Fall is my favorite season for so many reasons. Sweaters, crisp weather, holidays around the corner, and delicious food. And since I’m not a coffee or soda drinker, I love to dive into hot, rich fall drinks like tea, cider, hot chocolate and more.
I sat outside on my front porch yesterday. It was a crisp 68 degrees, and I sipped my favorite oolong tea. It was glorious.
Grab A Drink Out
Hot Chocolate at Tempered Café
They make their own Hot Chocolate mix in house! Rich, creamy, and good enough for grown-ups. (They also have waffles, dozens of homemade truffles, macaroons, and wine.)
Campfire Latte at the Perch
Downtown, Brentwood, Green Hills, Westhaven
If, for some reason, you do like coffee, I have it on good authority that this is the perfect, highly caffeinated fall treat (that doesn’t have pumpkin in it). Coffee beans from Zimbabwe, cinnamon, and white chocolate. And they make amazing crepes. Amazing.
Tea at High Garden Tea
Get loose-leaf tea to-go or stay for a mug and a local pastry. They offer dozens of kinds of green, black, oolong, white, and herbal teas; and they have a fermentation and elixir bar in the back. I would give you my top picks, but we’d be here all day.
Chai from Firepot Nomadic Teas
12 South & Local Stores
This local company makes incredibly flavorful, spicy, and deep chai you can make at home or get by the bottle. Check out their tea room or visit their website for all the places you can pick some up.
Spiked Cider at Grey’s on Main
This thing is meant to be shared. It’s enormous—and alcoholic. It will warm you and your date up perfectly.
Seasonal Cocktails at Patterson House
Every fall Patterson House rolls out new seasonal drinks. Their menu is all handmade and harkens back to the days when a drink was a drink. When I wasn’t pregnant or nursing, the Winter Sidecar was my absolute favorite. Bright and spicy and topped with fresh ground nutmeg? Yes, please!
Too cold to venture outside or need to entertain a crowd?
Homemade Drink Recipes
Grandma’s Hot Toddy
1.5 ounces brandy (or whiskey—but it’s not as wonderful)
1 tbsp honey
juice of 1/2 a lemon
3 ounces hot water
By far the easiest fall drink ‘recipe’ is to grab a jar of the famous Williams-Sonoma Mulling Spice.
Apple juice + spice mix = amazing cider and the best smelling house for miles.
I thought nothing could beat apple cider, but then I read that Williams-Sonoma recommends trying their spice mix with cranberry juice. Sold. (Also great with red wine.)
Aztec Hot Chocolate
via Better Homes & Garden
4 cups milk
2 cups half-and-half
1 1/2cups semisweet chocolate pieces
1 teaspoon instant espresso coffee powder
A teaspoon or so of ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle chile pepper
In a 3 1/2- to 4-quart slow cooker, combine milk, half-and-half, chocolate pieces, coffee powder, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and ground chipotle chile pepper.
Cover; cook on low-heat setting for 4 hours or on high-heat setting for 2 hours, whisking vigorously once halfway through cooking time. Whisk well before serving. If desired, garnish each serving with whipped cream and sprinkle with cinnamon.
Add this fabulous event to your calendar!
Hot Chocolate Expo and 15K/5K Race Feb 2018
Run a race downtown and get hot chocolate afterwards. They are not joking around. There are “sweet stations” with marshmallows and chocolate treats along the way. According to the website, it’s gluten-free and nut-free for those with allergies. Sign up to run or get the info here.