The Coziest Cocktails In Town

Get In The Holiday Spirit with These Seasonal Drinks

The temperature drops, leaves fall, and all the flannel comes out of storage. It’s fall, y’all! To put you into the autumnal mood, I’ve put together a list of some of the best seasonal cocktails currently on drink menus in Raleigh.

Photo Credit: The Cortez Seafood + Cocktail

The Cortez Seafood + CocktailThe Season Finale: With its festive skull-topped cocktail stirrer, this gin-based cocktail from the showy Glenwood South restaurant packs a nutritious punch. With cantaloupe and a carrot shrub (not to mention some sake for a little boost), you can convince yourself you’re getting your vitamins.

Photo Credit: Bittersweet

Bittersweet – Warm up with THE MEDIC Your choice of bourbon, scotch, Brandy or dark rum with Grand Marnier, allspice, hot water,  honey and lemon.

There are a handful of seasonal cocktails to choose from on Bittersweet’s menu, not to mention a whole host of delicious desserts.

Photo Credit: Neuse River Brewing and Brasserie

Neuse River Brewing and Brasserie – Captain’s Cider: A classic if ever I’ve seen one. Applejack brandy, spiced rum, and a cinnamon syrup melt into hot apple cider to warm you up on these crisp fall evenings. Feeling like some chocolate? Try the Cruzan Cocoa: blackstrap rum, Bailey’s, and hot cocoa topped with whipped cream.

Photo Credit: The Longleaf Hotel

The Longleaf Hotel – What’s in Fashion? Recline on the Longleaf’s picturesque patio with a cocktail described by Lounge and Events manager Chelley Godwin as “the most sophisticated caramel apple you’ve ever had!”. The What’s in Fashion? is made with house-made apple-infused vodka and dulce de leche syrup shaken with Amaro Averna, Aperol, and fresh-squeezed orange juice.

Photo Credit: Garland

Garland – Crimson Caper: For a spirit-free libation, Garland has it covered with this unique, delicious creation. Red verjus (tart, fresh juice of unripe grapes) meets a lapsang-grapefruit cordial and a dash of cardamom salt. Sophisticated and smoky, you can enjoy more than one of these Capers without a headache in the morning. 

Photo Credit: @tiptoeingthrujuleps

DIY At Home

Coffee ‘n’ Smores by Allison Barger Eddy

If you’re more comfortable enjoying your drinks at home but still want to support local businesses, give this nostalgia-inducing, satisfying recipe a try. You can pick up locally-made Crude Bitters from their Bittery across the street from Transfer Food Hall (the pink building, you can’t miss it!) or from any number of local shops.

 From Allison Barger Eddy, the cocktail extraordinaire behind @tiptoeingthrujuleps:

Coffee ‘n’ Smores

1.5oz Vitae Spirits coffee liqueur

0.75oz creme de cacao

0.5oz toasted marshmallow syrup*

5-6 drops Crude Bitters Coffee and Cocoa bitters

Graham cracker crumbles and toasted marshmallow, for rim and garnish

Using some lemon juice or simple syrup as a binder, rim coupe glass with graham cracker crumbles.

Mix all remaining ingredients, except garnish, with ice.

Strain into coupe glass.

Add garnish and enjoy!

*Toasted Marshmallow Simple Syrup:

Combine 8oz sugar with 8oz water in small pot on stovetop over medium heat, approx. 5 minutes, then turn down to low to simmer.

Using a kitchen torch or gas stovetop, char 8 large marshmallows threaded on metal skewers (I used two skewers with 4 marshmallows each).

Add the marshmallows to the simmering simple syrup.

Stir frequently to keep pot from overflowing, approx. 3 minutes.

Allow to cool completely, then fine strain into glass bottle and store in fridge.