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Fall flavors to drink that aren't pumpkin spice

Posted by ABC Fine Wine & Spirits on October 19, 2018

In Beer, Spirits, Wine

There is more to life than pumpkin spice, believe it or not (but we’re not haters, honest! Check out our homage to the PSL here). Since we’re about a month into fall, it’s time to consider richer flavors, with warming spices, creamy textures and decadent nuances. That doesn’t mean clear spirits like vodka and moonshine are off the table – it just means you’ll need to infuse them with a little autumn.

 The cooler climate begs for smoky liquors and deeper, earthier flavors and so many fall flavors to dive into. Crisp apple, creamy vanilla, rich barrel aged wines and salted caramel fit the bill for our fall-happy palates. And the truth is that these flavors and bottles deserve as much attention as pumpkin spice.

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First let’s lay out those flavors: apple, cranberry, pomegranate, ginger, caramel, pear and maple. Obviously, you could always infuse your favorite cocktail with a maple syrup sweetener and a cranberry juice mixer. But what if you could find wines, spirits and beers that boast those delicious flavors?

Your wish is our command.

The Wine: Fall Fruits

Ravel & Stitch Cabernet Sauvignon

Much like the scarecrows that you see little of in sunny Florida, Ravel & Stitch is a patchwork. A patchwork of some of the best Central Coast fruit in California, that is. With luscious, layered notes of wild blackberry, pomegranate and a clove-like spiciness, it’s easy to taste the autumnal influences.

Prospector Cabernet Sauvignon

Occasionally, a wine comes along that we really dig. In the case of Prospector, it dug its way into our hearts from first sip. These bottles reflect the New World style with a boldness and balance that reveals its one-of-a-kind expression. Major notes of cranberry, fig, plum and pomegranate race throughout this fruity Cab. Check out the blog here!

B Chardonnay

Another fruit-forward, New World style of Chardonnay, this creamy white is focused on pear, touches of vanilla and has a rich, buttery mouthfeel that begs for a yummy casserole pairing. It’s also perfect chilled next to a fire pit.

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The Spirits: Salted Caramel and Apple

With notes of creamy caramel, balancing flavors of salt, a richness from hints of pecan flavor and a punch of crisp sweetness from the apple, these spirits are an undeniable fall staple. Plug any of these three into the recipes below and you’ll be in apple salted caramel bliss.

Ballotin Caramel Turtle

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Pinnacle Salted Caramel

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Crown Royal Salted Caramel and Ole Smokey Moonshine Apple (find these in stores! Locate your nearest ABC Fine Wine & Spirits here.)


Salted Caramel Punch

Punches are usually synonymous with summer but add a little apple and some salted caramel for a perfectly fall cocktail.

  • 1 1/2 ounce salted caramel spirit (choose above
  • 1/2 cup apple cider
  • 2-3 dashes lemon bitters
  • Cinnamon stick
  • Dash of nutmeg

In a rocks glass filled with ice, combine spiced rum and apple cider and stir gently to mix. Top with hard cider and 2-3 dashes of lemon bitters. Add a dash of nutmeg and garnish with a cinnamon stick.


The Brews: Vanilla and Hops of Harvest

Kentucky Vanilla Barrel

Sierra Nevada Fall Pack

Find these in stores! Locate your nearest ABC Fine Wine & Spirits here.

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Here are some bonus recipes!

Apple Cider Margarita

Who says tequila is just for summer? This tasty fall cocktail is perfect for the margarita lover looking for a fall take on a summer classic.

  • 1 ounce Grand Marnier
  • 1 ounce Old Smokey Apple Moonshine
  • 5 ounces apple cider
  • Cinnamon and coarse sugar for glass rimming
  • Apple slices
  • Cinnamon stick

Add cinnamon and sugar to a plate. Rim the edge of a glass with the cinnamon and sugar. Add a few apple slices to the bottom of the glass and top with ice. Add the Grand Mariner, gold tequila and apple cider to the glass and stir to mix. Garnish with an apple slice and a cinnamon stick.


Rosemary & Maple Bourbon Sour

This twist on a classic Bourbon Sour is really perfect for any time of year but the maple syrup gives it a fall feel.

  • 1 1/2 ounce Crown Royal Salted Caramel
  • 1 ounce lemon juice, fresh
  • 3/8 ounce Grade A maple syrup
  • Dash of rosemary simple syrup
  • 1 sprig of rosemary to garnish

Add Crown, lemon juice, maple syrup and rosemary simple syrup to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Strain mixture into a rocks glass filled with fresh ice. Garnish with rosemary sprig.


Apple Spiced Mimosas

Looking to spice up your mimosa? This is a perfect refreshing twist on everyone's favorite bubbly brunch beverage.

  • 1 bottle of sparkling wine
  • 1/2 cup apple cider
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Apple slice

Mix apple cider, cinnamon and nutmeg together in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Strain contents into a champagne flute. Top with sparkling wine. Garnish with apple slice.