As the warm weather slowly fades to a summer memory, it’s time to settle in with some of our favorite fall perks: no, not football and tailgating—fall drinks, from featured local cocktails to annual limited-edition smoothies and ciders.
Here are a few of the treats we’ll be sipping for the next few months, both alcoholic and G-rated.
Haddington’s - Duck Fat Sazerac
Build up your own layer of defense against the biting Austin frost (har har) with Haddington’s heavy seasonal offering, the Duck Fat Sazerac, a mix of fat-infused rye, Peychaud’s bitters and absinthe rinse. It’s served chilled (though without ice), but we have no doubt this mix will warm you up in no time.
Peche - Brandy Alexander
A classic comfort drink, the Brandy Alexander is traditionally made with cognac and crème de cacao, but Peche puts a unique spin on their version: it’s a heavy mix of house-made vanilla ice cream, brandy and nutmeg. Simple, satisfying and certainly dense enough to count as a “wintry treat.”
Black Star Coop – Featured seasonal menus
Known for their frequently-changing drink and local snack offerings, Black Star leads the pack with their house-brewed “Rational” (read: traditional) and “Irrational” (more complex and tailored) beers, plus custom menus of cured meats, cheeses and pickled veggies to compliment whatever you choose to try out. (Also, we highly recommend you try out the bacon toffee for dessert. Trust us.)
Speaking of locally-brewed beers, there are two new (limited) seasonal offerings you won’t want to miss:
Independence Brewing - Oklahoma Sux
Officially available in September, in time for the Texas-OU throwdown, Independence’s Oklahoma Sux brew is slightly heavy, with hints of chocolate and caramel and a suggested pairing with BBQ pork—making it the perfect tailgating compliment.
Live Oak - Oaktoberfest
Available for a short time only, Live Oak’s fall blend is based on traditional Bavarian recipes, a rich, but smooth, classic taste that feels like fall.
Make your own
Feel like staying in? Test out Republic of Austin’s spiked horchata recipe; a blend of milk, rum and spices, it’s like a Texas take on eggnog that’s great with or without the extra kick.
Bouldin Creek Coffeehouse — Hot Apple Cider
Good, local hot cider is surprisingly hard to find in Austin (take it from this Northerner, who’s used to roadside stands offloading cases of it as early as September). Bouldin Creek’s piping hot, spicy-sweet version is a great late night drink choice, since it’s caffeine-free and tastes so much like a warm apple pie that it might as well be dessert.
Jo’s — Pumpkin Spice Latte
Sure, you could head to Starbuck’s for a sugary seasonal latte—or you could stroll over to Jo’s for one of their decidedly more local, made-with-love pumpkin spice latte, a blend of syrups and their signature espresso roast that’s perfect for getting your morning started, or just sipping while you people-watch on SoCo.
Holy Cacao — Hot Chocolate
This South Austin trailer, known for offering eye-opening varieties of chocolate and chocolate-based creations we’d never even dream were possible, has hands-down the best hot chocolate in town. And they’ve got different varieties! If you want something edgier than The Original, try The Mexican (infused with ancho chile and cinnamon) or the Peppermint Patty (with, you guessed it, mint).
Jamba Juice — Pumpkin Smash Smoothie
Ok, this one’s not local, but Jamba’s annual offering, the Pumpkin Smash smoothie, is worth trying (despite the kind of gross name). It’s pretty much a pumpkin pie you sip through a straw, which is about the highest compliment we could give; made from pureed pumpkin, vanilla frozen yogurt and soy milk, it’s the perfect fall treat for those still-warm days.