Fall's here, and that means it's time to put away those plastic plates, cups and cutlery that you've been entertaining with all summer and bring out your best tabletop accessories and leather coasters when you're having friends over. With those chilly evenings setting in and the leaves on the trees turning from green to red and gold, Fall is the perfect time to have friends over for cocktails featuring Fall produce like apples, pumpkins and cranberries that will warm everyone up as the wind howls outside.
Here are some fabulous drinks to rest your leather coasters on this Fall:
1. Hot Apple Cider - Nothing beats a glass of hot apple cider on your leather coasters when it's cold out. Hot apple cider warms the cockles of your heart, and it's a must-have around Halloween time. To make apple cider, heat 6 cups of apple cider and flavor it with a mix of cinnamon sticks, cloves, allspice berries, orange peel and lemon peel wrapped in cheesecloth. Let the apple cider simmer for 10 minutes, then remove the spice bundle and serve with a cinnamon stick in each glass if desired.
2. Cranberry Sin - This cocktail features cranberry and is all about sweetness and spice, capturing all the shades of Fall. To make it, mix together 1 1/4 oz apple vodka with 3/4 oz spiced rum, an ounce of cranberry juice, and a dash of maple syrup (to offset the natural tartness of cranberries) in a shaker with ice. Pour the drink into a martini glass, and garnish it with a dash of cinnamon. It's cold and refreshing yet invigorating and warming at the same time - the perfect drink for unwinding to.
3. Pumpkin Martini - Pumpkin is a Fall icon in the United States: Jack-o-lanterns line porches everywhere, and a holiday meal would not be complete without pumpkin pie. Pumpkins are nutritional powerhouses and they make for a warming drink that's smooth, rich, and just a little bit decadent. To make a Pumpkin Martini, combine half an ounce of cream liqueur and two ounces of vanilla vodka in a shaker filled with ice, then add half an ounce of pumpkin liqueur or pumpkin spice syrup and shake again. Top each martini with a teaspoon of whipped cream and a cinnamon stick, and serve on your classiest leather coasters.
4. Hunter's Cocktail - As the name suggests, this cocktail is designed to warm up hunters after a busy day in the woods staking out deer trails and flushing out water birds. But it warms up office workers, shop assistants or those just wanting to unwind after a hectic day equally well. There's not too much to this Fall drink, so it's perfect when you're tired and need to warm up in a hurry. Combine 1 1/2 oz whiskey and 1/2 oz cherry brandy, and serve on leather coasters with a maraschino cherry on top.