10 Festive Fall Drinks and Where to Sip Them

Around the World, Food Lovers, Top 5/10 Lists — By Rachel Greenberg on November 9, 2009 at 5:02 pm

The best thing about fall? It’s practically a requirement to start mixing, mulling, boiling, and brewing all our favorite nippy weather treats. Here are our top 10 favorites and where to find them:

1. Mulled Wine: Served in a Styrofoam cup or borrowed mug off the streets of Budapest or Prague this cinnamony sweet, hot drink tastes a little bit like boiled sangria without the fruit pieces. And since it is totally acceptable to walk down the street with a steamy mug of wine in Europe, this is the perfect drink to ward off the cold, Eastern-European winds while sightseeing.

2. Spiced Cider: When picnicking at the quaint Cape Cod shore, make sure to bring along this delicious hot chocolate alternative. It’s great for kids and adults and just like apple pie or a strawberry milkshake, it even gives the illusion you’re getting some fruit in your diet!

Mexican Hot Chocolate

3. Mexican Hot Chocolate: Since the first chocolate was created by the Mayan people around 2000 years ago, it’s no wonder after all these years that Mexican hot chocolate is one of the most delicious drinks in the world. It’s made with chocolate that has been coarsely ground and mixed with milk, sugar, salt, nutmeg, and chili pepper powder. You can find this chocolaty treat in almost any panadería (or bakery) in Mexico City.

4. Rum Toddy: Feeling a little under the weather? Sip on a rum toddy before bed. It has the same positive effect as tea but packs its own extra punch! And if you want someone to whip one up for you, pop into any old-fashioned, well stocked bar, like the Mars Bar in New York City.

5. High Tea: Blimey! It’s gotten so cold in foggy London town we’re shivering in our bloody knickers! A brilliant idea would be to stop at The Blue Room, for a spot of a tea and a crumpet with that dishy bird of yours.

Irish Coffee

Irish Coffee

6.  Irish Coffee: Don’t let the name deceive you, this classic combo was first popularized at the famed Buena Vista in the Fisherman’s Wharf district of San Francisco, after one of their bartenders tasted it at the Shannon Airport in Dublin. The Buena Vista was so committed to making the drink to perfection, the owner even sought help from the San Francisco mayor (a dairy owner) to make cream with the exact right consistency for the foamy top. You can’t get more traditional San Francisco then sipping on one of these at the Buena Vista on a foggy night.

7. Peppermint Schnapps: This may not be a hot drink itself, but it’s sure to keep you warm! Mixed with hot chocolate this is the perfect drink to bring in a thermos next time you’re at a chilly, outdoor football game in Chicago.

The ubiquitous holiday cup

The ubiquitous holiday cup

8. Pumpkin Spice Latte: You know fall has come when these babies start popping up at every Starbucks around the globe. In need of a taste of home while traveling abroad? Thanks to the globalization of Starbucks you can grab a pumpkin spice latte in East Beirut, Santiago, Amman, and Istanbul.

9. White Russian: This drink is definitely passe in 2009, but it was a fall classic circa 1982. And if shoulder-pads and jean leggings are coming back into style, why shouldn’t White Russians too? If dressing like the decade you were born in doesn’t sound appealing, you could also pay homage to the Los Angeles-based, cult classic The Big Lebowski and order one of these next time your bowling team needs a big win.

10. Hot Buttered Scotch: Scotch has been made in Scotland since 1495 and it seems like this drink just begs to be ordered in a Sean Connery accent! The ingredients are simple: scotch, water, butter, and brown sugar all boiled together and served in a mug. But if the locals laugh at your new accent, there are tons of old school bars all over Europe to order a hot buttered scotch in. You could pop over the English Channel and try The Brazen Head located in Dublin which boasts the title of oldest bar in all of Europe at over 800 years old!

[Photos: foodistablog/rick/somethingmarissa/chairmanmoneko/creativecommons]

Tags: Budapest, Cape Cod, Chicago, drinks, Dublin, fall, London, Los Angeles, Mexico City, New York, Prague, San Francisco, Scotland


  • Tyler says:

    These are some classic wintery and delicious beverages! White Russian’s are tastey – but the Irish Coffee at Buena Vista is tough to beat.

    Nice write up!

  • Lori says:

    I have such fond memories of drinking mulled wine while strolling at night in Prague. San Francisco would be a great spot to adopt the practice. The tourists would love it! Great (and fun to read) suggestions for festive fall drinks. I’m off to find a great Mexican hot chocolate spot in the neighborhood!

  • Nicole Lerner says:

    Best Mexican Hot Chocolate in SF is at La Oaxaqueña Bakery/Restaurant – 2128 Mission St
    (between 17th St & Clarion Aly). Mmmm…


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