20 Cozy Drinks and Cocktails To Keep You Warm During Late Fall

It’s the time of year now when the sun sets WAY TOO GODDAMN EARLY, and even though I don’t have to deal with cold weather where I live, that early darkness is deeply upsetting. But I’m trying to focus on the good parts of this season, like enjoying warm beverages in mugs. Sometimes you just need a liquid sweet treat to start or end the day. Or I personally like to take a midday moment for what I call a “bev break,” whipping up something tasty to sip on while I look at the Weather app on my phone to see exactly what time the sun is going to set and balk at how early it is. Here, I’ve compiled a list of ciders, fancy coffee drinks to make at home when a trip to the local cafe seems to ambitious, and hot toddies and other alcoholic warm drinks. The first two sections all feature nonalcoholic drinks, so feel free to skip the final third section if you don’t drink. Also check out our list of cozy mocktails for more inspiration. Let’s all sip on some spiced, warm, delicious fall drinks.


Ciders

Homemade Apple Cider

It’s a classic for a reason!

Fire Cider

Nothing makes me feel more like a witch than making fire cider.

Mulled Apple Cider with Ginger and Orange

Can verify that making a low effort mulled cider is worth it just for the way it’ll make your home smell alone. It’s easy to scale things like this up too for a gathering or party.

Hot Pear Cider with Cinnamon and Spices

Orange Spiced Cider

There are Red Hots candies in this drink! We love innovation!

Spiced Apple Cider with Clove Oranges

Inserting cloves into oranges ALSO makes me feel like a fall witch.


Fancy Fall Coffee Drinks

Mocha Coffee

This is the simplest approach to making a mocha at home. My added suggestion would be to whip up some cream to put on top as well.

Maple Cinnamon Latte

Also, in a pinch, just adding a bit of maple syrup to your regular coffee is an excellent fall treat.

Pistachio Latte

Pistachio is a really underrated alt milk imo.

Masala Chai

This is not technically a coffee drink, but I had to give a shoutout to the hot drink I most consistently make during this time of year (and year round tbh). Every person in my family has a slightly different approach to making masala chai. I usually go heavy on the bolder flavors like ginger and black pepper and lighter on the softer flavors like cardamom. Start with a basic recipe and go from there depending on your own personal tastes.

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte

I am not too proud to admit I like a good PSL! And there are a lot of recipes out there for DIY versions that range from super simple to a little more complex. Either way, they’re much cheaper to make for yourself.

Eggnog Latte

To be completely honest, I’ve never really understood the whole nog thing, but I know a lot of people love it!

Creamy Hot Cocoa

Also not technically a coffee drink, but one of my greatest small pleasures in life is to order a fancy hot chocolate at a coffee shop, but I know my budget would prefer for me to just make them at home. It’s easy to do!

Thus concludes the nonalcoholic portion of this list. Continue reading if you’re interested in hard fall drinks!


Warm Cocktails

Classic Hot Toddy

I am realizing during the course of compiling this list that I NEED clear mugs?

Spiked Mulled Apple Cider

Again, super easy for a party situation.

Carajillo

I agree with Bon Appetit that the carajillo is better than an espresso martini. I prefer them served hot rather than over ice personally.

Hot Buttered Rum

Mulled Wine

Another drink that’s easy to scale up for a gathering. You can have some fun with the accoutrement and even create a little mulled wine toppings bar!

Chili Cinnamon Bourbon Hot Toddy

I love a little kick to my cocktails. Hot honey is the secret star of my bar cart.

Blackberry Bourbon Mulled Wine

This sounds perfect for a fall picnic.


What have you been sipping on this season?

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Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya

Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya is the managing editor of Autostraddle and a lesbian writer of essays, short stories, and pop culture criticism living in Orlando. She is the assistant managing editor of TriQuarterly, and her short stories appear or are forthcoming in McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, Joyland, Catapult, The Offing, and more. Some of her pop culture writing can be found at The A.V. Club, Vulture, The Cut, and others. You can follow her on Twitter or Instagram and learn more about her work on her website.

Kayla has written 817 articles for us.

3 Comments

  1. Adding my favorite to the list, partly because I need a good name for it.

    Hot Milk* (any kind), sugar/honey/agave nectar to taste, teeny tiniest dash of cinnamon, two to three generous dashes of nutmeg, aggressively stir and then top with whipped cream. Excellent cozy beverage as is but extra good with rye whiskey. It’s so good but I really do need a better name for this than ‘the hot nutmeg drink’. Thoughts on a name?

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