As fall approaches, our consumption habits change, offering the perfect time to introduce transitional cocktails. As we do with our wardrobe, we often shift what we drink as the seasons change. Not that any one libation is exclusive to a single season, a rosé or a refreshing spritz can still be enjoyed year-round.
We’ve selected some of our favorite summer to fall cocktails. They capture the bright and refreshing elements of summer blended with the rich flavors of cooler weather. Like a favorite sweater, these transitional cocktails are the perfect weight for the change in season.
1. Naked and Famous
The Naked and Famous is an ideal transitional cocktail, perfect for enjoying the end of summer into fall. It combines two of the most popular ingredients in recent times, mezcal and Aperol. Herbaceous yellow Chartreuse and zesty lime juice complement its smokey and bittersweet flavors, making it a refreshing libation with medium intensity.
There are few spritzes that achieve the depth to transition from summer to fall easily, however, the Negroni Sbagliato is just that. In this aperitivo dry sparkling wine softens bitter Campari and rich sweet vermouth. The result is a drink with the ideal balance between heavy and refreshing.
The Casino is a dryer alternative to the other transitional cocktails on this list. It combines botanical gin with bitter-dry maraschino liqueur, zesty lemon juice, and orange bitters. It’s a boozy and stimulating cocktail, perfect for the end of summer into fall.
The Sidecar is a perfect transitional cocktail. Its citrus-sweet flavor is reminiscent of the Daiquiri, a summertime classic. Whereas its Cognac base gives it the richness and warmth often sought when the autumn chill fills the air.
The Mexican Boulevardier offers an exciting and spirit-forward alternative to the other typically citrus-heavy tequila cocktails that are often enjoyed in the summertime. It swaps out the original’s bourbon base for silky smooth añejo tequila. This substitution polishes the otherwise bracing flavors of Campari and sweet vermouth, creating a balanced transitional cocktail.
Boozy and bubbly, the French 75 is the perfect way to celebrate the transition from summer into fall. Zesty lemon and dry sparkling wine complement the warmth of its Cognac base. While it can alternatively be made with gin, we think Cognac gives the ideal depth and richness for the cooler weather.
This modern variation on the Mojito builds off the classic’s rum, mint, and lime base. The Old Cuban elevates the original by swapping white rum for deeply rich aged rum, topping it off with Champagne and Angostura bitters. Its rich and refreshing flavors make it an ideal summer to fall transitional cocktail.
Not looking to let go of summer just yet? The name of the Endless Summer says it all. At face value, it’s a Negroni with pineapple juice, a warm weather cocktail ingredient staple. However, the pineapple juice adds the right amount of fruity-sweet flavors to cut the otherwise bracing flavors of the Campari-based classic. The blend of flavors makes it a perfect end of summer cocktail.