirits and equipment. And while it’s easy to get a general array of spirits and syrups in most UK supermarkets and off licenses, specialist online stores like The Drinks Shop are always worth a browse for hard-to-find ingredients.
For drinks accessories – like cocktail shakers, muddlers and pourers – DrinkStuff.com has a range of equipment to suit a variety of budgets: check out its extensive clearance range if you’re in search of bargains. It’s also got a good glassware range, and gift sets for cocktail connoisseurs too.