Fall Beverages for Your Bar

Fall is officially here, and it’s time to “turn over” your bar menu

Autumn is upon us, and your bar menu offerings should reflect the change in season.

As the weather gets cooler and the excitement of the summer winds down, people who enjoy alcoholic beverages may seek out darker, heartier and fuller-bodied drinks, so be sure your bar is stocked with seasonal favorites.

Fall Beers

Seasonal beers for autumn generally fall into three categories: Oktoberfest style, pumpkin-flavored and darker brews. Although you can definitely stock your event’s ice chests with autumn staples from the likes of Samuel Adams and Guinness, don’t be afraid to try one or two fun craft varieties. Consider Something Wicked from Breakside Brewery in Portland, Oregon. This ale was recently named one of the year’s best craft beers. For some international flair, check out Germany’s Brauhaus Riegele, which won top brewer at this year’s Meiningers International Craft Beer Awards and an individual platinum medal for its dark Simco 3 Hopfiges Lebensglück.

Fall Wine

Wine selections should generally pair well with culinary offerings, which, of course, change seasonally and vary depending on location. However, light- to medium-bodied reds (think Beaujolais) and approachable whites (think pinot grigio) are versatile. If you’re looking for an expert pick, Food & Wine named the 2014 Columbia Crest H3 Cabernet Sauvignon and the 2014 Tasca d’Almerita Regaleali Nero d’Avola as two of the top varieties for 2017. 

Fall Cocktails

Some of the best fall cocktails feature the season’s best produce (apples and cranberries) and spices (cinnamon, nutmeg and pumpkin). But instead of serving up mulled wines and eggnog, consider giving quintessential cold-weather cocktails a surprising twist. The Emerald (a variation on the Manhattan) contains a pinch of orange bitters. For an even richer taste, replace vermouth with Amaro, an Italian herbal liquor that will give your Emerald or Manhattan an extra dose of bitterness and bite.  

Up the ante with a spiced version of a traditional eggnog––the Rappahannock Eggnog cocktail contains the perfect mixture of smooth cream and sharp bite. 

Alternatively, are there any non-drinking attendees planning to join your event? Consider stocking your bar with a booze-less spirit for mixed cocktails like Seedlip––a non-alcoholic drink is best served with tonic.